Munitions workers, ROF Swynnerton

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Date:1945

Description:A group of munitions shift workers pictured at R.O.F. Swynnerton. Second from the left on the second row behind the front row is thought to be Mrs Margery Williams.

Workers at R.O.F. Swynnerton, a high percentage of which were women, filled shells, bombs and other armaments, including 20mm shells for Spitfires, detonators, boosters and tracer shells. The work was unpleasant and dangerous and the explosive powder could turn skin and hair yellow. Even worse, a number of women lost fingers, hands or even limbs in explosions at the factory. 5,000 people started work in 1940, many of whom came up from Woolwich and the east end of London, housed in hostels built near the factory at Swynnerton, Yarnfield and Coldmeece. By 1942 the workforce had increased to 18,000, may of whom were recruited from the Potteries, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Stone and other local towns and villages. New housing was built in Walton and Coldmeece to house the workers. The factory reduced in size after the war, but remained open until 1958.

From an album belonging to Dorothy Selby relating to her service at the Royal Ordnance Factory at Swynnerton during World War II.

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Donor ref:7594b (201/46680)

Source: Staffordshire County Record Office

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