Work Book from Class Room 10A,
Woolwich Arsenal, Ordnance College,
dated 20th April 1916.
Kept by Anne Maria Leahy, a New Zealand born munitions worker and VAD nurse.

Laboratory Regulations & Directions for Overlookers [Continued]:

12. No attempt is to be made to remove defective caps from the plates during pressing.
13. Should a cap or Detonator at any time fall into water during any operation No attempt is to be made to dry them, but are to
be considered unserviceable, & at once placed under oil in the pot provided.
14. The number of Q[uick] F[iring] caps to be left on any table in trays, not to exceed 5000.
15. All filled caps are to be completed before cessation of work each day.
16. Direct sunlight must not be allowed to fall on explosives.
17. Undue force is not to be used when pressing in the caps or screwing the anvils home.
18. Not more than 100 loose caps or capped primers to be beside the operation at the time.
19. The Primers must be brought to the filling house in covered trays.
20. The filled caps are to be brought to the building in cylinders containing 2000.
21. When filling Primers not more than 50 explosive Primers to be beside the operator at one time.
22. Gunpowder, Picric Powder, T.N.T., & Cordite will never be allowed in the filling room at one time. No greater quantity of
explosive than is absolutely necessary to keep the work going will be at any time allowed in any Laboratory building or in transit
to or from the magazine.
23. Empty gunpowder packages will be passed out at once and stored in a clean place.
24. In the event of a package not being emptied it will be reclosed and returned to the magazine. During operation doors and
windows must not be fastened in any way. Floors will be covered with hides, corticene or Linoleum. No barrow tools or rack
used outside will be admitted within the laboratory barrier.
25. Materials liable to absorb mixture will be thoroughly dried before use. & care must be taken that metal parts are dry inside
before being filled & that they are not colder than the air in the filling room, or moisture is liable to be deposited in them when
they are brought in to be filled.

Fuze Graze 102 Mark I [converted from 100 Mark II]:

Consists of following parts.
Graze Pellet
Screwed Collar
Detent Spring
Detent Closing Plug
Centrifugal Bolt
Closing Plug
Creep Spring
Closing Plug
Set Screws

1. Stamp R.L. Lot No. and date of filling.
2. Broken down _e. Loosen screw of adapter, take out [latter], remove set screw for caps, cap, creep spring, & det. collar.
3. Place Det[onator] in collar & screw home, stab collar in two places.
4. Test detent.
5. Put back creep spring, cement walls of fuze, replace caps & tighten up set screw; [stab threads of cap through set screw
hole before screw is tightened.
6. Stab set screw; & fill all recesses with beeswax compo[sition].
7. Drop tested in various ways.
8. Cement threads of adapter & screw into fuze; secure by set screw and stab. [all screws treated with cement].
9. Stab. adapter & fuze in 3 places. The magazine consists of two tin cups[,] the top cup has a brass fitment through its centre
on the outside surface of the cup a tycoon paper disc & a cloth washer is shellaced on. The bottom cup has shellaced on its
inner surface a muslin disc which is attached to a paper disc. A perforated powder pellet is placed into brass fitment. The
space left round the fitment is filled with F.G. powder. The rim of the cup is cemented & the bottom cup is then fitted over
the upper one.

Destruction of Explosives:

Explosives are mixed with machine oil & placed on a bed of wood shavings in an iron tray fitted with wheels. Three trays in
line should cover at least 60 ft. The intervals between the trays may be lined with Cordite to enable the 3 trays to be fired at
once. If no cordite is available; then each tray must be fired separately.
Lines of trays should be fired against the wind. F. of M. & Detonating Compo[sition] must not be destroyed together or with
any other explosive. F. of M must be carried to the destroying ground in a bucket with a felt pad on top & bottom. Sufficient
oil should be used to saturate the explosive; the limits shown hereafter should not be exceeded.


A bed of shavings is placed in the tray, & the explosive is saturated with machine oil & spread over the bed of shavings.
The person responsible sees that the ground in the vicinity of the trays is clear, before firing the battery.

Limits of Explosives

F[igure] of M[erit] - 10lbs
Detonating Compo[sition] - 10lbs
Picric Powder, Amatol, [Trotyl] - 250lbs
Waste explosive from Danger Building - 20lbs
Cordite & Ballastite - 250lbs

Fuze Graze 102 Mark I:

Parts                                                 Function                                                                                               
Body                                                Holds all parts
Cap Closes up the body & carries the needle which fires the Det[onator]
Creep Spring Prevents Graze pellet creeping during flight
C[entrifugal] B[olt] Locks graze pellet until shock of discharge
Detent Locks the C.B.
Set screw for cap Prevents the cap from unscrewing
Detonator Holder Secures the Det[onator] in position
Magazine When fired explodes the gaine & shell receives flash from Det[onator]
Graze Pellet Carries Detonator
Detent Spring Keeps the detent upto its work
Adapter holding Magazine Carries gaine

Caps & Detonators:

Cap for Primer                             Det[onator] 100 Fuze                         Det[onator] No. 2. Gaine                    
Cap Compo[sition] 1.2 grs 664 Comp[osition] 1.7 grs F. of M. 10 grs
Chlorate of Potash 12 F. of M. 6 R.P.P. 2 grs
Sulphide of Antimony 18 Chlorate of Potash 6 .
Ground Sulphur 1 Sulphide of Antimony 4 .
Ground Glass 1 . .
Mealed Powder 1 . .
Pressed 800 lbs 600 lbs 700 lbs
400 lbs . .
No lugs 4 lugs No lugs
Tinfoil disc Brass disc & Copper washer Vegetable paper disc
No central hole Bored or not Bored or not

Fuzes of the 100 Type:

Fuze Graze 100: This may be taken as the basis of comparison. It has a taper stalk [graze pellet] long thin adapter.
No. 100 Mark II: A parallel stalk
No. 100 Mark IA and IIB: These have the adapter strengthened with steel ring.
No. 100 Mark IB and IIB: These have the new strengthened & shortened adapter.
Fuze No. 101: Is a new design, for use in all guns & Howitzers 4.5 inch.
Fuze 102 Mark I: This is a conversion of the Fuze No. 100 Mark I to IIB & the fuze is used alternatively to the 101 except
that it is not to be employed in the 9.2 gun, 12 inch or 15 inch Howitzers.
Fuze 102 Mark II: Differs from above only in the absence of any pellet for graze pellet.

Filling Fuze 101 & assembling Gaine and Adapter
Fuze stamped and broken down leaving body bare.
Drop detonator into graze pellet & secure with pellet plug.
Drop graze pellet in the fuze and lock it with Centrifugal bolt, lock bolt with detent, place in spring & secure with detent plug.
Test detent & C[entrifugal] B[olt]. Cement top walls of fuze; place im creep spring & place on cap. Stab various plugs & set
screws & fill with beeswax compo[sition].
Magazine for 101 is smaller than 102 & is made of brass.

Differences in 100 Fuzes:

Fuze 100 Mark I
Cap screw with needle
Percussion pellet
Centrifugal bolt
Graze pellet
Det[onator] Plug
Percussion Spring
Detent Spring
Detent Closing Plug
Closing Plug
Creep Spring

Fuze 101 Mark I

No screw
C[entrifugal] B[olt]
Graze Pellet
Det[onator] Closing Plug [no stem]
Detent Spring
Detent Plug
Centrifugal Closing Plug
Creep Spring

Fuze 102 Mark I

Cap screw
C[entrifugal] B[olt]
Graze Pellet
Det[onator] Collar
Detent Spring
Detent Closing Plug
Centrifugal Closing Plug
Creep Spring
Magazine [larger]

Fuze Graze 102 Mark I:

Gauging Cartridges:

Diameter                                        Length                               
B[reech] L[oading] 10pi 2"                                    4. 4.
B[reech] L[oading] 2.75" 2" 4. 9.
B[reech] L[oading] 60pi Mk. I 4. 9. 17. 75.
B[reech] L[oading] 60pi Mk. II 4. 5. 20. 5.
6" 26 cwt} .
6" 30 cwt} 6. 2. 5. 5.

60pi are packed 9 in M.L. case.

A Copper ball is used to prevent escape of gas [used in Primers and T. Tubes]
T. & P. Fuze rings are covered with vegetable paper rings to save friction; & waterproof.
Shearing wire is used because it is easily sheared.
Luting is used on threads of fuze to make air tight and a tight fit.
Mealed Powder in gaine is used to delay flash.
Markings are stamped on body of shell in Q[uick] F[iring] ammunition because the base goes into a brass shell.
Howitzer Cartridges are made up in sections so that charge can be adjusted to suit various ranges.
Explosives are divided into groups & subdivided into Divisions for safety.
Cordite is affected by temperature.
Igniters are always used with B[reech] L[oading] Cartridges to ignite Cordite as it is difficult to fire when confined.

When in charge of a shop the following precautions must be taken regarding workers.
Must not have cuts on fingers.
Limited amount of shells on benches; also limited amount of work people.
Constantly sweeping out.
If a 100 shells fixed in brass cases were received in shop not filled or fuzed The first thing to do would be Take out Dummy
Primer & insert live one[,] replace safety clips, examine shell for damp & fill; then fuze and stencil necessary markings on shell
& base of brass case.
Pistol Powder is put on top of F. of M. in No. 2 Gaine because it makes the flash last a little longer and supply the necessary heat.
14 Dram explodes is 14 drs [Trotyl] pressed in a small bag, tied with silk sewing.

Fuze Graze 101 Mark I:

Parts                                        Function                                                                                                                           
Cap                                           Closes fuze
Detonator Holds the Compo[sition] which when fixed transmits the flash.
Detent Locks the C[entrifugal] B[olt]
Detent Spring Keeps detent in position
Detent Plug Keeps detent spring in position
Pellet Plug Holds Det[onator] in position in Graze Pellet
Magazine Contains powder which is fired by the flash from Det[onator] & transmits the flash to the gaine.
Adapter [Brass] Holds magazine Gaine, & adapts the fuze to the shell
Adapter Set Screw Closes up

Markings on Base Cartridge Q[uick] F[iring] 18 Pr:

Nature of Propellent charge, Size, Lot No., Initials, Filling Firm, Date [If necessary A.C.], Mark & No. of Gaine.

Markings on Shell:

Calibre & Numeral, either C.S. or F.S. stamped.
80 [means] Parts Amatol
20 [Parts] Ammonia Nitrate

Some shells have 60/40

Markings on Ammunition:

Packages & Cartridges
1. No. of Cartridges
2. Designation & Numeral
3. Cordite [or N.C.Y.] Size & Lot No.
4. A.C.
5. ½ or ¼ charges if made up in fractions
6. Monogram of station & date of filling.
S.P. means Igniter contains S.F.G.

Beeswax Composition:

Pitch - 16 parts
Resin - 36 parts
Russian Tallow - 48 parts
Beeswax - 44 parts

Pettman Cement:

Red Venetian dry - 48 parts
Tar Stockholm - 12½ parts
Dum Shallac - 12½ parts
Methylated Spirits - 23 pints

Mark I Luting:

Whiting - 80 parts
Mineral Jelly - 22 parts
Castor Oil - 1 pint


Whiting - 40 parts
Mineral Jelly - 61 parts
Castor Oil - ½ pint

Paste for Labels:

Starch - 12 oz.
Copper Sulphate Crystals - 13 and 3/4 drams
Soda Ash - 5½ drams
Glue - 2 ozs.
Water - 1 gallon

Dissolve the Copper S[ulphate] C[rystals] with a little of the water, & with this solution cold mix the starch into a smooth paste;
boil the rest of the water & dissolve the glue with some of it; add the soda ash to the remainder of the water, & when it is
dissolved, add the starch paste & mix well; bring to boiling point for about a minute, then add the glue solution & mix well.

Differences between Cartridges:

Q[uick] F[iring]
Primer used
Complete round of Ammunition is put in the gun at once
Packed Complete
Quicker Firing
Always made up in one [put into a brass case]

B[reech] L[oading]
T. Tube & Igniter
Loaded in the gun one after the other
Cartridges packed by themselves
Slower owing to size of shell
May be made up in sections

Fuze 103:

Conversion from 100 Mark II
No percussion pellet spring or needle
Detonator in graze pellet
___rled band as for 101
Groove at lower end of body for securing fuze
The lower portion of fuze is Cut where it is usually screw threaded internally so the fuze will not take the adapter
The adapter used will be the adapter fuze hole 2 inch No. 10 which screws into the shell
There is no magazine.

4.7 Q[uick] F[iring] Cartridge:

Weigh out 6lbs 4 ozs Cordite M.D. Size 11
This Cartridge is made up in 2 Portions.

1st Portion:
Cordite weighing 4lbs 4 ozs, cut 14.5" long. Tie in 3 places with reef knot with No. 1 Silk sewing on the double.

No. 2 Portion
Cordite weighing 2lbs cut 6.4@ long. Tie in 2 places with silk sewing No. 1 double reef knot.

Place each portion in [shalloon] bags, turn in edges of bag & tie [or] igniter [A] with reef knot then stitch around with No. 1
silk sewing double. Total weight [6] lbs 4 ozs.
Each igniter consists of 12 dr[am]s R.F.G.2 in an undyed [shalloon] bag.
Packed in Metal lined Cases.

8" Howitzer Cartridges:

This Cartridge is made up in sections. Weights vary.
No. 1 section consists of a bundle of Cordite 142 inches long M.D., Size 2 [or 5], tied in 3 places with No. 1 Silk Sewing
[reef knot] put into a shalloon bag, edges turned down & Igniter `[63]' put in.
For No. 2 & 3 sections Required Amount of Cordite Size 22 [8" long] weighed out & put in each bag & ends sewn with
No. 1. Silk.
No. 4 section Consists of 4 bundles Cordite Size 22, 4" in length, tied in 2 placed No. 1 Silk sewing double & with reef
knot. Put in shalloon bag & a small bundle 8" as well to make correct weight. Then ends stretched same as other sections.
Millboard Collars are then attached to No. 1 Section with tape, and 2, 3 & 4 sections tied on separately with tape.
All tying must be a single bow to the left. No 4 section put on 1st. Packed in Cylinders 2 in[ches] each.

End of transcription


CORDITE: A smokeless explosive powder consisting of nitrocellulose, nitroglycerin, and petrolatum that has been dissolved in
acetone, dried, and extruded in cords.
CORTICINE: A material for carpeting or floor covering, made of ground cork and caoutchouc or India rubber.
DETENT: A catch or lever that locks the movement of one part of a mechanism.
LUTING: A substance for packing a joint or coating a porous surface to make it impervious to gas or liquid.
PICRIC: (Chem.) Pertaining to, or designating, a strong organic acid (called picric acid), intensely bitter.
PRIMER: A cap or tube containing a small amount of explosive used to detonate the main explosive charge of a firearm or mine.
SHALLOON: A lightweight wool or worsted twill fabric, used chiefly for coat linings. [French chalon, after Châlons-sur-Marne.]
SHELLACKED: To coat or finish with shellac, a purified lac in the form of thin yellow or orange flakes, often bleached white and
widely used in varnishes, paints, inks, sealants etc.

An example of munitions factory paperwork.

As well as Woolwich, Annie also worked at the Gloucester National Filling Factory at Quedgeley. This was National Shell Filling
Factory No. 5 in the network of factories set up by the Ministry of Munitions from 1915 onwards.

For a comprehensive history of the Quedgeley factory, see:

National Filling Factory No. 5, Quedgeley
Written by Brian Edwards
Published in the Gloucester Society for Industrial Archaeology Journal, 1934, p. 32-52

While Annie was employed at Quedgeley the photo at the top of the page was taken. During her time there she suffered from ill
health. Jaundice was one of a number of complaints commonly suffered by munition workers, brought about by their exposure
to toxic substances.

Harefield, Lympstone:
`Mrs Donner's Country House in Devon where I spent Aug. 1916. [Convalesent from Jaundice]. A. Leahy

Letter to Annie Leahy from Quedgeley National Filling Factory, 1st September 1916:

Letter to Annie Leahy from Quedgeley National Filling Factory, 19th January 1917:

Recruitment poster for the Voluntary Aid Detachment, WW1

After her recovery Annie went on to train as a VAD [Voluntary Aid Detachment] nurse, in whose uniform she is pictured here.

Military Lists and Information


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