Joan worked at the Rotherwas Shell Filling Factory on the outskirts of Hereford. The Ministry of Munitions constructed the factory on the site of the Rotherwas Mansion, which had been demolished to make way for the new factory complex.
Shell filing began there on 11 November 1916. The workers were brought from all over the UK, including Ireland and special trains were run from Barrs Court Station in Hereford out to the factory station, bringing employees on free tickets, who came in from their billets around Hereford, Leominster, Ross and elsewhere. The women, 6,000 of them at the peak of WW1, came from all over the British Isles.
The women working in the factory where also known as the Canary Girls, so called as the TNT and picric acid turned their hands and hair yellow!
It is usually overlooked that the working class woman played such an important role, ensuring that the soldiers had adequate ammunition. Many of our woman including our very own Joan Clarke would have been involved with this dangerous employ.
"The staff were fantastic with my mum in her final few days. They were kind, respectful and maintained her dignity to the end. Not only that, but their treatment of us as a family was above and beyond."—
“I would like to thank you for the kind and unstinting care my Mother received during her stay at Hampton Grange. Thanks for always being there and addressing any issue that arose immediately and satisfactorily."—
“We can’t find enough words to thank you all for everything that you did for Dad. To say it is greatly appreciated is a massive understatement and we hope that you know that we appreciated every gesture.”—
"We wanted to say a huge thank you for everything you did to take care of Mum. She always looked lovely and seemed content in her world. We couldn't have asked for more. Please pass on our thanks to the team.”—
“We appreciate all your care and the way you treat our father with such dignity and kindness. Please thank all of your staff.”—
"Thank you to you all for the care and kindness shown to our Mum, O---- when she was with you at Hampton Grange. It was a comfort to us to know she was being looked after so well by you all."—
Dear Sister Dora and all the staff. Please would you accept our thanks for all the care and attention you so warmly gave to my Mother in the last few months of her life whilst in your lovely Home and this is more.—
"We cannot thank you enough for all you did for our dear Mother - as you know, she thought you were all lovely, lovely people. Mum loved the food at Hampton Grange, especially the puddings!”
“I wish to thank you for the superb level of care you provided to K---- during her time at Lynhales (some 11 years). As a former nurse, I’m sure she would have appreciated it."—
"I would like to thank you all for your kindness and cheerfulness, and for looking after both my Mother and her visitors so well. It was really like a home from home."—
“Just a short note to thank you all for taking care of T---- with such kindness and compassion during his final weeks, and also for the welcome we always received when visiting.”—