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The Works at War

Swindon Works, WWI

Swindon Works built 69 wartime ambulance trains for use on the home front and abroad. They were fitted out with beds to carry the injured. Four naval guns are lined up trackside at Swindon Works.  The carriages for the guns were made at the Works. A stack of 6 inch high explosive shells.  The Works produced a staggering 2500 shells a week during the war. Women began to take over some of the male clerical roles at Swindon Works during the war.  This image of female clerks was taken in May 1916. Almost 500 Swindon Works employees lost their lives during the war.  The different workshops had their own war memorials. This unveiling took place in 1923.

When war broke out in August 1914, Swindon Works was one of many factories chosen to be a centre for war manufacture. 

The Works continued with normal railway building, as well as these new wartime projects. 

This was also done with an increasingly depleted workforce as hundreds of employees went off to war.  The war was financially exhausting for the Works and when war ended in 1918 the Works was on its knees.  It took many years to recover from both the financial and human losses.

 

Images Copyright: STEAM Museum - 63, 6, 16, 70, 84

This page is part of Industrial Hey-Day