Friday, 26 September 2014

Cornwall in the First World War

During this month, each weekday I'm posting a photograph showing Cornwall's First World War.

These women are workers at Nobel's munitions factory, built on the Cligga Head cliffs just west of Perranporth. The site produced grenade ingredients and shell fuses; during the war nearly 1,000 people worked there.

Munitions work was dangerous. The women toiling in especially hazardous areas were housed in small, widely-spaced huts, and had to wear slippers or rubber boots. Each morning before starting, they were searched by a matron for any object which might cause a fatal spark. As well as the strain inherent in their tasks, the women endured frequent sickness and cumulative skin discolouration caused by chemicals used in the explosives. 

This group was photographed at the factory in around 1918. Some of the women are wearing triangular brass 'On War Service' badges, indicating their commitment to munitions work. But sadly we can also see several are in mourning for loved ones. 

My book, 'Cornwall In The First World War', is published by Truran. With 112 pages and 100 images, you'll find it in bookshops across the Duchy. It's also available through Amazon: 

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