Detail from a bomb map from 1915

First World War: Organisations

Hull Council Minutes

Full series of Council minutes (ref C TCM) for the period covering all aspects of the Council’s activities including the Watch Committee. Minutes for the war years are at C TCM/2/27/1-2/32/8. These are not in the online catalogue but are available to view in the Searchroom. The Council material also includes details of Council staff (ref C TCCM/1-6) and teachers (ref C TCG/12) being called up to serve.

A number of committees were formed to ensure access to key commodities including:

  • C TCK/13 Minutes of the Hull Coal Supplies Joint Committee 1918
  • C TCK/14 Minutes of the Hull Local Food Control Joint Committee 1918
  • C TCPC Papers of the Hull Corporation Price of Coal (Special) Committee 1915-1919

Hull Local Military Service Tribunal under the Group System and Military Service Act, 1916

The Hull Military Service Tribunal (ref C WE) was formed by the Corporation to hear applications for exemption from conscription into the British Army during World War I under the 1916 Group System and Military Service Act. Although mostly known for their decisions regarding conscientious objectors, the majority of the tribunal's work dealt with domestic and business matters.

  • C WE/1 Hull Local Tribunal memos relating to individual cases, 1916-1919
  • C WE/2 Minutes and letters of the Hull Local Tribunal, 1917-1919
  • C WE/3 Accounts of the Hull Local Tribunal, 1916-1918

Union of Democratic Control

The UDC (ref U DDC) was a pressure group formed in 1914 as a response to what was perceived as an increasingly military influence on government policy. Including minutes, files, annual reports, pamphlets and periodicals for the period. See also Conscientious Objection for further information.

City of Hull Great War Trust

The Trust was established in 1918 to help those injured in the First World and the dependants of those killed or disabled. It was regularised by a deed of 1923 and wound up in 1983. The collection (ref C WU and C DSG) is largely comprised of Committee Minutes. The earliest of these (ref C DSG/1) covers November 1918 to March 1920.

Co-operative Women’s Guild

The co-operative movement in England had its origins in the writings of Robert Owen from the 1820s. The practical expression of his ideas came in 1844 with the foundation of the Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society, which was fully established by the 1850s. This society opened stores and workshops and was based on the principle of working people linked together in a system of manufacturing, distributing, selling and buying goods in a way that was co-operative and would, therefore, protect their interests. However, co-operative societies excluded women from membership and their early involvement was only as consumers, a fact that was later translated into the visual motto of 'the woman with the basket'.

In 1883 Alice Acland persuaded the editor of the Co-operative News to let her have a 'Woman's Corner'. In the issue of 14 April 1883 it was announced that 'The Woman's League for the Spread of Co-operation' had formed. The Women's Co-operative Guild came into confrontation with male co-operators over pacifism in the years around the First World War and attempts were made to promote global co-operation. The Guild ran the dramatically effective white poppy campaign in 1932, using white poppies as an inversion of the armistice symbol of the red poppy. The collection (ref U DCW) includes minutes, annual reports and publications for the period.

Rose, Downs and Thompson

The origins of Rose, Downs and Thompson date back to 1777 when John Todd established a foundry in Hull. Products at that time included cannons and parts for windmills, which were the company's first introduction into the world of oilseed crushing. As the port of Hull grew it also became one of the world's largest centres for the crushing of oil bearing seeds and Rose Downs and Thompson Ltd. became a major supplier to this industry. By 1820 the company had installed its first hydraulic press for expelling oil from Linseed.

In 1833 Mrs Christiana Rose inherited ownership of the company. She employed Mr James Downs, who was to become a partner in the company, and in 1874 her grandson Mr Campbell Thompson also became a partner and the company name became Rose, Downs and Thompson. The company was to trade under this name for over 100 years and became renowned throughout the world as a leading supplier of oil processing equipment. The Downs family connection continued for over 140 years and Mr Leslie Downs, the grandson of Mr James Downs, was the Managing Director when the company celebrated its 200th anniversary in 1977. During its long and distinguished history the company has played a major role in the oilseed industry.

The collection (ref C DBR) includes papers relating to shell production and other matters peculiar to the Great War, 1915-1918, at C DBR/1914-1936; and records relating to the Hull and District Munitions of War Committee, 1915-1919, at C DBR/2547-2557.

Humber Conservancy

The Humber Conservancy Board had a wide range of powers governing the River Humber including aspects such as:

  • the removal of wrecks and other obstructions
  • the granting of permission to construct jetties, landing stages, slipways etc.
  • buoyage and beaconage and the Pilotage of the Humber.

The collection (ref C DPD) includes correspondence relating to the Examination Service during WW1 (C DPD/1/3/9), the absence of officers and servants of staff of the Board on active service 1917-1918 (C DPD/1/3/26-27), military service and exemptions for staff 1915-1918 and applications in respect of Humber Pilots and apprentices, Goole pilots, floating and other staff to the local Hull Labour committee 1916-1918 (C DPD/1/3/28-31) and plan of the piers at Sunk Island and Stallinborough to serve the Humber Defence Batteries September 1914 (C DPD/1/3/67).

There are also Rolls of Honour listing officers and servants of the Humber Conservancy who have been or are on active service in H.M. Forces c.1914-1919 (C DPD/1/11/1-3), records relating to World War I pilotage and convoys in Grimsby 1914-1916 (C DPD/1/23) and details of the dues and registration fees levied on shipping by the Humber Conservancy Board during the war period, 1914-1918 (C DPD/1/16).

Ellerman's Wilson Line

Thomas Wilson Sons & Co., founded with the purchase of its first ship in 1825, was a Hull shipping company which at the outbreak of the First World War was operating 92 vessels. In 1916 the company was sold to Sir John Reeves Ellerman, who renamed it Ellerman's Wilson Line.

The collection (U DEW) contains a number of documents relating to the war years, including 'Secret. Government Business'. List of orders placed for armaments and explosives in the United States (U DEW2/9/35); and 'Associated Line. Casualties 1914-1943' (U DEW2/18/44), which includes details of First World War losses.