The Chilwell Explosion, 1 July 1918 --- By John Beckett
07 May


 The National Shell Filling Factory, Chilwell, was a World War I United Kingdom Government-owned explosives Filling Factory. Its formal title was National Filling Factory No. 6. It was located near Chilwell, at that time a village, in Nottinghamshire on the main road from Nottingham to Ashby de la Zouch. During the Great War it filled some 19 million shellswith high explosives.

A substantial part of the National Shell Filling Factory was destroyed in an explosion of eight tons of TNT on 1 July 1918. In all 134 people were killed, of whom only 32 could be positively identified, and a further 250 were injured. The unidentified bodies are in a mass grave in St. Mary's Church, Attenborough. The blast was reportedly heard twenty miles away.

 John will cover these aspects and more during his talk 



In John's professional capacity at the University of Nottingham he is Principal Investigator on the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s [funded] Engagement Centre for Hidden Histories of the First World War. You can see more of their work at

                                                                                                 This Months Speaker --- Professor John Beckett 

Location: Chesterfield Labour Club, Unity House, 113 Saltergate.  (Entrance to Club 'free' car park is on Tennyson Ave reached via St Margaret's Drive from Saltergate direction (one way system) Members of The Western Front Association and non-members are equally welcome to attend. We ask for a modest £3 donation on the door to assist in covering room charges and speaker expenses, The Club licensed bar is available for use by all attending our meetings. Please note: as we use a private club's premises on your first visit we will ask you to  complete a temporary club membership form at our Welcome desk. This is required to fulfill the Club's Licensing Regulations and is  regardless of whether or not you will use the bar. The annual one-off cost is covered by the branch out  of your donation.  After the speakers talk there is a Q&A session with the speaker, followed by a raffle, raffle tickets can be purchased at the door for £1 per ticket.).  Any new visitors will be assured of a welcoming and friendly atmosphere among a group of like-minded enthusiasts.

Please check the following links,

Chesterfield Western Front Association Facebook Page

Chesterfield Labour Club, 113 Saltergate, Chesterfield, S40 1NF
07 May 2019 19:30