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 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

And it did not stop there....

Although the site was not brought back into production there were two more explosions at White Lund.

On 5th April 1918 a team of 13 men were salvaging shells from the units wrecked in the 1917 explosions. They were working out in the open, removing plugs and containers from loaded shells. Two men died in this explosion:
Richard Fryers, aged 47 years, from Morecambe and
Albert Greenwood, aged 35 years, from Burnley

On 14th January 1920 a group of six men were defusing bombs and extracting gunpowder from a stockpile of French shrapnel shells. Two men were there to mend a faulty light and one gentleman, a card writer, had just entered the building to check the number of men at work. The cause of the explosion is not known. The roof was blown off and part of the wall demolished, all nine men were killed:
John Bush Birch, aged 36 years, a labourer
Stanley Bridson, aged 18 years, an electrician’s improver
John Cunliffe, aged 30 years, card writer
William Holden, aged 25 years
Walter Holland, aged 41 years, charge hand at the factory after serving 4 years in the war
Edward Oliver, aged 60 years
Frederick William Raeder, aged 18 years, a labourer who had
served 2 years in the army
Augustine Joseph Thompson, aged 23 years, electrician’s labourer
Wilfred Walker, aged 24

As work on the site ceased, the Ministry of Munitions started to sell off the equipment and machinery on the site in a number of auctions.

Gradually, White Lund was cleared of the ordnance and was sold off in 1927. Shells were still found there from time to time during building works on the site, including 12 6 inch shells reported in the local paper in January 1956.

In 2003 new construction on the site turned up more shells and the Explosive Ordnance Disposal of the Army were called in from Chester whilst business were evacuated, including the Stagecoach bus garage. After the second shell was discovered EOD got in touch with the museum to ask if any maps existed of the site – but of course none that we had – as the site was secret and excluded from maps!

Today’s industrial estate shows very little evidence of the original Filling Factory, although the power house and a couple of other buildings still remain. And may be the odd buried shell…..


© 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