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© Images are copyright, Trustees of the King's Own Royal Regiment Museum.
 You must seek permission prior to publication of any of our images.

The Great War Centenary 1917 - Exhibition

Boomtown - From Front Line to White Lund

National Filling Factory Number 13 Why Here?

The Ministry of Munitions history of White Lund, written in July 1919, explained why the site was so attractive. Rail and road transport were close by for delivering shell cases and explosives and for taking the filled shells away for distribution.

It was close to lots of accommodation. In Lancaster there were around 500 housing standing empty and lodgings available for 9,000. In Morecambe many boarding houses were underused as wartime holidays were not so likely with families separated by war service. White Lund was one of the few new munitions works that did not need to build large numbers of hostels or houses for workers. In Gretna, Scotland, by contrast, a whole new townscape emerged.

Local transport arrangements were made, including workmen’s trains. There were even electric buses used for the Projectile Factory that were called into use during the fire and explosions.

One of the challenges of the site was the water-levels. An embankment was installed to reduce this risk especially for high tides. However, whilst fighting the fires at White Lund, fire crews had to move their engines from part of the site for fear of becoming stuck as the tide came in.

Building on the site began on 2nd December 1915 and the first shell was filled on 18th July 1916.

The buildings were joined up by 4 miles of covered ‘runways’ that workers got to by passing through Change Houses. Fire hydrants and sprinkler systems were installed across the site.

The water supplies for heating, sanitary, boilers and fire services came from an artesian well sunk in the factory as well as supplies from the Lancaster Borough Mains.

A high ‘blast wall’ was built to screen the Power and Boiler Houses in case of explosions and the whole factory was surrounded by fencing built to military requirements – to keep materials in and intruders out. The site was guarded by the Works Police and soldiers of the Royal Defence Corps.



© Images are copyright, Trustees of the King's Own Royal Regiment Museum.
 You must seek permission prior to publication of any of our images.

Only a proportion of our collections are on display at anyone time.  Certain items are on loan for display in other institutions.  An appointment is required to consult any of our collections which are held in store.

© 2017 Trustees of the King's Own Royal Regiment Museum