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Former Rotherwas Munitions Worker Unveils War Memorial at Hampton and Gwen

Posted: 11-11-2022

An older lady stands in front of a war statue

Hampton Grange and Gwen Walford Nursing Homes in Hereford held a Remembrance event on 3rd November, inviting a former Rotherwas Munitions worker, Nancy Billings, to unveil a war statue in the presence of residents, families and members of the local community.

Attendees gathered in the care homes grounds at midday, as the homes’ manager, Louise Craddock, gave a short speech expressing the importance of Remembrance to residents and introducing Nancy to the congregation.  The residents counted down before Nancy removed the British flag to reveal a statue of ‘An Unknown Woman in War’.
Nancy Billings, former munition’s worker, said:
"It's a lovely, lovely statue. I think it's very important, because I think that women did play a big part in the war effort.”
99-year-old Nancy Billings worked at ROF Rotherwas for five years during the Second World War, during which she worked on the factory line filling explosives. Women made up more than three quarters of the work force at Rotherwas, where weapons and ammunition were manufactured for the British Military during the First and Second World War. It was poignant that Nancy would unveil a statue of a woman to commemorate the bravery and sacrifice of women in war and pay tribute to the local women that worked at Rotherwas. 
The gathering later moved inside for a Remembrance service held by the vicar from St Paul’s Church in Hereford with readings from residents, Fred and Audrey. Nancy and her daughter, Julie, joined the residents for lunch and wine as they reflected on war-time experiences. 

Louise Craddock, Home Manager of Hampton Grange and Gwen Walford, commented:
“We were honoured to welcome Nancy to unveil our statue. The Remembrance period is an especially important time for our residents, many of whom can recall memories of the war period.  Every year we hand-craft a ‘river’ of poppies cascading out of the Hampton Grange building, but this year it was great to go one-step further with the war memorial for our residents to pay their respects”
Operated by award-winning Rotherwood Healthcare, Hampton Grange offers Nursing and Specialist Dementia Care, whilst Gwen Walford provides Residential and Nursing Care. To find out more, call 01432 272418