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Park Royal Inspection Buildings -:- Visitors

Park Royal Inspection Buildings -:- Visitors by GEORGE V etc (1916)

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Author: GEORGE V etc
Title: Park Royal Inspection Buildings -:- Visitors
Year: 1916
Publisher: Unpublished
Place: London
Dust Jacket: No
Signed: Yes
Price: £450
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Added under Manuscripts  

First World War Visitors Book recording Royal visits to the women munitions workers in the factories built on Park Royal, west London.

Small quarto, expensively bound in pebbled black morocco with gilt lettering and decoration; rounded spine. Inner dentelles over rich grey marbled endpapers; all edges gilt. Card leaves held on linen stubs. All in near fine condition.

King George V visited the munitions factory late in 1916, signing himself 'Nov: 28th 1916. George R.[ex] I.[mperator]' - king and emperor. The future Edward VIII visited towards the end of the war with his mother Queen Mary. At the top of the page she wrote: 'Mary. March 14th 1918.' Below her is written 'Edward P.[rince of Wales]' and ditto marks so he didn't have to bother writing the date himself.

The other visitors to sign the book include Edward Rigg from the Royal Mint (twice), the Bishops of London and Kensington, 'Charles Henry Brent Bishop of the Philippine Islands Feb.20th 1917' and representatives of the American Ordnance Department including 'Lee O Wright Major, Ord. Dept. USA' - it is notable that the American visit took place in October 1918 as the final American assisted push into Germany took place. The 30 signatures are spread over about half a dozen leaves although the King gets one to himself. The final visitor recorded in this book is 'H M Vandeleur 7th January 1922'.

The munitions factories were built as the First World War effort intensified, taking over the fields of the Royal Agricultural Show Ground at Park Royal. The biggest in Acton Lane employed seven thousand people, mainly women with childcare provision in order to allow the war work to continue day and night, every day of the year. No doubt the visits by officials and members of the Royal family were a way of boosting morale.
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