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Remembered Today:

HM Factory Gretna/


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Alan Watson

Hi


Just wondering if anyone has any good sources of info regarding the Devil’s Porridge/HM Factory Gretna (other than the museum and Google/Wikipedia)? 

My great granny worked there and was awarded the BEM for services but we’re struggling to find any records or other more personal information.

Many thanks

 

Alan

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The technical records seem to be at Kew - though if you scroll down the list the Social and Recreation Department and Township and auxiliary services get a mention, as do the Trades Union and the National Federation of Women Workers:   https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_q=Factory+gretna&_sd=1914&_ed=1919&_hb=

 

What was your great-grandmother's name, if you don't mind telling us?

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Alan Watson

Thank you. 
 

No problem. She was Annie Wilson Black, nee Halbert (Wilson was her middle name).

 

We have photos of her going to London for her BEM, and there are some photos of her with work gear on, although we don’t know if they are at Gretna or at the factory she worked at later. I’d say later as the photo quality is quite good.

 

 Thanks 

 

Alan

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I can't find anything much, I'm afraid (someone with a subscription to the British Newspaper Archives may do better).

 

There are these files for the the BEM at Kew: https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/results/r?_p=1900&_q="british+empire+medal"

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A Lancashire Fusilier by Proxy

Alan, there is a recently published book about the factory. I do not have a copy, nor have I read it, and only know about it because it happens to be published by the same publisher as my/my grandad's book (referenced in my signature). The publisher is based in Carlisle, just across the border from the Devil's Porridge factory, and the author of the book about the factory is also local to this area. Have a look at the book on the publisher's website to see if it would be of any interest to you: https://www.p3publications.com/NewP3/Moorside.html 

As it happens, in September 1917, having spent 17 months on the Western Front before being seriously wounded in September 1916, and having then returned to the Western Front with a different unit in June 1917, my grandad, an industrial chemist before the war, applied for a job at the Gretna Works, having been recommended to a Mr Rogers at Gretna by his former University professor; however, his application came to nothing, because, he says "as I was in France, the War Office would not consider my release for Munition Work".

You might also be interested in the entry by NCA on this thread https://www.greatwarforum.org/topic/235091-munitions-and-inhouse-journals/?tab=comments#comment-2362704

 

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