' The Rotherwas Munitions Group was formed in November, 2013 following an increasing number of enquiries received from relatives and associates of men and women who worked at the factory during both World Wars, and whose names had not been included on the memorial now in place near the original factory site. Many had learned belatedly of the existence of the memorial, and enquired as to whether names could be added to it. This may not be feasible, bearing in mind that some 12000 people worked at the factory. At the time of setting up the Munitions Group names were being received on an adhoc basis. Whilst this method of receiving names continues, the Group's main objective has been to determine whether or not a definitive list of all employees actually exists. Certainly the view often expressed was that such records had been destroyed given the passage of time.
Whilst pursuing the existence of this definitive list, the Group established a number of other lists from various sources amounting to over 2000 names, which although not conclusive, provided a reasonable assumption they were employees at the factory during material times. The major success though, was discovery of a definitive record held by government, of all people employed within munitions factories throughout the country. These records are apparently held in paper form and include details of names, dates of birth and addresses, but do not designate individuals to specific factories.
The Group has written confirmation that these records exist, and that in due course they will be deposited within a museum, or possibly the National Archives. We await developments in this regard.
The Group is currently determining strategy for accessing these documents, bearing in mind they will need to be digitised using appropriate computer software, in order to identify names to specific munitions factories. The ultimate aim of our group is to identify all those who worked at the Rotherwas Factory, and to provide an interactive display within the Herefordshire Archive and Record Centre (HARC).
Having received Heritage Lottery Funding an interactive display computer system has been obtained. This will be used to display the names of former employees together with relevant photographs, artifacts and memorabilia including tape recordings and videos of former employees recounting their very unique wartime experiences.