The Munitionettes: Britain’s Wartime Workforce

Early in the World War One, Britain faced a shortage of artillery shells on the front line which evolved into the Shell Crisis of 1915. In response, the British government passed the Munitions of War Act and formed the Ministry of Munitions which forced factories to employ more women to fill the labour gap left by men fighting on the front line.

Women in munitions factories became known as Munitionettes and, by 1917, manufactured roughly 80% of all the ammunition used by the British Army. This video offers, without audio, a rare glimpse into the day-to-day life of the Munitionettes hard at work.

Lee is a freelance writer with a keen interest in history and science.