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Feeding the 30,000

By April 28th, 2023No Comments
The bakery packing room at Gretna. This photo is from The Devil's Porridge Museum's archive.

Feeding the 30,000 workers at HM Factory Gretna during World War One must have been a real challenge but they seem to have been well cared for as this page from an autograph book (below), created by a munitions ‘girl’ in 1918 suggests.  It includes a transcription of Robert Burns’s famous ‘Selikirk Grace’ (an integral part of any Burns Supper) with a canteen meal ticket stuck next to it.

The signature at the bottom includes the location, Broomhills Canteen, which is shown in the photograph below.

This autograph book is part of the Museum collection but we also have documents and photographs relating to the catering facilities at the Factory.  The document below gives an idea of the size of the undertaking, some of the food prepared and the normal of people employed in this work.

The following photos show the bakery and related processes as organised by the Factory authorities for the workers.

If you would like to know more about life at HM Factory Gretna in World War One, the following items from the Museum shop may be of interest to you:

Gretna’s Secret War

The Devil’s Porridge Museum Guidebook

Lives of Ten Gretna Girls booklet



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