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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Leeds Munitions Girl...Seeks Soldier


Alan24

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Just this afternoon noticed this in the back of a 1916 diary...

address in cartridge box

Phyllis Jones

123 Barley Road

Leeds

a factory girl seeking news from the front, I assume this was quite common, the landlover's version of a message in a bottle!

I have no idea if my married relative ever wrote back but reminds you of the human side to all this.

Haven't had any chance to research but first stop 1911 censes. I assume Leeds would have had many munitions factories in 1916?

Alan.

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Alan,

Leeds had one massive munitions factory, the Barnbow factory at Cross Gates.

There is lots of information about it and a famous explosion which occurred on 5th December 1916.

The local paper, the Yorkshire Evening Post also a good source of information.

Good luck in your endeavours.

Edited by Mr Pighills
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There's no Barley Road in Leeds. Is the address Burley Road? As well as Barnbow there was Leeds Forge Company on Amrley Road who ran filling factories from 1915. Armley Road is close to Burley Road whereas Barnbow is well out to the east of Leeds, quite a commute from Burley.

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Alan

You may be interested to know that there is a commemorative booklet at TNA for the Barnbow Works. At the end of the war, the Ministry of Munitions asked their factories and contractors to send them information about their part in the war. Although it will not tell you about the individual you mention, it will give a good background as well as some photographs. It can be found in MUN5 /163.

TR

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It doesn't matter that the Barnbow factory was so far out, people commuted to it - even as far away as from Harrogate, although some may also have chosen to 'take rooms' a wee bit closer, nonetheless they did travel out that far.

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There was also an offshoot of Barnbow in Newlay, which is only about 1.5 miles from Burley Road.

There's another thread about Newlay on here somewhere...

Regards

IAN

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Thanks all for the replies,

It could easily be Burley not Barley so will assume it is as Barley does not exist.

Just read the Wiki site for the 'Barnbow Lasses' and found it most interesting.

Don't get a lot of time in the working week to search but will add here anything I find later.

would be interested to hear if anyone else come up with any info.

Alan.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Have heard from an expert on Barnbow, Carole Smithies, and she tells me that Barnbow did repair ammo boxes but did not make cartridges, so likely to be from one of the smaller factories like Leeds Forge as suggested. Apparently the girls used to write on the shells such things as "I hope this shell blows the Kaiser to hell".

The 1911 census shows a Phyllis Jones born Armley Leeds 1898, living in Guisborough, the family are ironstone miners...to be honest it's anyones guess at the moment, could be anyone.

Alan.

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  • 2 years later...

Over the holiday, having had the opportunity to take another look at the original of my GGF's war diary, which is kept by another family member, it came to light that there was written a second name and address under the heading "Address in Cartridge Box" in addition to that in post 1.

 

Marion Blockley, 42 Garden Street, Wakefield, Yorks.

So what I'm looking for here is a munitions factory in Wakefield that made cartridges for the 60 pounder guns used by RGA Heavy Batteries. The cartridges for the 60pdr BLs, I believe, are the white cloth bag type, not brass.

 

I've searched for Marion and the most likely candidate is...

 

FreeBMD: Marion Blockley b. Q3 1893 Leeds 

Baptism: St Matthews Leeds 6th Aug 1893

Marion Blockley [transcribed as Marison on Ancestry]

Parents: John & Alice Blockley, 1 Elmwood Road, Father's occ. Butcher 

Free BMD: Emma Lena Blockley b. Q3 1897 Huddersfield 

1911 Census: Marion Blockley age 17 [transcribed as Marriot on Ancestry] b. Leeds

14 Moreton Street, Manchester

Father: John Charles Blockley age 65 Butcher b. Bradway Derbyshire

Mother: Alice Amelia Blockley age 44 b. Huddersfield

Sister: Lena Blockley age 13 b. Huddersfield 

FreeBMD: Marion Blockley m. William Siddons Q3 1917 Salford 

FreeBMD: Twin Daughter - Elsie Siddons b. Q1 1918 Salford - Mother's maiden name Blockley

FreeBMD: Twin Daughter - Millicent E Siddons b. Q1 1918 Salford - Mother's maiden name Blockley

FreeBMD: Daughter - Doris Siddons b. Q4 1919 Salford  - Mother's maiden name Blockley

FreeBMD: Marion Siddons d. Q4 1946 age 53 Manchester

 

 

Alan.

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  • 1 year later...

Thanks for that Simon.

 

I'll follow up those leads when I get time, in the meantime do you any further knowledge of those particular establishments?

 

Regards

 

Alan    

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  • 4 weeks later...

Charles Roberts and Leeds Forge both manufactured railway rolling stock

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