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John Charles Burnham Part 3

By April 13th, 2022No Comments
The royal visit to HM Factory Gretna during WW1 with exicted munitions workers.

John Charles Burnham comes to Gretna


In 1915 Burnham was loaned by his employers to the Ministry of Munitions and became Director of the Board of Management and Superintendent at H.M. Factory, Gretna a post which he held until 1921. During his time at Gretna, he was responsible for the smooth operation of the greatest factory in the world. Spanning nine miles across the Anglo-Scottish border and encompassing two purpose built townships, employing 30,000 people and creating over half of all the cordite produced in Britain during the War. Burnham oversaw it all.


In 1917 the King and Queen visited Gretna and Burnham was an integral part of their experience and can be seen in the photograph below standing in between the King and the other man (he is in the middle, walking slightly behind them).

At the end of the War, Burnham was a major part of the Armistice celebrations (his speech on November 11th 1918 was recorded in the local paper, the Annandale Observer as shown below).


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