Tributes to Gosport sisters who worked in munitions factory

PATRIOTIC WORK Left, Doris Osborne in 1941 in her ATS Home guard outfit, and right sisters Joan and Nora Osborne with their mum in 1948
PATRIOTIC WORK Left, Doris Osborne in 1941 in her ATS Home guard outfit, and right sisters Joan and Nora Osborne with their mum in 1948
Hayling Island Lions member Rod Elliott outside Tesco, Station Road, Hayling Island

LETTER OF THE DAY: Claws out over Santa

  • Gosport sisters who worked in a munitions factory during Second World War are remembered
  • Nephew Anthony Queree pays tribute to last of the sisters Nora Osborne who died recently
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TRIBUTES have been made to the last of four sisters who worked in munition factories during the Second World War.

Anthony Queree’s four aunts Nora, Joan, Eileen and Doris Osborne worked in the Gosport munitions factories for up to 12 hours at a time.

What my aunt Nora and her sisters did then was a requirement of the time and they were doing their bit.

Anthony Queree

Mr Queree wants to share his aunts’ story and their dedication following the death of Nora, 86.

She was the youngest and last of the sisters.

He said: ‘My aunt Nora always had a smile on her face no matter what.

‘Having just marked the 70th anniversary of VE Day, we as a family have been remembering the wartime situation in Gosport.

‘The Gosport population put their hands up to work and they worked hard. Be it farming or munitions, they did it.

‘What my aunt Nora and her sisters did then was a requirement of the time and they were doing their bit.’

The 77-year-old nephew remembers a time when a usual working day for his aunts was a 12-hour shift with no breaks.

The Osborne sisters endured these gruelling hours in the harrowing conditions of Gosport’s munitions factories because of the intensive demands placed on the female workforce at the time.

This pressure increased throughout the war as the need for extra munitions grew.

Mr Queree added: ‘On her first day Nora was packing cordite explosives at Priddy’s Hard.

‘There was no recourse to political correctness, they learnt the procedures and got on with it.

‘There were minor explosions all the time, no masks and no regulations on health and safety.’

Nora Osborne, later Nora Eden, lived in Harding Road, Gosport, with 12 other family members including Anthony.

Mr Querée said: ‘The family was bigger than that but a lot of the boys were serving. I was only five or so then. We were a very tight-knit group.’