Eastriggs (where The Devil’s Porridge Museum is based) is known as the Commonwealth Village. The majority of its street names are derived from places in the Commonwealth (or Empire) such as Vancouver Road, Delhi Road, Singapore Road etc. The township was built in World War One to house workers at HM Factory Gretna, the greatest munitions factory on earth at that time (the Museum tells the story of this factory and its 30,000 workers). The workers came from around the world and they left their mark behind in their wartime contribution and in the place names of Eastriggs. Here we feature one person from the Factory who worked here in World War One.
Eric de Clermont
Born: 1st November 1880
Died (in Gretna): 5th December 1918
Commonwealth connection: South Africa
Eric’s experiences before World War One
1st November 1880 Eric was born in London.
1899 Eric entered King’s College, Cambridge.
1901 Eric appeared on Census return aged 20, he was listed as a student. At that time, his family were living in Reigate. His father, Otto (48) was listed as a Mechanical Engineer and his sister, Helen (22) as a School Teacher. His cousin, Kenneth Heilgers (19) was also staying with them and he was recorded as an East India merchant on the census.
1902 Eric graduated from King’s College with a BA.
1903 Eric graduated from Camborne School of Mines, Cornwall with a qualification in Ore Dressing for which he was awarded an Honours Grade Second Class.
Some time after 1903 Eric travelled to South Africa to work in mining.
1916 Eric returned to Britain.