Lytham St.Annes Coat of Arms
Lytham St.Annes, Lancashire, England



During the 1914-18 War many workshops and factories were converted into munitions factories.

W.T.Aked's Garage in St.Annes during the 1914-18 War when it was making munitions (I think this later became the Fylde Box Company building on St.Andrew's Road North).



The whole kingdom is mapped out in eleven munition areas, seven in England and Wales, two in Scotland, and two in Ireland. The areas are subdivided into a varying number of districts, and each district has a local board of management, acting under the Ministry of Munitions. The boards of management have drastic powers for taking the lathes, engineering equipment, and factories in their areas.

At the Ministry of Munitions is an official for each local area. At one factory in Birmingham 7,000,000 rifle cartridges are turned out every week. Of the 7,000 employees at the factory, over 4,000 are women, each earning from 30s. to £3, and even more, a week. In the Leeds area there was not a single munition factory at the beginning of the war. Now there are 500.

The National Shell Factory, at Keighley, turns out thousands of shells a week. So keen is the competition between the munition factories in Yorkshire to break records in output that they have a challenge shield for the best shift, the competition being a weekly one.

In Scotland is to be found the largest munition factory in the kingdom. In size it is second only to Krupps. It is at present directly employing about 60,000 persons, including 6,000 women. Some idea of the varied requirements of modern warfare may be gained from the fact that at this Scottish factory seventy-seven different varieties of shells are made. The champion of the factory is a girl who is machining the copper bands on shells. Her record is 1,014 in a ten-hour shift, or, say, 101 an hour. She earns £5 a week

Soldiers were issued clothing by the Army but officers purchased their own uniform. 

Military Tailors, Church Street, Blackpool, 1916.

Advert for Gouldens Military Tailors, Church Street, Blackpool, 1916.

 Conscription & Exemption.

 On 2 March 1916, the [Lord] Derby Scheme was officially replaced by conscription. After conscription began, civilians might be exempted from military service for reasons such as health grounds, running a business, caring for their family or because they were working for the War Office in a munitions factory. These are the proceedings of a tribunal at St.Annes in June, 1916.




There were twenty-three appeals, chiefly of men in later groups, at the St. Annes Tribunal, on Wednesday evening. Coun. R. Leigh (chairman) presided, and the other members present were Couns. J. H. Taylor, J. Hayes, Messrs. IL W. Heap, R. T. Gillibrand and J. Whiteside, with Mr. T. Pym Williamson (Military Representative) and Mr. T. Bradley (Clerk).


With reference to the application of the Blackpool, Fleetwood and Fylde District Law Society, that the cases of solicitors should first come before a committee of the Society, Mr. Bradley read the following letter from the Secretary:
"Adverting to your letter of the 22nd May, I beg to inform you that the Military Representative of the Fleetwood District, Capt. Booth, suggested we should send him the names of three members of our Society whom he could invite to meet him, When entertaining applications from local members of the profession."

A further letter from the Secretary to Capt. Booth, nominated Messrs. H. Cartmell (St. Annes), H. A. D. Plant and W. J. Read.


The first case with that of a joiner, who appealed for temporary exemption because of his wife’s health, and asked to be put back to the end of September. In answer to the Military Representative applicant said he was willing to join the Training Corps. The Chairman: I think there has an order come to that effect. Exemption to October 1st was granted, on condition that applicant joined the Training Corps to make himself fit.


A window cleaner, who appealed on health and business grounds, was told that the Tribunal could not deal with health grounds. Conditional exemption was granted. The proprietor of a cafe appealed on business grounds, and expressed his willingness to join the Training Corps if necessary. He was given conditional exemption.

A green-keeper for a golf club appealed on personal grounds. He stated that he helped his aged parents.

IN 4 B.

In reply to the Military Representative applicant said he could not do farm work, as he had double rupture, kidney complaint and flat feet, and was put in 4B. Conditional exemption was granted, and the Chairman asked him to try to get some work of national importance.


An insurance inspector who appealed on personal grounds was granted conditional exemption.


A farmer appealed on behalf of his milkman, and stated that he had 200 customers. The man had six children. Conditional exemption was granted. In regard to another employee at the same farm it was said that an arrangement had been made. Applicant said the arrangement was that he should go if another man could be found.

The Military Representative said he undertook to find men. He had seen Col. Barron at the Convalescent Camp, who said that not only would he be pleased to send men, but that he was bound to do it. The method was to apply direct to Col. Barron or to the Labour Bureau, at Blackpool, in which case they would be put in touch with Col. Barron. It was just as well that farmers should know that they could get labour from the camp if they had got farm labourers at the camp.


A cabinet-maker, who appealed on personal grounds, declined at first to answer some questions and said it was not fair to ask him. The Chairman: - Then all we can say is "Good night". Conditional exemption was granted after hearing the case in private.


A luggage-carter was the subject of an appeal by his employers. It was stated that the man had four children. The case was postponed for a month to enable the man to go on to a farm. The Chairman said they were being pressed to send men on to farms if they could do farm work.


A coal merchant applied for his carter, who stated that the man was the only employee he had to carry on the business. The man was also very deaf. Conditional exemption was granted.

A motor-car proprietor stated that if he joined the Army his business would be closed. He was willing to join if his home could be kept going, or if he could get his own job in the Army. To enable the applicant to get into suitable work in the Army, exemption was granted to August 1st, without right of further appeal.


A coal Merchant appealed for his carter, who had been exempted previously to June 1st. There were only two men left where there were formerly four. The man was in a certified occupation, and conditional exemption was granted.

A Dairyman appealed for his foreman, and as he was in an exempted trade conditional exemption was granted.


Another coal merchant applied for an employee and was represented by Mr. H. D. Grey (Messrs. Lonsdale and Grey). It was stated that he was in sole charge of the business. Conditional exemption was granted.

An insurance agent appealed on personal grounds—the illness of his wife and financial difficulties. Conditional exemption was granted.


A dustman asked for exemption on the grounds of his occupation. It was stated that it was essential that the public health should be maintained, and it was necessary to leave young men to do it. There was a difficulty in getting men to do that kind of work. Conditional exemption was granted.


A second-hand furniture dealer appealed on the grounds of being the sole head of a business, and conditional exemption was granted.

A licensed victualler appealed for the foreman in his mineral water department. Out of seven men formerly employed in the department six had gone. He applied for temporary exemption to the end of October. Exemption to July 1st was granted without leave to appeal again.


A St. Annes firm appealed for two of their employees, both plumbers. It was stated that nine men had been released out of 14, and the men left were not sufficient for the repairs of the district. Conditional exemption was granted.


A waiter appealed on his own behalf for two months' exemption. He had had an operation to get into the Army and was out of employment for two months. He wanted to meet some bills. Exemption to September 1st.

A printer's machineman appealed on personal grounds—domestic responsibilities. Conditional exemption was granted.


A painter and decorator appealed for an employee as indispensable, and stated that he had seventeen employees serving. There was also a personal appeal by the man on account of his crippled child. Conditional exemption was granted.


A young yarn agent, single, who had received temporary exemption, applied for an extension. He stated that he had arrangements for his contracts with a few exceptions and was expecting a legal action in a few weeks. Applicant did not appear and his application was refused. 

Local News, June 1916.

 Weeds in the Gardens (St Annes).

To the Editor: Sir,—I was very much surprised to see the state of the cobble pavement on the bridge at the Water Garden, South Promenade. Dandelion and other weeds are growing between the stones, which are being lifted out of place, and will soon destroy a most expensive and interesting piece of work—all for the want of a little attention now and then. Perhaps this will be the means of drawing the attention of the Council to the matter.-- Yours, etc., RUSTIC.

Response: Weeds are plentiful in the Promenade Gardens and the Ashton Gardens, owing to the shortage of labour. An invitation by the Council to give a hand at weeding, some evening, would no doubt be responded to readily.—Ed.


Distinguished Visitor

A distinguished visitor in St. Annes this week is Lieut. Charles Piette, of the 1st Batt. Engineers of the 3rd Division Belgian Army. Lieut Piette, who is only 25 years old, has the distinction of holding the Croix de Guerre, and the Croix de Chevalier de le Order of Leopold II., the latter being the Belgian equivalent to the British Victoria Cross.

The former award was presented to Lieut Piette in March, 1916, and the latter in May, 1915, and were for bravery displayed in rescuing a wounded officer under fire. Volunteers were called for and Lieut. Piette and a friend ventured out, the friend being killed, Lieut. Piette accomplishing the feat and securing a well earned reward in the two medals. He is unable to speak English He is staying with friends and relatives at 70, St. Andrew's Road South.



Another addition to the list of St.Annes young men who have fallen fighting for King and Country has to be recorded, and we regret to announce the death in action, of Pte. Allan Redfern, of the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles, step-son of Mr. James Harwood, 29, St. Alban’s Road.

Pte. Redfern, who was 28 years of age, was, prior to emigrating to Canada, four years ago, employed by Mr. Joseph Whiteside, farmer. Enlisting in the Canadian Mounted Rifles, in August, 1915, he came to England about two months ago, and after being stationed at Shorncliffe, left for France. Mrs. Harwood is the recipient of a message of sympathy from the King.

 Soldiers from St.Annes on Sea who received distinctions during 1916.

Major Cooper of Park Road, St.Annes won a D.S.O. in 1916

The Rev. H.L.Hornby, formerly curate at St.Annes Parish Church, was awarded the Military Cross. He was the son of Archdeacon Hornby, of St.Michael's-on-Wyre and St.Annes was his first curacy.

Lieut. Hugh Lawrence, Dalehurst, St.David's Road North (son of a former Congregational Minister at St.Annes) won the Military Cross. Before the war he was in the Blackpool Artillery.

Corpl. Robert Greaves of Greaves Farm, Headroomgate Road. The first soldier from St.Annes to win the Military Medal. He was in the King's Liverpool Regiment and one of Kitchener's Army.

Sergt. J F Lloyd, 84 Highbury Road, was thee first from St.Annes to be awarded the D.C.M. for conspicuous gallantry in driving his motor wagon under heavy fire, and for his fine example. He had served in the Boer War and in civilian life was a chauffeur to Mr R T Gillibrand of North Promenade.

Gunner W S Crowe, of 21, The Square, St.Annes, won the Military Medal. He was in the 150th Brigade R.F.A. and received part of his training in St.Annes when they were billeted there.



Lieut. E S Crummack, of 23, Park Road, St.Annes won the Military Medal for laying telegraph wires under fire. 


St.Annes-on-Sea Gazette, December 1916

The St. Annes Ladies' Committee of the Primrose League, working for the Red Cross, met three days each week during the year, at the Parish Rooms, Headroomgate Road, for the distribution, and receiving of work. Twelve consignments of garments and comforts have been sent up to headquarters, consisting of 345 day-shirts, 34 night-shirts, 15 jerseys, 1,344 pairs of socks, 266 pairs of mittens, 339 pillow eases, 93 mufflers, 119 treasure bags, 191 knitted woollen caps, 12 cholera belts, 41 pairs of hospital slippers, 87 helmets, 4 sheets ,19 bed and writing tables, and 97 other articles, a total of 3,006, making, with what had previously been sent up, a grand total of 11,134 articles.

The amount received this year in donations, receipts from whist drives, etc., amounted to £163 6s. 10d., making a total, with what had been previously received, of £615 9s. 6d. To which must be added an amount of £9 6s., the result of a Christmas draw for a doll, at Mr. R. J. Hargreaves (ticket 37).

Several parcels of comforts have been sent to local men serving with H.M. Forces out in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and France, and also one to a local man, prisoner of war in Germany. The committee take the opportunity of thanking all who have assisted in any way for the success of the work, and ask for their continued support for more donations, gifts of materials and comforts. The Committee still meet every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in each week, from 2-0 to 4-0 p.m., in the Parish Rooms.




Lytham Times December 1916


A letter was received on Christmas morning, by Mrs. Cropper, of Wellington Street, Lytham, informing her that her husband, Pte. J. Cropper, of the King's Liverpool Regt., was missing, believed killed. Private Cropper, before enlisting, was employed as a joiner, by Messrs. Sutcliffe and Sons, of St.Annes.

The Chaplain of the regiment, in the letter, says:

"I am afraid I have to send you very bad news that your husband is wounded and missing in the German lines, and I am afraid it is practically certain that he is dead. He was one of the daring party that raided the German trenches; he did splendidly, but was badly hit getting out of their trenches to come back after the raid. An officer, himself badly wounded, saw him, and is practically certain he was dead. It was quite impossible to get him back, so he had to be left where he was, in German hands.

Of course, it is just possible he may be wounded and a prisoner, but I am afraid you must try and accept the fact that he is dead. Without doubt, his body will have been decently and reverently buried behind the German lines, and they will put up a little cross to mark his grave. I am very sorry for you, and I want you to understand how deeply I sympathise with you in your great sorrow. 

Will you try to remember two things; the first, that he died the finest death a man can die, fighting for his country and the Right; and secondly, that it is only his poor body that lies here in France, while his soul, the real self that you know and love, has gone back to his God, who loves him, too."

  Preston Herald - Saturday 30 December 1916


During Sunday and Christmas Day 2,266 soldiers were served at the buffet as they passed through the station. These figures are slight compared with the 12,449 who were provided with refreshments during the 32 hours immediately previous. This is a record number in the history of the buffet.