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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Help with book on 'Canary Girls'


Guest MichaelStreeter

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Guest MichaelStreeter

Hello all
I'm hoping someone can help me. I'm researching a book on the 'Canary Girls' of the First World War. As many forum members will know these were the women who worked in munitions factories in the 1914-1918 war and sometimes had their skin discoloured by the chemicals they came into contact with. What I'm particularly looking for is anyone who has journals, diaries, letters or even a lengthy personal oral history of one of these workers. I'm looking to tell the story through their eyes rather than write what might be called 'conventional' history. Can anyone help? I'd be most grateful!
Michael Streeter

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  • 4 months later...

Hello Michael,

My grandmother worked at NFF No. 9 in Banbury during WW1. I don't have any diaries or oral recollections and I was too young to ask her about it when she was alive (she lived to 99). But I do have a photograph of her in her overalls, dated 1916.

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Michael,

My wife's aunt, Grace Bolton, was one of those who died in the explosion at No. 6 Shell Filling Factory, Chilwell on 1st July 1918. We have her family history and a few articles about the tragedy but your best bet is to try to get Maureen Rushton's 'Canary Girls of Chilwell', published by Beeston & District Local History Society in 2008. ISBN 978 0 9541485 1 5.

Snavek

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I can't help with any original material, I'm afraid, but I've found the following 8 books on my shelves that deal to varying degrees with Munition workers. They're all early works & therefore quite scarce but you may be able to find some on-line.

Monica Cosens - Lloyd George's Munition Girls. 1916

Boyd Cable - Doing Their Bit. 1916

Hall Caine - Our Girls. 1916

A. K. Foxwell - Munition Lasses. 1917

Helen Frazer - Women & War Work. 1918

F. Tennyson Jesse - The Sword of Deborah. 1919

T. A. Lamb - TNT Tales. 1919

Gilbert Stone - Women War Workers. 1917

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  • 2 years later...
On 13 August 2014 at 15:41, snavek said:

Michael,

My wife's aunt, Grace Bolton, was one of those who died in the explosion at No. 6 Shell Filling Factory, Chilwell on 1st July 1918. We have her family history and a few articles about the tragedy but your best bet is to try to get Maureen Rushton's 'Canary Girls of Chilwell', published by Beeston & District Local History Society in 2008. ISBN 978 0 9541485 1 5.

Snavek

 

Hello - would you know any details for where Grace Margaret BOLTON may be buried?

 

Regards

Barbara

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  • 3 months later...

Barbara, many of the fatalities were so badly mutilated that one report said body parts were put into coffins and then transported to Attenborough Cemetery for internment. Grace is remembered on the Chilwell Factory Memorial, her home village memorial in Beeston next Mileham churchyard, Norfolk and I understand, although I've never seen it, Beeston, Notts. Memorial which was where she was lodging.

Snavek

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