Tony Arrowsmith's Web Site



                                        Rotherwas from Wikipedia:

World War 1

At the outbreak of World War 1, the Ministry of Munitions were looking to create a number of munitions production facilities quickly and cheaply. A site of 100 hectares (250 acres) was acquired by the Ministry on 15 June 1916, located south of Hereford on the junction of the Welsh Marches Line and the Hereford, Ross and Gloucester Railway. Laid out to a standard design, the site encompassed:

  • 27 miles (43 km) standard gauge railway
  • 3 miles (4.8 km) of roads
  • 9 miles (14 km) of guard fence
  • 10 miles (16 km) of footpaths and sentry paths
  • 370 buildings varying in floor area. Like a typical munitions facility, the buildings were widely spaced on safety reasons, to avoid complete destruction of the facility in case of an explosion
  • A rail connected outpost was established at Credenhill, were a munitions store was established. During WW2 this land was again requisitioned for defence, and became RAF Hereford, now the home of the Special Air Service.

All components were produced elsewhere, with the facility responsible for final production: inserting explosive into shells, and fitting detonators. Shell filling began on 11 November 1916, with both Lyddite and Amatol explosives being used in production. From June 1918, alongside the main plant at Banbury and supporting site at Chittenden; all three were supplied with dichloroethyl sulphide by the National Smelting Company at Avonmouth Docks, to produce mustard gas shells. By the ed of WW1, the average output of shells from the facility was 70,000 per week.

At peak of 6,000 employees; by October 1918, there were 5,943 employees, 3,977 of which were women. Workers were transported in from billets in Hereford, Leominster and Ross on Wye. Dedicated trains were run from Hereford Barrs Court railway station to the specially built factory station, with free tickets supplied to all employees.

                               Rotherwas Pictures




                                                         Old Arial View



                                                                        Size of Shed


                                                                Filling Shells





Article from the WW1 Supplement of the Ross Gazette of the 30th July 2014