National Projectile Factory – Lancaster

Aerial view of the Lansil works (the former site of the N.P.F. – Lancaster) showing Lancaster Power Station at the top of the picture, and Caton Road Wagon Works at the bottom left. c.1950s (© Images are copyright, Trustees of the King’s Own Royal Regiment Museum)

Facility Type & Function:

National Projectile Factory (N.P.F.) – The manufacture of grenade mortars, 6″, 8″, 9.2″  diameter shells, 60 -pdr shells plus the repair and trench warfare work.

Brief History:

This purpose-built 33 acres factory site was constructed on behalf of the Ministry of Munitions by Vickers Limited who also went on to manage it. Construction of the site started in 1915 with it formal opening in November 1916. In 1918 the factory employed 4,684 men and 4,212 women and was the largest of Britain’s N.P.F.s.

Women munitions workers in the canteen of the National Projectile Factory, Lancaster.

During the Great War the N.P.F. produced over two million shells. These included  993,900 6-inch high explosive and chemical shells, 448,000 9.2 inch shells, 9,600 8-inch shells and 589,500 60-pounder shrapnel shells.

During 1919 the factory was turned over to the manufacture of 250lbs. and 500lbs. aircraft bombs.

No part of the original N.P.F. now remains on the site.

A plan of  Birtley Cartridge Factory (Birtley “A”  – smaller green factory to the south) and the N.P.F. – Birtley  (Birtley “B” – larger green factory to the north)  in 1918 (© Images are copyright, Trustees of the King’s Own Royal Regiment Museum)

Location Details:

Caton Road, Lancaster, Lancashire, England – National Factory Area No.2

Associated Token, Check & Pass Issues:

Type I

Function: Unknown (Note 1)

Material: Brass

Design: Bi-facial with a plain edge

Shape & Size: Circular,  27.3 mm

Obverse: Raised legend within a beaded outer border reads NATIONAL PROJECTILE FACTORY . LANCASTER .  The number 3894 incusley stamped .

Reverse: Blank other than for a beaded outer border design.

Date: 1916 to 1918

Maker: Unknown

Published References:  Yarwood, J. – Military Tokens of the British Commonwealth. Page 95 – MMT009. Private Publication. 2006.


Type II

IMAGE NOT AVAILABLE

Function: Unknown (Note 1)

Material: White metal (Zinc) alloy

Design: Bi-facial with a plain edge

Shape & Size: Circular,  27 mm

Obverse: Raised legend within a beaded outer border reads NATIONAL PROJECTILE FACTORY . LANCASTER .  The  letter R above the number 44 incusley stamped .

Reverse: Blank other than for a beaded outer border design.

Date: 1916 to 1918

Maker: Unknown

Published References: Yarwood, J. – Military Tokens of the British Commonwealth. Page 95 – MMT009A. Private Publication. 2006.


Notes:

  1. Possibly a workers factory pass although its relatively small size may not instantly suggest such.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.