The Devil's Porridge: The Shell Scandal of 1915

Harsh living and working conditions, poisonous chemicals and explosions. For 10,000 navvies, hundreds of chemists and engineers from across the empire, and 12,000 women, this was the reality of mixing the 'Devil's Porridge', cordite, in munitions factories on the Home Front. In 1915, an extreme shortage of munitions on the front line was reported back to Britain. In response Lloyd George was made the Minister of Munitions. His greatest project: HM Factory Gretna, the largest munitions factory in the world on the quiet Anglo-Scottish Border. Judith Hewitt curates the Devil's Porridge Museum, which is found on the 9 mile site of the former factory. In this episode of the World Wars, she told James the stories of the unknown men and women brought to work in this crisis: how they came to be here, how they lived and how they left or, for the unfortunate few, how they died.

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