James Allen

Timelines: Ribbon of Remembrance James Allen

Judith Farrah told us about her great-grandfather James Allen, who’s joinery business contributed to the war effort on the Home Front.

“James Allen was born in 1855 in Newbiggin, Richmond. He was originally called James Thistlethwaite but changed his name to Allen, which was his stepfathers name. He apprenticed with William Raworth, learning to be a joiner, and married his daughter Matilda. By 1901 he had set up his own joinery business known as James Allen & Son Ltd and worked on the Kursaal (later known as The Royal Hall) in Harrogate.”

During the First World War, James did not join the armed forces but used his joinery business to create boxes for munitions. Static trench warfare required huge numbers of shells; the First World War became a war of production. Hundreds of manufacturing companies, including James’, were commandeered for munitions production. As men were sent to the trenches, women moved into the factories. Some factories’ workforce was almost entirely female, and this was true for James’ business.

Workers with their ammunition boxes outside James Allen’s workshop

 

 

Return to the ribbon

Explore more memories from the ribbon

  • Olive Yeates

    Olive was born on the 29th August 1899 in Harrogate. The 1911 census shows Olive living at home with parents George and Miriam, and baby…

  • Dixon Overfield

    Si Wheeler submitted the story of his great grandfather, Dixon Overfield, but it’s also a great example of the impact of war on all those…

  • Blackbird Baggott

    Howard Muckle a resident of Richmond for the last 50 years (via Corbridge and Newcastle) provided this story of his grandfather, Blackbird Baggott. Blackbird Baggott…