During World War 1 a huge Cordite Factory was constructed along the shores of the Solway Firth, and was called H.M. Factory Gretna. Soon Gretna's green sanctuary was transformed into a huge self-contained factory community, which altered the landscape forever.
Its purpose was to produce large quantities of Cordite to propel the High Explosive Shells, and to speed up the war effort. It was staffed by over 20,000 munitions workers from all corners of the British Empire, and augmented by experts of almost every description.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, then a War Correspondent, described the townships of Eastriggs and Gretna as The Miracle Towns, and the mixing process as 'Stirring The Devils Porridge'.
You can learn more of the history of the factory, and of the terrible Gretna Railways Disaster which occurred at Quintinshill on 22nd May 1915, where 227 people lost their lives,by visiting 'The Devils Porridge Exhibition' in St. John's Church, Dunedin Road, Eastriggs. Organised by The Gretna and Eastriggs Heritage Group, it runs between 20th May to 31st October each year.
You can also obtain a book entitled Gretna's Secret War by G.L.Routledge, available through the exhibition, or by contacting Bookcase, Castle Street, Carlisle.
For further information on Gretna's Secret War, visit: