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DISCOVER THE LEGACY OF THE WAR IN WALES

1914

1918

 

First World War Sites in north west Wales

 

 

Cymraeg

National Shell Factories


Erecting shed at Boston Lodge where shell casings were manufactured in the First World War

At the start of the First World War, Britain was unprepared for a large scale war that would create a shortage of munitions as well as trained soldiers. The Ministry of Munitions was set up under Lloyd George to address this shortage. The priority was to set up national factories to supply munitions on the scale required. To increase the output of shells, local Munitions Committees were established representing smaller engineering firms. These companies were adapted to produce light shells, and new factories were established in existing buildings. The Ffestiniog Railway workshops at Boston Lodge were converted into a National Shell Factory. It opened in October 1915 and manufactured 13 and 18 pound shells. The Vulcan Foundry in Caernarfon, owned by Humphrey Owen and Sons, was also converted into a National Shell Factory in October 1915 and also produced 13 and 18 pound shells.

The factories were mainly operated by women, who undertook the hard and often dangerous work, rapidly learning new skills.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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