Friday, 31 August 2018

Faces from the Royal Arsenal

I doubt we will ever get to know the identity of these eleven women and one man.

I can’t even offer up a date or a location, although judging by the background I think we are in a photographer’s studio.

All of which leaves us with many unanswered questions.

At the end of the war the Royal Arsenal employed some 50,000 men and 250,000 women and girls of which only 10,000 men would be trained after the Armistice which raises the question of what happened to out 11?

All of which leaves us to look more closely at the photograph.

They vary in age and while most are single some are married and I am intrigued by the triangular badge worn by four of the eleven.

After 1915 both men and women munitions workers were issued with brass enamelled badges but these are different.

I have no idea what it ithe badge was for but have asked around and will start doing some serious research but of course if anyone knows that will help.

But like their names I think this is a closed bit of history.

Just possibly someone might recognise one of the faces staring back at us and may even be able to match it against an old battered and treasured picture.

This I know however is pushing the boat out and the chances are very slim., which would make it a rare achievement to put a name to the face of one of 250,000 women and girls of the Royal Arsenal.

But you never know.

We shall see.

Location; Woolwich

Picture; munitions workers at the Royal Arsenal, date unknown from the collection of David Harrop


  1. You are always welcome to Volunteer at more information about women worker location and the badge on my website