WWI Munitions Worker – Colman’s Connections

A WWI munitions workers uniform I made for education use at The Forum in Norwich as part of their Colman’s Connections project.

This girl certainly looks the part! Her smile is so reminiscent of those you see on the women who worked in the factories 100 years ago. Proud as punch of their role and their uniform.

Taking inspiration from a mixture of original garments from the History Wardrobe collection and imagery from the Imperial War Museum, I created a long tunic and trousers in heavy cotton canvas. We had a one-size-fits-all attitude, as it needed to fit as many children as possible, and added the belt with elastic at the back to gain a better fit. To make them look worn and used I attacked them with sandpaper and a razor – very effective. They were also stained with various substances as I doubt very much a munitions factory was a clean place to work! Adding the cap and an original ‘On War Service’ badge finished off the ensemble.