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Photo of Martha Hannah Beech

Martha Hannah Beech

Cordite Operative
Birthplace Durham Place of Death Carlisle Date of Birth: May 14, 1899 Date of Death: May 25, 1917


Full name of worker at H.M. Factory Gretna (and any other names they are known by) : Martha Hannah Beech nee Pigg
Gender: Female
Date and place of birth
14th May 1899 Chester le Street, Durham
Date and Place of Death: 25th May 1917, Cumberland Infirmary Carlisle as a result of burns received in an explosion at H M Factory Gretna
Nationality: English
Eldest of 10 , 7 survived in 1911 , 15 eventually see trivia
William Charles and Margaret Jane nee Walker
Parents occupations: Steel moulder then deputy overman  underground
Schools / universities attended and years of attendance:  N/K
Occupation: Cordite operative
Place of residence at Gretna: Eden House
Marital status: Married – husband also at Gretna George Henry Beech soldier
Children: One son died aged 1
Travels: N/K
Awards/recognitions: Name on Seaham war memorial and in Seaham Church
Positions held: N/K
Trivia / any other information: Yes – twin brother born and died 1898, Martha born 1899,died 1917 brother born 1904 died of influenza 1919, Brother Francis  aged 16 mining accident day before. Sister Margaret b 1912 died 1931 cerebral tumour. Josephine – TB aged 14, Isabel born a =1918 died 1919 convulsions

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Mini Biography

Martha Hannah Beech nee Pigg 1899-1917

Martha Hannah Pigg was born on 14th May  1899 in Washington Co. Durham to William Charles and Margaret Jane nee Walker.

Martha’s parents and her younger brother, Roland. Image found on public Ancestry tree.

1901 – living at 13 High Street, Washington. Father is a steel moulder. Martha is the first child.

1911 – living at 32 Stavordale St, Dawdon, Seaham Harbour. Father is a deputy overman underground. 5 rooms. Martha the eldest of 10 children, 7 surviving.

WW1 father is in the Durham Light Infantry. Martha is employed at Gretna as a cordite operative.

July 1915 married George Henry Beech at Easington Durham.

December 1915 – son born

December 1916- son died

Martha and George both worked at Gretna. She a cordite operative and he a soldier living at Eden Hostel.

Martha’s jewellery. Image found on public Ancestry tree.

25th May 1917 – died at Cumberland Infirmary as a result of burns from an explosion at H M Factory Gretna. Aged 18

“military/WW1 /munition FMP) 25 May 1917 Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle. Wife of George Beech a Soldier of Eden Hostel. Accidently killed by burns the result of an explosion in a Munition Factory. Certificate received from I S Strong Coroner for the City of Carlisle. Inquest held 26 May 1917”

There is a memorial to her in Seaham Church and she appears on the Seaham War memorial.

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