Pages from Kathleen Biddlecombes diary
Pages from Kathleen Biddlecombe’s diary .
Part of the Greenwich Local History Library collection.

There is a long history of making guns and gunpowder, first in Greenwich then in Woolwich. In 1901, there were several private arms factories in the area, as well as the government works at Woolwich. Women worked in these factories. The 1901 census lists Gertie, aged 17, working as a loader in an ammunition works, and Amy, aged 24, working as a cartridge filler. These were dangerous jobs. Some of the chemicals used were poisonous as well as explosive. The machinery and equipment could also cause injuries. In May 1918, Kathleen’s diary tells how her mother’s hand was hurt by a broken needle.

Unique ID: H2860
Creator: Kathleen Biddlecombe
Date:c. 1918
Copyright: Out of Copyright