Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Trench Warfare Filling Factories

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Established by the Ministry of Munitions

* Denaby (Rotherham)

Construction started: 21 August 1915, factory completed by February 1916 but was later extended due to the demand for Stokes mortar shells. Opened: 11 December 1915. Management: British Westfalite Ltd. Munitions: filling 3in Stokes mortar shell. Notes: built close to the works of the British Westfalite Ltd.

* Erith - Crayfordness, Slade Green

Construction started: 21 August 1915. Opened: 9 October 1915. Area: 14 acres. Management: Thames Ammunition Works. Munitions: filling 2in and 6in mortar shells. Notes: built close to the Thames Ammunition Works.

* Fulham (Stevenage Road)

Existing factory of W. E. Blake Explosives Loading Co Ltd. nationalised in February 1916. Contractor: W. E. Blake Ltd. Area: 3 acres, land owned by Ecclesiastical Commissioners. Management: W E Blake Explosives Loading Company Ltd. of Stevenage Road, Fulham. Munitions: filling grenades, Stokes bombs and pyrotechnic work. Notes: magazines located at Worm Holt Farm, Shepherds Bush.

* Selby (Barlby Road)

Opened: nationalised in June 1916. Management: Ardol Ltd. Munitions: hydrogen and hydrogenated oils; charging chemical shells.

* Watford No. 1 (Balmoral Road)

Construction started: 19 February 1915. Opened: October 1915. Area: 20 acres. Management: direct control. Munitions: Filling and assembling trench warfare bombs; filling chemical shell exploders. Notes: i) built adjacent to HMEF Watford. ii) site consisted of 19 filling sheds.

* Watford No. 2 - Callowland (Bushy Mill Lane)

Construction started: 19 February 1916. Opened: July 1916. Area: 40 acres Management: direct control Munitions: filling bombs, heavy trench mortar bombs, grenades etc, filling and assembling aerial bombs and trench mortar fuses; assembling chemical shell Notes: i) work from here taken over by the Greenford Chemical Shell Assembly Station in January 1917. ii) 26 filling sheds were constructed here and a magazine with a capacity of 300 tons.

* Walthamstow, Black Horse Lane

Opened: 1916. Management: Baird and Tatlock and Direct Control Munitions: Charging lachrymatory grenades, shells, &c.; head filling lethal shell.

The Walthamstow factory was constructed on waste ground adjacent to the Messrs Baird & Tatlock scientific instrument works on Black Horse Lane, utilising the existing glass working facilities. Charging of lachrymatory grenades and shells was carried out. Workers averaged around 250, and were ‘typically’ women.[1]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. First World War National Factories; English Heritage
  • National Factories Controlled by the Ministry of Munitions, June 1915-November 1918
  • Ministry of Munitions [1]