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Sepoy

Fire at Coventry Area Munitions Factory

5 posts in this topic

ID: 1   Posted (edited)

Whilst researching a Medal of the Order of the British Empire, I came across the attached Newspaper entry (Coventry Standard - 22/23 November, 1918), relating to the presentation of medals to those who had been involved in a Munitions Factory fire in the Coventry area. The awards were announced in the London Gazette 11 June, 1918..

Despite hunting, I have failed to find the location of the fire or when it took place and would be most grateful if anyone could assist.

Many thanks
Sepoy

 

 

 

 

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Edited by Sepoy

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From the Foleshill addresses given, it seems likely that this may have been National Filling Factory No. 10, AKA White & Poppes  AKA Whitmore Park.  Some details are given in 'Great War Britain Coventry: Remembering 1914-18' which mentions that there were many minor incidents but nothing major as with other similar sites, with only one fatality - a munitionette - officially recorded. There is mention of an Alfred Henney a fireman receiving the Edwards Medal - awarded to miners and industrial workers for saving lives in the workplace - for removing a bucket of flaming detonators, but this seems to have been an individual act of heroism  not involving others, so seems unlikely to be the incident in question.  The explosion of a detonator shed is also mentioned, but no specifics, perhaps this was the incident? Interesting to note that the factory was renamed National Filling Factory No. 21 after quality problems which resulted in artillerymen declining to use shells marked as being from No 10!

 

There's also some information given in: White & Poppe Munitionettes which also gives some details of what the site was used for subsequently, and what survives. The writer of this piece mentions having obtained plans  from the 'Herbert Museum & Art Gallery in Coventry', perhaps they might have more information on the factory & its wartime history available.

 

NigelS

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ID: 3   Posted (edited)

Sepoy

 

I provided a lot of information for the book mentioned above. I also have a brief history of the wartime work of White and Poppe's  factory, produced by the Managing Director, Arthur White for the Ministry of Munitions.  He says this about fires at the factory:

 

"Credit is due to the Fire Brigade consisting of a permanent staff of men, and men and women volunteers. No serious fire occurred in the factory, due to the promptness with which minor fires were extinguished, and also to the efficiency of the fire fighting arrangements generally. Arrangements were made for the direct communication  with the City Fire Brigade, whose immediate support in cases of danger should receive special recognition."

 

The other possibility is Coventry Ordnance Works which, as well as gun production, also had a fuse filling plant.

 

Can you post the name of the recipient?

 

TR

Edited by Terry_Reeves

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ID: 4   Posted (edited)

On 15/04/2017 at 13:51, NigelS said:

From the Foleshill addresses given, it seems likely that this may have been National Filling Factory No. 10, AKA White & Poppes  AKA Whitmore Park.  Some details are given in 'Great War Britain Coventry: Remembering 1914-18' which mentions that there were many minor incidents but nothing major as with other similar sites, with only one fatality - a munitionette - officially recorded. There is mention of an Alfred Henney a fireman receiving the Edwards Medal - awarded to miners and industrial workers for saving lives in the workplace - for removing a bucket of flaming detonators, but this seems to have been an individual act of heroism  not involving others, so seems unlikely to be the incident in question.  The explosion of a detonator shed is also mentioned, but no specifics, perhaps this was the incident? Interesting to note that the factory was renamed National Filling Factory No. 21 after quality problems which resulted in artillerymen declining to use shells marked as being from No 10!

 

There's also some information given in: White & Poppe Munitionettes which also gives some details of what the site was used for subsequently, and what survives. The writer of this piece mentions having obtained plans  from the 'Herbert Museum & Art Gallery in Coventry', perhaps they might have more information on the factory & its wartime history available.

 

NigelS

 

On 15/04/2017 at 14:36, Terry_Reeves said:

Sepoy

 

I provided a lot of information for the book mentioned above. I also have a brief history of the wartime work of White and Poppe's  factory, produced by the Managing Director, Arthur White for the Ministry of Munitions.  He says this about fires at the factory:

 

"Credit is due to the Fire Brigade consisting of a permanent staff of men, and men and women volunteers. No serious fire occurred in the factory, due to the promptness with which minor fires were extinguished, and also to the efficiency of the fire fighting arrangements generally. Arrangements were made for the direct communication  with the City Fire Brigade, whose immediate support in cases of danger should receive special recognition."

 

The other possibility is Coventry Ordnance Works which, as well as gun production, also had a fuse filling plant.

 

Can you post the name of the recipient?

 

TR

Nigel and Terry
Thank you so much for your help, which hopefully will give me several lines of potential research to follow.
The man I am researching is John Brightwell, of New Milton, Rugby. He is mentioned in the above newspaper article.
Please forgive my delay in responding, but it has been one hell of an awful Easter, which resulted with my elderly mother ending up in hospital.
Sepoy

Edited by Sepoy

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