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Women Fire Fighters

Glasgow City Archives, Deposited Collections

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Women Fire Fighters

Women from an explosives factory in Bishopton in Renfrewshire (probably the Georgetown Filling Factory) attending fire-fighting training at Springburn Fire Station during the First World War. Women replaced men in many occupations during the war, but it was rare for them to become fire fighters.

About 130 men (or 68 per cent) of men in the Glasgow Fire Brigade enlisted in the armed forces during the First World War. According to the Firemaster's report of 1915, however, a letter was sent to Lord Kitchener requesting that Glasgow's firemen be exempted from service due to the invaluable work they did and the difficulty that would be encountered in trying to replace them. As a result, full-time fire officers were not called up without the consent of the Chief Fire Officer.

The women in this image are sitting on a Mercedes motor appliance which carried a ladder, hoses and a Hatfield-pattern petrol-driven pump which had a capacity of 450 gallons per minute. The introduction of motor vehicles such as this one had resulted in the retirement of the last of the fire brigade's horses, named Kelvin and Tweed, in 1913.

Reference: TD1431/55/2

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries, Information and Learning

Chief Fire Officers, conscription, explosives factories, fire appliances, fire engines, fire fighters, Firemasters, firemen, First World War, Glasgow Fire Brigade, Glasgow Fire Service, horses, motor appliances, munitions facories, petrol fire pumps, shell filling factories, Springburn Fire Station, women

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