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Ministry of Supply Factory, Dalbeattie -
 View of Nitration Hills, Unit 2 (Edingham)

Ministry of Supply Factory, Dalbeattie
World War II Cordite Works

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Poems and Songs at the Factory :-

Key Points :-

  • Poems of many kinds survived as graffiti, a few as written documents.
  • Majority surviving in Unit 1 (Southwick).
  • 'Farewell to Shift Two' is the most significant surviving poem.
  • A mixture of old favorites, variations and original poems.
  • Most poems are feminine and relate to loved ones far away.
  • Some poetry both witty and bawdy, writers presumably men.
  • Many graffiti poems now fading and are hard to decipher; sadly, some were vandalised by people who disagreed with them.
  • Popular songs in graffiti - 'Sing me a Song of the Islands' and 'White Christmas'.
  • Further transcription essential - much hidden under whitewash.



Poetry from the M/S Factory Dalbeattie :

Introduction...

An assortment of poems were written by staff, a few as documents but most as graffiti that still survive in the buildings of Ministry of Supply Factory Dalbeattie and a handful of other written material beyond it. The most moving part of the collection is a carefully-typed poem 'Farewell to Shift Two', which in its careful spelling and rhyming is far removed from more recent fractured prose. This selection has partly been transcribed by Matthew Taylor, with some additions that were transcribed from site photographs by Richard Edkins.

List of Transcribed Poems :

These are chiefly 1940s in origin. Most in the Unit 1 Paste Rolling House are definitely 1940s, others may also be of that date. :-

  • 'Farewell to Shift Two' : Not graffiti, but this 1945 poem by a former foreman existed as a manuscript copied to Matthew Taylor by Tom Henderson. Farewell to Shift Two.
  • 'Here's to the Man' : A rather cynical but traditional poem about honesty in the face of dishonesty. Verses were found in several different buildings. Here's To the Man.
  • 'Johnny Doughboy' : From 1942 the Americans entered the war. This traditional poem is on the same lines as the famous 'Overpaid, Oversexed - and Over Here !'. Johnny Doughboy.
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List of Transcribed Songs :

These are 1940s in origin and reflect popular taste. :-

  • 'I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas' : A famous Bing Crosby film whose theme song was a rapid favourite. I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas
  • 'Sing me a Song of the Islands' : Theme song of 'Song of the Islands' a hot Betty Grable film that featured her in a grass skirt. Three copies of this song exist on one wall of the Unit 1 Paste Rolling House. So much for Vera Lynn and Grace Fields. Sing me a Song of the Islands
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More Information Needed :

Site visitors with information are invited to contact webmaster@dalbeattie.com, preferably with contact information such as name and phone.
I look forwards to discussing your family involvement in M/S Factory Dalbeattie and RNAD Dalbeattie.
- Richard Edkins.

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© 2006 Richard Edkins, Dalbeattie Internet.