The ground floor of our museum begins with life in the trenches during World War One which explores the gruelling conditions and activities soldiers had to undertake.
The origins of HM Factory Gretna stems from the Shell Scandal of 1915, when The Times newspaper reported the huge shortage of ammunition on the Western Front and the desperate need to increase in the production of high explosive munitions.

Recognising this problem, David Lloyd George, the Minister of Munitions, decided to build the world’s largest factory, HM Factory Gretna, to solve this munitions crisis. Our displays portray the social history of the 30,000 workers who constructed and worked at the factory.

The 10,000 Irish Navvies that came to build the site were later joined by the thousands of female munitions workers who produced RDB Cordite. Munitions Workers were joined by expert scientists and engineers who came from across the British Empire to do their bit for the war effort.

The townships of Gretna and Eastriggs were specially created to house the workers who came to the area, providing modern housing, shops, schools, churches, cinemas and dance halls which catered for their every social need.

The museum also shares the sad story of the 1915 Quintinshill Rail Disaster which explains the events leading up to the worst rail disaster in British history


The Ground Floor Gallery

World War One Display (1914-1918)

Discover what life was like for soldiers in the World War One trenches and for the thousands of Munitions Girls who flocked to work at HM Factory Gretna.

Find out more about the remarkable lives of Local Lads and Gretna Girls in our interactive touchscreens.

Children will enjoy our hands-on interactives. Don’t forget to stamp your special factory pass as you go around the museum…you’ll receive a reward if you find all the stamps!

Round off your visit by browsing our well-stocked shop or treating yourself to some delicious home baking in our Gretna Girls Café.