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Remembered Today:

Conscription of single women


KarenFord
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I have been reasearching my family tree

Found the following out about my grand mother.

She was born in 1884 in Lancashire and at the outbreak of WWI she was working in the cotton mills in Maccelsfield.

She ,and her sister ,were conscripted down to Coventry to work in a factory called Cashes.

Whilst here she fell in love and in 1919 married the charmer, who was my grandad.

The only Cashes I know off in Coventry is the one which makes uniform ribbons etc., but my uncle to believes that his mother worked in a munitions factory.

I wonder if anyone has any information about the conscription of women workers or can give me indicators on where to go next.

Many thanks

Karen

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Karen

Cash's factory building still exists, in the appropriately named Cash's Lane. It was, as you sa, a ribbon weaving factory. if you woold like to send me your e-mail address I'll photograph it for you. The building was sympathetically converted to housing some years ago now.

Terry Reeves

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Karen - I recall hearing a Great War CD in which a woman spoke of her "conscription" and being sent down to Coventry (I think she was from the north-east), unsurprisingly she worked in munition production. I think she may have met her future husband in Coventry as well.

Unfortunately I cant remember the CD title but if this interests you it might be worth searching the IWM collection online as the chances are they have the original recording.

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Karen - I recall hearing a Great War CD in which a woman spoke of her "conscription" and being sent down to Coventry (I think she was from the north-east), unsurprisingly she worked in munition production. I think she may have met her future husband in Coventry as well.

Unfortunately I cant remember the CD title but if this interests you it might be worth searching the IWM collection online as the chances are they have the original recording.

This is probably 'Women at War - Voices from the Twentieth Century' published by Michael O'Mara Books [2002] and is accompanied by a 1 hour CD from the sound archive of the Imperial War Museum. There are several women talking who worked in Coventry during the war - one in munitions at White and Poppe and others at Coventry Ordnance [if these are different places - it's not entirely clear]. The book is very good for images of women during wartime, many of which also come from the IWM collections.

Sue

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  • 11 months later...
I have been reasearching my family tree

Found the following out about my grand mother.

She was born in 1884 in Lancashire and at the outbreak of WWI she was working in the cotton mills in Maccelsfield.

She ,and her sister ,were conscripted down to Coventry to work in a factory called Cashes.

Whilst here she fell in love and in 1919 married the charmer, who was my grandad.

The only Cashes I know off in Coventry is the one which makes uniform ribbons etc., but my uncle to believes that his mother worked in a munitions factory.

I wonder if anyone has any information about the conscription of women workers or can give me indicators on where to go next.

Many thanks

Karen

Dear Karen,

I am a research student at Coventry University and presently coming to the end of my research on Coventry during the First World War.

In particular I'm looking at how the city geared up to and adapted for armaments and munitions production.

I have so far been able to find evidence for 150 factories in the city undertaking war work.

I have not heard that munition workers were ever sent to Cash's to work during the war.

There was, however, labour shortages in Coventry's textile firms as most of the women went into munitions factories as the wages were higher.

So that information could be correct.

Cash's mainly made silk ribbons for medals and sialor cap bands and those sorts of things and obviously during the war were quite busy.

There was also high in-migration in the city at this time with women coming from Ireland and Scotland and other parts of Britain and women could have easily come from the North of England textile regions.

On another note I have been to the IWM and have photocopied about 5 of the 10 transcipts of Women munition workers in the city, I have also listen to oral histories of others including workers at Daimler (Motorcar manufacturer) and Rotherhams (Watchmaking and Auto-Component manufacturer) amongst others.

Finally perhaps contact Coventry Archives (do a google search for their email address) and also search under the term Cash's on the access2archives website to search their catalogue.

You will find they probably have records on Cash's and ideally what you would be looking for is wages or staff book (if it has survived) and you might be able to see if your grand mother worked there during the war years.

If she did indeed work in a munitions factory, then I would need the name of the specific company and then I can tell hopefully a great deal.

Kind Regards

Laurence

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Karen: - If the factory in which she worked held contracts from the Ministry of Munitions (and if they made anything for the Armed Forces they would have) then it would have been classed as a Munitions factory. I am sceptical about the conscription claim; I think it is more likely that it was suggested they volunteer for the transfer. Many young women would have jumped at such an opportunity to escape from home ties.

Laurence: - In your research on the munitions factories in Coventry have you come across any references to women's football teams raising money for charity - this is a particular interest of mine and I would be grateful for any info you may have.

Patrick

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