Munitions at Acton 1915 – Christmas 1915

We always say that we are “making munitions”, but that is wholly inaccurate. At Park Royal we make nothing. We inspect cartridges and reject all that are bad. The good ones we put into slips and bandoliers ready for the Front. It is not at all hard work, but rather dull, though it is very important. It is almost entirely mechanical work. The hours are long, as we work overtime. We start work at seven, and come off at six, with a ten minutes break at half-past nine and an hour for luncheon. The same hours apply to the night work. We work alternately on night and on day shift for a fortnight on each.

I think we all hate night work. It is much more tiring than working by day, though we most of us sleep soundly all day. What we hate most about it is getting up at five in the afternoon and having supper; breakfast before going to bed is not nearly so bad.

I think there are about 3000 women working at Park Royal, and the workshop isn’t nearly half full yet. The women and girls are very nice, and work like niggers. They sing while they work; always the same songs. “The little Grey Home in the West” is a great favourite. Some of us who were working at a table together started “Three Blind Mice”, and it has since become quite fashionable.

There are about forty others like myself, who are either overlookers or being trained for the post. We live all together in a Hostel about twenty minutes’ walk from Park Royal. It is really quite comfortable there, apart from a few minor inconveniences. Of course the worst is getting up at 5 am and waiting about in dim and chilly passages for a bath, which is invariably cold!

Oh! It’s a funny life!