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Gretna Girls

By August 1st, 2019 No Comments

HM Factory Gretna

A very kind gentleman has recently sent some photos of people who worked in HM Factory Gretna and has provided us with most of their names. We also know where one of them stayed and what her badge number was, she lived in Scott House in Eastriggs which still stands today but as 25 Vancouver Road. The photo below is of 25 Vancouver road in 2009. The hostel has been split up into 2 houses after it was sold off when World War One finished.

25 Vancouver Road

Many of the photos of people who used to work at the munition’s factory look like they were done in the same photography studio which must have been local to the factory. Everyone who worked at the factory was also given a badge to show they were working there this was mainly for the men as people would question them on the street as to why they were not overseas fighting, they could then show them their munitions badge which reads “on war service”. Women were also given the badges and around 270,000 were handed out in 1916 with their own unique ID number engraved into it. If the workers wanted a badge, then they would have to complete two months of job training.

These badges are also used as the Museums logo and we have a display inside the Museum with some of the badges on display and we also have some more in our store which are not on display as there were many from the local area as 12,000 women worked here. These badges were also a sense of pride for the workers in the factories and also gave them priority boarding and concessions fare on public transport.

Here is a photo of one of the women we already knew worked at HM Factory Gretna, this photo is of a woman called Barbara Stewart who was born in 1900 and worked at HM Factory Gretna from 1917 – 1918 she then married William Dalrymple of Annan in September 1918.

HM Factory Gretna Worker

If this photo is compared to one which was sent to us recently then you can see the similarities in the setting of the photo. This is a photo of Sarah Jane Bell who was born in 1895 and then married in 1923 to Robert W Johnston.

HM Factory Gretna Worker

The backdrops of the photos are the same. This means that the photos which were donated are ones of people who worked at HM Factory Gretna.

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