Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Recognition sought for Dumfries and Galloway munitions workers

ShellOne of the lesser knows facts about the area of Dumfries and Galloway is the contribution it played in both World Wars, as hosted a number of munitions factories, and was a major source of the cordite used to fire the shells (and bullets) that were used in such vast numbers, especially in the first of those two conflicts.

The largest was HM Factory Gretna, of which we’ve managed to dig up a little of the history, and was once described as “the biggest factory in the world” (some 9 miles long by 2 miles wide), and where the Devil’s Porridge was made during World War I.

During the World War II, there were munitions factories in towns such as Dumfries, Dalbeattie (Edingham), Powfoot, and Carsegowan near Wigtown.

Many of these sites are largely unknown, as they were either abandoned and razed, or left to become derelict and ruined, with no attempts to preserve any as historic sites. But some did see later use, in part, as industrial estates.

An MP is seeking details of munitions factory workers from both world wars in order to seek formal recognition from the UK government for their efforts.

Russell Brown said many of them had been employed in factories in his Dumfries and Galloway constituency.

He has been leading the effort to win recognition for the predominantly female workforce.

He said the main reason it had not happened was the lack of a complete list of who was employed at the sites.

Now he has called on local people to get in touch with the details of individuals in the region who worked in the factories.

He has put an online form on his website where information can be logged.

Mr Brown said: “Munitions workers – the majority of whom were women – played a vital part in the war effort and deserve to be recognised by our country.

“Our nation owes a debt of gratitude to these heroes on the Home Front, many of whom were seriously injured or even killed during their hard and dangerous work.

“I have been pressing government ministers to take action and I am pleased that we are making progress, albeit not as quickly as I would like.”

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown and Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray are asking for local people to get involved in this campaign by providing information about individuals in the region who worked in munitions factories.

Anyone who has information which may help can submit it through the form given on the following site.

Online form for information relating to munitions worked in Dumfries and Galloway

via BBC News – Dumfries and Galloway munitions worker recognition plea.

The campaign was reported in the local media earlier this year:

Russell Brown MP steps up campaign for recognition of wartime munitions workers – Dumfries and Galloway Standard

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December 3, 2011 - Posted by | Appeal, World War I, World War II | , , , , ,

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