The present site of OFDC was established when Lt. Colonel Robert Clive along with Admiral James Watson came to recapture Calcutta from Siraj-Ud-Daulah, Nawab of Bengal.
Admiral James Watson reached near Baj-Baj by sea. Watson bombarded Fort Baj-Baj from sea and captured the Fortress without any loss just before Christmas of 1756. Clive landed at Baj-Baj and approached by land and established camp at Dumdum. Admiral Watson travelled by Ganges.
The word "Dumdama" is a Persian word means a Raised Mound and as because there is a historical building (Clive"s House) standing on a raised mound the place is called Dumdama and "Dumdum" is a corruption of the name Dumdama.
On excavation of Clives House, coins, terracotta figures, sculpture, potteries etc. and a information of Portuguese Fort on the wall are found. Perhaps these could be from the time of "Sen Period".
But the common people tell another story.
Probably Clive cleaned his guns and tested them. The dham - dham sound generated from testing of guns, got established as "Dum Dum" and was accepted as name of the area.
In January 1757 Clive recaptured Calcutta and converted the workshop for carrying out indigenous improvements for British equipment. Clive found that the locals had good skills but were living in poverty. He used them to his advantage.
Dum Dum became the first development centre for Defence stores in India established by Royal forces and worked in association with Fort William.
On starting a separate factory at Cossipore near Ganges, the workshop worked in tandem with Gun and Shell Factory.
The First Anglo-Afghan War also known as Auckland"s Folly fought between British India and Afghanistan. First major conflicts during the Great Game, the competition for power and influence in Central Asia. An Army of 21,000 British and Indian troops under the command of Sir John Keane set out from Punjab in Dec-1838 and reached Quetta by late Mar-1839 and captured Kandahar, Fortress of Ghazni and parts of Kabul on 1839. In 1841 the Afghans struck as the British fell back to Peshawar, defeated by cost of occupation and weather. British lost nearly 20,000 troops in this war. Lack of ammunition was the basic reason for defeat. In November and December 1841, the First Horse Artillery of British India Army under the command of General George Pollock made a heroic appearance at Jalalabad and Kabul in Afghanistan after a disastrous imperial campaign. The surviving forces of that fruitless campaign erected a memorial in the memory of their dead fellows at Dum Dum in 1942 known as Sahid Minar.
Following the defeat in Afghan war, the British East India Company decided to start an Ammunition Factory for the first time in India (1846) on this site. First Ammunition Factory was set up in British India in 1846.
Famous Dum Dum Bullets were produced here. In 1857 Sepoy Mutiny was sparked by inputs flowing from Dum Dum to Barrackpore.
The site served as a Factory as well as Jail. Many freedom fighters were hung here. Hearsay is that Kanhu Murmu, Leader of Santhal rebellion, was kept in captivity and hanged here in 1858.
In 1869 British decided to shift Ammunition Factory from DumDum to Pune. Due to Hague convention, Dum Dum Bullet was banned in 1896. Later on the testing activities were shifted from Dum Dum to proof establishment in Ballasore. Major operations were shifted to Fort William but the workshop continued with magazine.
It is also said that after being arrested in 1929 Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose was also imprisoned here? (No documentary evidence available).