Glossop answers the call to arms
Friday 9th September 2016 @ 17:46 by Adam Higgins

There’s little left now of the Glossop factory which helped the Allies win the first world war.

Almost all traces of Isaac Jackson’s mill in Old Glossop have been demolished to make way for houses.

But as we have revealed in the past, 100 years ago the workers stopped making bolts and fasteners and, like many mills all over Britain, started manufacturing munitions for the war effort.

Local historian Chris Davin, who has researched munition manufacturing, said: “In both world wars, Great Britain became one massive war materials production facility.

“Manufacturers were sub-contracted to produce goods, or essential companies were taken over entirely to become listed as ‘Under Government Control.’

“In every town and city, manufacturers who made peace-time products now had to undertake war work.

“Isaac Jackson’s specialised in production of fasteners, mainly nuts and bolts, their machining skills would be easily transferred to the production of the new shell, a high level of machining precision was necessary to ensure repeatable accuracy in flight.”

Such a weapon was a trench mortar invented by a manufacturer from Ipswich called Wilfred Stokes and it was this that Jackson’s had a part in making, coming up with a special fitting.

Britain was out-gunned at the start of the First World War, particularly at the Battle of the Somme.

New weaponry was needed, and it came in the shape of the Stokes mortar which was quick and easy to launch and was hailed as a ‘battle winner’, and it was comparatively cheap to make.

Wilfred Stokes was knighted for his part in the war effort.

Hostilities over, Jackson’s got back to making fasteners, but 20 years later the second world war clouds were looming in Europe.

Mills were once again being asked to make munitions and it is said that Jackson’s was one of the factories involved.

So did the Old Glossop firm once again start supplying munitions, this time for the second world war?

Turning back to the first world war, did Prime Minister Herbert Asquith make a morale boosting visit to Glossop 100 years ago?


By David Jones