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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Can anyone identify these Munitions uniforms?


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Can anyone pls confirm if these girls are wearing munitions uniforms? The pix is taken 1916-1918 when they were living in Manor Rd, Harlesden. They were abt 18-19 at the time having moved into London from Colchester possibly with male cousins.  They don't appear to have had previous factory experience. I have tried to highlight the pins they were wearing (both different)  but the pix is not very clear. 

I know its a long shot but if anyone can sugest where they girls might have worked or anything about munitions/war industries that young women might have engaged in in this area would be much appreciated.   Kind regards

Elsie Webber + one  Munitions (2) (399x800).jpg

munitions pins.jpg

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I would have said "yes and no". This is a studio photograph so it could be their clothes - or a scene staged from props that were lying around the studio. Why anyone would dress "down" for a photograph makes me think that they are wearing their own uniforms. The badges that they are wearing are not any that I have seen issued to munition workers. They appear to be just ornamental brooches. Remember that munition workers were legally banned from wearing anything metal on them whilst working in case it should spark off an explosion. So, to answer your question, probably munition-wear plus embellishment of brooches.

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Hi there. The problem with the badges is that sometimes the women wore their own brooches for photographs. Or the one on the left could be wearing some form of union badge. They're not wearing the later recognisable on War Work badges. The trousers are interesting as they have buttoned fastenings. Unusual for munitions work. These girls may have been inspectors. Equally they may have been involved in other forms of munitions other than shells. I have a picture of factory workers in Harlesden but their uniforms are really very basic. This also makes me wonder if these uniforms were purchased somewhere rather than being handed out by the factory indicating the women could have been middle class and then definitely overlookers/supervisors or inspectors. Sorry not to have been able to answer your question more directly. Hope it helps a little. 

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Not munitions workers uniforms though the caps do look similar to the munitions style. Both are wearing sweetheart badges and the seated lady has a triangular patch. Neither have the "On War Service 1916" triangular badge.

No CIW armbands so not Inspectors. 

Both wear gaiters over boots suggesting  something like Remount Service or Women's Legion? 


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Has the look of Outdoor wear, Boots and gaiters, Not a factory uniform  a few possibility's  stable girls / remount service /land army


Regard Ray



Similar to this WW1 Stable girl



Edited by RaySearching
adding photo
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38 minutes ago, SiegeGunner said:

Isn't that 'triangular patch' a cloth or handkerchief in the woman's breast pocket?

I did think that was the case and looking again at the photos I'm inclined to agree. Looks like a handkerchief in her pocket. 


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Thank you all for your comments- I hadn't registered the buttons on the leggings but it makes total sense that they wouldn't have been involved with anything explosive wearing this sort of gear.  Don't think they'd have been supervisors given their age (~19) and the seated one was certainly a working class girl.  I will see if  I can get a better pix of the brooches to see if  its possible to determine what they are more clearly- Have had a look at some sweetheart brooches and that looks possible .. one of them married a solider on home duty MT ASC so its a real possibility.


RE the possibility of the Remount service or Women's legion - any  further ideas for where I might chase up given that they were based in Willesden.  I've looked at a range of pix but the trousers and gaiters seem to be pretty unique


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