Women munitions workers at George Kent Ltd, 1916 [Z1306/75/17/20]
(Caption reads: "We are helping those who are helping us")
Monday 1st February 1915: With the increase in demand for munitions for the Front the government has accepted the offer made by George Kent Ltd at
Luton to help in the production of armaments. The company has been asked to produce shell fuses and is taking on a workforce of young women for munitions work. New factory rules for the employment for girls have recently been issued:
1. HOURS OF WORK – 8.0 a.m. to 7.0 p.m.; Saturdays, 8.0 a.m. to 12.45 p.m.
2. TIME KEEPING – Employees will only be allowed to start at 8.0 or 8.30 a.m. The Gates adjacent to the Mess Room will be open from 7.45 until 8.0 a.m. and from 8.25 to 8.30 a.m. Any Employee who fails to clock in by 5 minutes after 8.0 or 8.30 a.m. respectively will forfeit 15 minutes. Any Employee who consistently starts at 8.30 a.m. will be liable to dismissal.
3. Each Employee will be given a number. A locker and hat-and-coat peg correspondingly numbered will be provided in the Cloak Room.
4. INTERVALS. – There will be the following intervals during the day: 11.0 to 11.15 a.m. during which milk and biscuits will be served in the Mess Room free of charge; 12.45 to 1.45 p.m. for dinner; 4.40 to 5.0 p.m., during which tea will be served in the Mess Room free of charge.
5. DINNER. – Any Employee who wishes may have her dinner in the Mess Room, but she must either bring her dinner with her or make arrangements with the Mess Room Attendant, who will in any case do any cooking that may be necessary.
6. OVERTIME will be paid at the rate of time-and-a-quarter for all hours exceeding 52 per week.
7. Except at dinner time, no Employee will be allowed to leave the Works during working hours, without a pass from the Head of her department.
8. Employees must remain in their own department. Anyone found trespassing in a department to which she does not belong will be liable to instant dismissal.
9. An overall and cap will be provided for each girl, who is expected to keep them clean and in good repair. It is essential that the cap should be worn and in order to avoid accidents the hair should be completely covered thereby.
10. Every Employee must subscribe to the above Rules. (January 1915)
Source: George Kent Ltd Archive
 See World War I Luton: George Kent’s Factory for more information about the role of George Kent Ltd in munitions production.