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Photo of Selby Grace Bald

Selby Grace Bald

Munitions Worker, Dornock
Birthplace Tyne and Wear Sunderland EnglandPlace of Residence at HM Factory Gretna Timbertop Township Date of Birth: April 3, 1898 Date of Death: November 15, 1995



    • 1901 census – Selby (aged 2), living with her mother, father and siblings in Sunderland. Her dad (Adam) was a papermaker.
    • In the 1911 census – Selby (aged 12), was living with her parents, siblings and a boarder (David Raey – relative of Selby’s mother?) in Sunderland.
    • Married William R. Poole in June 1918.

Selby and William (her husband) Second and Third from Left front row


‘Selby Bald of Sunderland’s time in Dornock: Selby Bald lived in Sunderland and went to work at the Munitions Factory in 1916, age 18. She lived first at Timbertop Township for a short time until moving into private lodgings in Annan, at the home of a Mrs Halliday. Selby worked in the Dornock Factory at Broomhills, in Hill 2, which was a mixing station. One incident which stood out in her memory was when, on 26th March 1918, an explosion occurred in which one girl was killed and another injured, Selby was working nearby in Hill 2, but fortunately no one there was hurt. The following day she and another girl named Mary Low, were sent to take the place of the two unfortunate girls. In June 1918, Selby married William Poole, an Australian solider, who was seconded from the Australian Army in France in 1917, to work for the Department of Munitions, and he worked as a Shift Chemist at Gretna, until he was transferred, late in 1918, to the Government Experimental Factory at Avonmouth, near Bristol, working on mustard gas manufacture. He was badly gassed there, and never really in good health afterwards. Selby survived the rigours of the Factory, living out her live in Australia and passed away, peacefully, on 15th November 1995, aged 97 and a half years.’ – G Routledge, Gretna’s Secret War (Bookcase, 1999) p. 60.

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