Remembering those who fought in the Great War.


Greenock is a town on the West Coast of Scotland - some 30 miles down river from Glasgow. At the time of the outbreak of the War Greenock was home to almost 80000 people, many of whom were originally from the Highlands of Scotland and from Ireland. They had come originally to work in the docks, railways, sugar refineries and shipyards. The rapid industrialisation of the town and the poverty caused by the peaks and troughs of demand for ships etc.. meant that a large proportion of the town were living in appalling housing conditions. In complete contrast, the elegant West End was home to the wealthy businessmen - leaders of society. Greenock had all the trappings of a civilised town - Art Galleries, a Philosophical Society, many Friendly Societies and groups for the betterment of society. It had a strong Prohibitionist section, led by the founder of the Movement, John Dunlop and as you will see, a strong Volunteer Movement where these leaders of society acted as the Lieutenant Colonels and the Officers in the Artillery, Infantry and Engineers. 

At the start of War these Volunteers signed up almost to a man, alongside the Reservists. However the story of the War in Greenock is the conflict between those required to build the ships and engines for the Royal and Merchant Navy - the Munition Workers - and the almost insatiable demand for soldiers. The newspapers of the day were full of reports demanding the weeding out of those who could be spared for the Services, as well as stories of high wages and strike threats - in direct contrast to the daily stories of loss and injury as a result of war action.

We have tried to tell the story of these men - many of whom are listed below. How many served their country both in the Services and in Munition Work

Service men and women born in Greenock