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World war 1 munitions factory

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#1
I am trying to trace any information on the white lund munitions factory explosion at morecambe. My uncle was killed there in Oct 1917 but I cannot find a death certificate or any records of employees.
Can anyone help.
 

gibbo

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#4
Yes his name was alfred Heys born 1875 he was from heywood but emigrated to canada and came back to help in the war efoort
Hi,
I cant find a death for him neither :confused: I had a look at newspapers and couldnt find anything on the explosion but still looking. Have you tried the Morecombe library as they may have some info on it?? just a thought.

gibbo
 
#5
I am trying to trace any information on the white lund munitions factory explosion at morecambe. My uncle was killed there in Oct 1917 but I cannot find a death certificate or any records of employees.
Can anyone help.

I have not thought about the death certificate yet... but you may wish to take a look at this.


Gerard
 
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#7
Hi,
I cant find a death for him neither :confused: I had a look at newspapers and couldnt find anything on the explosion but still looking. Have you tried the Morecombe library as they may have some info on it?? just a thought.

gibbo
I travelled to Lancaster library on holiday last week and found out that 10 people died there were only 8 of them named that I could find

I also visited lancaster museum they have a small display.
and a copy of the newspaper article.

I cannot believe that they had people working there and were not able to establish who was missing. On the family tombstone it just says in memory of and died Oct 1917 no day at all.
 

gibbo

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#8
I travelled to Lancaster library on holiday last week and found out that 10 people died there were only 8 of them named that I could find

I also visited lancaster museum they have a small display.
and a copy of the newspaper article.

I cannot believe that they had people working there and were not able to establish who was missing. On the family tombstone it just says in memory of and died Oct 1917 no day at all.

If they couldnt establish who was missing i wonder if his death was never registered then? I will keep digging around and see if i can find anything.
 

gibbo

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#10
Thanks a lot for your help this is the first time I have been on a forum
Your welcome.

Is there any other info that may help? I wonder if there is a church record of a burial or funeral? Was he married? Was Alfred his actual name or is it possible it may have been his second name? Sometimes the tiniest bit of info can be the piece you need for a lead so if you think of anything else that may help just add it on here and see how we go.
 
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gibbo

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#11
I would assume that there would have been a inquest into the explosion but dont know if that would give any answers or have your Alfred's name in it.
 
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gibbo

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#12
Hi there,
I still cant find a death record of him :confused: I did find the list of names that were killed and as you said 8 names and 2 unidentified. Im assume that your fella maybe one of the unknown as he isnt any of the 8 that were named.
There are some things that confuse me. Why no death record [that i can find anyway] and why if the family knew it was him that died that his name isnt on the list of the dead and or why there is no death record as one would think they would have registered his death? If that is him on the family tomb as dying Oct 1917 maybe see if the burial record for that plot might tell you something.
All very mysterious, comfusing and intruiguing.
 
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#13
Hi there,
I still cant find a death record of him :confused: I did find the list of names that were killed and as you said 8 names and 2 unidentified. Im assume that your fella maybe one of the unknown as he isnt any of the 8 that were named.
There are some things that confuse me. Why no death record [that i can find anyway] and why if the family knew it was him that died that his name isnt on the list of the dead and or why there is no death record as one would think they would have registered his death? If that is him on the family tomb as dying Oct 1917 maybe see if the burial record for that plot might tell you something.
All very mysterious, comfusing and intruiguing.
The only thing I can think of is my grandad (his brother) and his other brothers were all away in the war and there parents were dead so there was no-one from the family to identify him. I have read the transcript from the the enquiry at Lancaster Library and it still states 8 names 2 unidentified.

I need to see the burial record but I suspect that there is no body there.

Do I have to go to the church to see this.
 

gibbo

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#14
The only thing I can think of is my grandad (his brother) and his other brothers were all away in the war and there parents were dead so there was no-one from the family to identify him. I have read the transcript from the the enquiry at Lancaster Library and it still states 8 names 2 unidentified.

I need to see the burial record but I suspect that there is no body there.

Do I have to go to the church to see this.
Hi,
If you have the name of the cemetery maybe write or give them a quick ring and if the cemetery hasnt any contact details i would try the local council there and ask about the burial details and hopefully they will help you. It might be a long shot with the burial records but anything is worth a try. If the cemetery is at the church you could try them also. Have you tried to get a death cert. for him? If not maybe could be worth contacting them and seeing if they have him on record. Its a hard one and hope you can find something to help.
 
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#15
There is a full record of the investigation into the White Lund munitions factory explosion in the National Archives, reference HO45/10887/350619.
I found this when researching my book on "Police Gallantry" There is a reference there to all the fatalities which occurred, and your great grandfathers name appears under the list of deceased as " One unidentified male, believed to be Alfred Hayes, aged 45, of 30 Stanley Road, Heysham, Munitions worker, reported missing"
The investigation report by Scotland Yard detectives is some 30 pages long with additional reports from various police officers involved.
I trust that this information will be of assistance. The only newspaper report appears to have been in the Morecambe Visitor and Heysham Chronicle of the 3rd October 1917. No details only a few words!
 
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#16
Hi
Reading through the posts, I hate to say this, but I was thinking maybe the two unidentified bodies were so badly burnt that it was impossible to identify them. Pfarmery1's post seems to confirm this. At least you now know that it is a very distinct possibility he did die there, but if there wasn't a body perhaps he was not buried, and if you are not sure presumably you cannot officially register the death.
dave
 

leefer

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#17
I have read about this explosion.
Alot of gallantry awards were dished out...think two policeman got awards for moving large quantities of ammo before that also went up.
Remembering this was wartime is probably the reason it wasn't well publisized.
Sad to think this guy came back from Canada to help the war effort.
 
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#19
There is a full record of the investigation into the White Lund munitions factory explosion in the National Archives, reference HO45/10887/350619.
I found this when researching my book on "Police Gallantry" There is a reference there to all the fatalities which occurred, and your great grandfathers name appears under the list of deceased as " One unidentified male, believed to be Alfred Hayes, aged 45, of 30 Stanley Road, Heysham, Munitions worker, reported missing"
The investigation report by Scotland Yard detectives is some 30 pages long with additional reports from various police officers involved.
I trust that this information will be of assistance. The only newspaper report appears to have been in the Morecambe Visitor and Heysham Chronicle of the 3rd October 1917. No details only a few words!


Thanks a lot you are a genius. I have applied for a copy of the report.

The lack of death record might be explained by the fact they have spelt his name wrong.
I am going to search that.

Once again thanks a lot.
 
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#20
Hi
I suspect you know that there is a probate document for Alfred Heys? I am working on a project regarding explosions and fires at WW1 munitions works and would be most interested as to the cemetery you mention as at the moment the only other headstone we know of is outside Blackburn and relates to John Crowther who was also killed. There were 10 fatal casualties and all have now been identified. If you'd like any help, granted we only know about the fires and explosions, gallantry awards, etc but please just ask.
 

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