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Munition Factories Liverpool


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post-32981-1269122372.jpg

This photo was given to me last week by a family member,up until then I had no that Aunty Et (Ethel Rose Griffiths née Waterworth) had been a 'Munitionette'.

Does anyone know whereabouts the Munitions Factories were sited in Liverpool in WW1, were they the same ones that were used during WW2?

Also, was it general practise for Munition workers to be photographed in a studio setting?

Aunty Et lost her brother on 31st July 1917 at Pilkem Ridge and also her son whom she had named in honour of her brother on 28th June 1944 in Normandy aged 20 yrs

Regards

Gill

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Hi Gill,

Part of the Cunard yards were converted to munitions production in WWI.

Simon

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Hi Gill,

This is a list of the National Factories operating in the Liverpool District during WW1. I can't recall where I got the list from - it may have been elsewhere on this site.

Aintree, Liverpool LNC National Aircraft Factory 01/10/17 01/06/18 Aeroplanes Cunard Ltd.

Litherland, Liverpool LNC HM Explosives Factory 01/03/16 - T.N.T. Direct Control

Liverpool, Aintree LNC National Filling Factory 01/07/15 01/06/18 Filling shell up to 8-in.; filling and assembling components. Board of Management

Liverpool, Brasenose Road, Bootle LNC National Box Factory Autumn 1917 By Oct 1917 Making and repairing ammunition boxes Direct Control

Liverpool, Clyde Street, Bootle LNC National Shell Factory 01/11/15 - Gauges Board of Management

Liverpool, Cunard Co, Rimrose Road LNC National Shell Factory 01/06/15 - 8-in., 6-in. and 4.5-in. shell Board of Management

Liverpool, Edge Lane LNC National Shell Factory 01/09/15 01/02/16 4.5-in. and 6-in. shell forgings; 4.5-in. cartridge cases. Board of Management

Liverpool, Lambeth Road Tramway Depot LNC National Shell Factory 01/06/15 01/07/15 18-pdr. Shell; completing and rectifying 18-pdr., 15-pdr. 2.75-in., 4.5-in. and 60-pdr Board of Management

Liverpool, North Haymarket LNC National Shell Factory 01/06/15 - 18-pdr., 4.5-in. and 6-in. shell Board of Management

She could of course have been working for a smaller factory - virtually any business with metal-working skills could have received a contract to make shell components, and women working in shipyards, on the railways, making uniforms &c were also classified as Munitions Workers.

She seems to be wearing a type E suit - (see http://www.archive.org/details/protectiveclothi00grearich ) which would suggest that she was involved in metal working or handling machinery rather than chemicals.

hope this helps

Patrick

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Great photo Gill. Aunt Et looks very proud of her uniform!

Just out of interest These are old postcards and both captions on the back read "Women working in a Liverpool ammunitions factory during wartime"

From the hairstyles and skirt lengths I hope I'm right in assuming Great War

ammo.jpg

ammo2.jpg

Caryl

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Simon,

Thank you for the information, I have sent you a Pm

Patrick,

Thank you for the comprehensive list and relevant information regarding her uniform.

I know definitely that during WW2 Aunty Et worked in engineering which bears out your suggestion that she was involved in metal work.

Caryl,

Thank you for the fascinating photos, they are definitely WW1.

My Mum and her sister worked in munitions in WW2 and the trendy headwear of the time was the turban!!

Thank you all for your input, this wasn't an aspect of WW1 which previously interested me but now that I have a personal connection I will delve deeper.

Kind Regards

Gill

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Thank you for those links Marky.

They provided not just a trip down memory Lane but also photos of two Churches long since gone but which featured largely in my Family history

Kind Regards

Gill

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Gill

There is an interesting online ebook here called Women and War work by Helen Fraser and it includes a chapter(6) called Women and Munitions

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/14676

Just came across it browsing through this list of World War 1 Bookshelf free online books

http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/World_War_I_(Bookshelf)

So many books, so little time... :blink:

Caryl

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Wow!!

Thank you Caryl, that should keep me busy for some time.

My personal favourite book relating to WW1 is 'Women of Royamont',unfortunately I lent it to someone who didn't return it

Gill

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  • 2 years later...

post-92815-0-84649500-1348405904_thumb.j

This is Mary Elizabeth Gildner, nee Scott.

She is my husband's Great Grandma. She is pictured with her son David in his scout uniform.

The following story has been passed down to us ...Mary worked in a munitions factory in Liverpool during WW1. At first Mary's grandaughter told us that she thought this was at ogdens tobacco factory but this now seems to be a false memory - and it could have been at Aintree. Wherever it was, Mary was injured when there was an explosion at the factory. She was blown out of the factory onto a railway line and a train amputated her left arm. Grandma Gildner is remembered as having yellow skin - despite being badly injured and losing her arm she lived until old age.

We would like to find some more about Mary's story- does anyone have any info that could help us??

Any info would be welcomed

Mary

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Mary,

You are correct in that it wasn't 'Ogdens', as there was no railway line near the factory.

Good luck

Gill

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Does anyone know if the number on the uniform (looks like 108..but may be another number which cant be seen) was a personal number or related to the specific workplace. If it was the latter it would be very handy.

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Have you seen this site? It's free to view and you can buy prints of loads of amazing photos including WW1, there are images of the cunard munitions works and Aintree airoplane factory

http://www.scienceandsociety.co.uk/results.asp?search=1&screenwidth=1349&pixperpage=50&searchtxtkeys=Cunard+Munition+Works&lastsearchtxtkeys=Munitions+Girls&withinresults=&searchphotographer=&wwwflag=&lstformats=&lstorients=All+Orientations&captions=

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  • 6 months later...

Can anyone put a munitions factory in the area of Linacre Lane and hawthorne Road, Bootle. And there being a fire or explosion there in WW1?

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There was a tar, pitch and creosote works (Brotherton's) between Linacre Lane and Hawthorne Road which became a munitions factory during the war.

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Your question about munitions workers having studio photos taken being a common event. I've seen a number of studio photos of munitions workers from Gretna/Longtown and Carlisle who had studio photos, some taken with their families A number came from the NE (around Seaham) so may have got them to send home.

David

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There was a tar, pitch and creosote works (Brotherton's) between Linacre Lane and Hawthorne Road which became a munitions factory during the war.

The one in Robert Graves Goodbye to all that ?

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post-92815-0-84649500-1348405904_thumb.j

This is Mary Elizabeth Gildner, nee Scott.

She is my husband's Great Grandma. She is pictured with her son David in his scout uniform.

The following story has been passed down to us ...Mary worked in a munitions factory in Liverpool during WW1. At first Mary's grandaughter told us that she thought this was at ogdens tobacco factory but this now seems to be a false memory - and it could have been at Aintree. Wherever it was, Mary was injured when there was an explosion at the factory. She was blown out of the factory onto a railway line and a train amputated her left arm. Grandma Gildner is remembered as having yellow skin - despite being badly injured and losing her arm she lived until old age.

We would like to find some more about Mary's story- does anyone have any info that could help us??

Any info would be welcomed

Mary

There is an excellent, illustrated article on the Aintree factory and how it came about at this website: http://www.colorants...Explosives.html

There were big explosions involving considerable loss of life and numerous injured at Silvertown in North London, Faversham in Kent, Chilwell in the midlands, Barnbow in Leeds and Gretna on the England-Scotland border.

There was so much secrecy about accidents during wartime, what with concerns about morale and I don't think that all the various accidents have been collated into a single record. It is estimated that about 600 workers were killed during world war one, with many thousands more injured.

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The one in Robert Graves Goodbye to all that ?

Yes, it appears so.

http://www.litherland-digital.co.uk/album_5/pages/army_camp.htm

"1916: Page 169

The camp was only separated by the bombing-field from Brotherton's (Lanstar site) where a specially sensitive explosive for detonators was made. The munition makers had permanently yellow faces and hands and drew appropriately high wages. Attwater used to argue at mess sometimes what would happen if Brotherton's blew up. Most of us held that the shock would immediately kill all the three thousand men of the camp besides destroying Litherland and a large part of Bootle. He maintained that the very closeness of the camp would save it; that the vibrations would go over and strike a big munition camp about a mile away and set that off. One Sunday afternoon Attwater limped out of the mess and suddenly saw smoke rising from Brotherton's. Part of the factory was on fire. The camp fire-brigade was immediately bugled for and managed to put the fire out before it reached a vital spot. So the argument was never decided."

I read something in a local newspaper years ago to the effect that there was an explosion at a Bootle ammunition plant. But we have at least 2 peoples maybe bad or false memorys here. The event I have in mind would have been well known in local memorys so if this event excisted, it must have been very small.

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  • 6 months later...
seetomorrowtoday

My old father-in-law used to take me to a pub near Melling and we passed by a place and he said

"Our Nellie got blown up in the Powderworks". Well at the time thought nothing of it but recently

started doing their family tree. I couldn't find a sister Nellie, but did find a sister Ellie, so put it down

to his strong Lancashire accent. The mystery deepened however when I found out that she died

age 23 on 23rd July 1918.

There is still a Powderworks Lane in Melling. When the Leeds - Liverpool canal was built around

1870's they built this Powderworks factory and it manufactured Guncotton. Prior to this there was

Gunpowder but when you fired there was a lot of smoke that gave your location to the enemy who

would fire back. Guncotton or smokeless powder did not have smoke and so you remained hidden.

The Powderworks made munitions in the First World War. So I assumed this Ellie worked there.

I have obtained her death certificate and she died on 23rd July 1918 as a result of the explosion of

a six inch shell. The place of death is stated as Amatol (an explosive) factory, Netherton, Sefton

rural district. An inquest was held by the coroner for Lancashire on 1st August 1918.

This may not be the Melling Powderworks as I understand that there was another munitions

works in Litherland, adjacent to a large Army barracks.

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My old father-in-law used to take me to a pub near Melling and we passed by a place and he said

"Our Nellie got blown up in the Powderworks". Well at the time thought nothing of it but recently

started doing their family tree. I couldn't find a sister Nellie, but did find a sister Ellie, so put it down

to his strong Lancashire accent. The mystery deepened however when I found out that she died

age 23 on 23rd July 1918.

There is still a Powderworks Lane in Melling. When the Leeds - Liverpool canal was built around

1870's they built this Powderworks factory and it manufactured Guncotton. Prior to this there was

Gunpowder but when you fired there was a lot of smoke that gave your location to the enemy who

would fire back. Guncotton or smokeless powder did not have smoke and so you remained hidden.

The Powderworks made munitions in the First World War. So I assumed this Ellie worked there.

I have obtained her death certificate and she died on 23rd July 1918 as a result of the explosion of

a six inch shell. The place of death is stated as Amatol (an explosive) factory, Netherton, Sefton

rural district. An inquest was held by the coroner for Lancashire on 1st August 1918.

This may not be the Melling Powderworks as I understand that there was another munitions

works in Litherland, adjacent to a large Army barracks.

Bodger, Can you give us a name, please ? The only casualties that I have recorded for the 23rd July 1918 relates to the National Amatol Factory, Aintree when a shell exploded. Aintree is just down the road from Netherton and it seems that this was the same explosion. The casualties that I have are Margaret Armer Bradshaw, S. Payne and Agnes Brown. No-one that sounds like Nellie or Ellie.

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seetomorrowtoday

The name folks was Ellen Preece and her address at the time was stated as Carlton Villa, Aughton, occupation Shell Examiner.

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Ogden's was never a munitions factory. My Nan and her sister worked there during the war to keep their Dad's job open for when he returned from the Army. My Nan was 10 when the war started. She went to school in the morning and took over from her sister in the factory in the afternoon. Her sister was 2 years older and worked in Ogden's until she was 55.

I don't know for sure but I'm certain it's been mentioned on the GWF that the Meccano Factory in Edge Lane/Binns Road made munitions. The factory moved to the Edge Lane/Binns Rd site in 1914.

A railway ran alongside the factory. The railway is still there (Liverpool - St Helens - Manchester) but, sadly, Meccano went a long time ago.

If Auntie Et lived close to Ogden's Tobacco Factory then the Meccano wouldn't be too far away and much closer than Bootle, Litherland or Aintree.

EDIT

In 1911 she lived in Goth Street, off West Derby Rd. Walking distance to Ogden's and Meccano.

Goth Street photos here: http://www.liverpoolpicturebook.com/p/l6-l7.html

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  • 7 years later...
Jim Strawbridge

From that second website mentioned above it states that :- "To the west of the Filling Factory an Amatol explosives production factory was established in 1916. The only known explosion at the filling factory occurred on 23rd, July 1918 when the explosion of a 6-in shell killed three workers"

 

The Filling Factory mentioned was close to Aintree Railway Station. It principally comprised 175 acres of Bland Park Farm. It was close to the marshalling sidings of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway and also the terminus of the Liverpool Corporation Tramway. A dedicated railway spur was installed to serve the site.

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