Manxwomen of the War: Mary (May) Brew

“Three sisters and myself left Douglas during the first months of the Great War, our destination being Coventry to work on munitions. There was no work of that kind being done in Douglas. We soon found out there was really a war on. We started work at 6am and continued to 6pm, worked one week night shifts and one week day shifts with 1 1/2 off per shift for meals. The wages were 2 1/2d per hour (weekly wage 13s 1d days, 16s 9d nights) Sundays included. The Coventry Ordnance Works were under Government control, and the girls had to keep their jobs or otherwise be out of work for six weeks. The control was taken off in 1916, and wages went up to £1 4s and £1 10s. The Zeppelins always paid their terrifying visits while were were on night shift. Lights would go out, and girls would faint by the dozen. The persons to be pitied on those occasions were the nurses, who were always in attendance. It was a nightmare those four years of war…”

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