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World War I Impact on Clock Making Industry

We all owe a huge debt to the brave souls that lost their lives in WWI and WWII. They protected us in this country and providing the freedom we now have today. With 100 years since the start of World War I, I would like to write a short blog as my form of dedication and memory to them.

Clock Factories Change Production

In an effort to help us win World War One clock factories in the UK changed production from things like clocks to military hardware. Smiths and Sons based in Cricklewood, were one such company, they were established in 1851 had a very technical workforce. As well as clocks that were needed for the war effort, they helped with things like fuse production. This company also produced the first odometer and speedometer. We are all in this together was not just a saying but in real action during the war years. Everyone chipped in with helping with the war effort, and confronting the foe that stood before us.

John King Clock

We have just had the honour of restoring for sale a superb antique grandfather clock by John King of London. It is not often you get any real history or insight into what was going on through periods of the clocks life. With this clock we get an insight into what war life was like in WWI in our antique clock repair department.

Engraved on the movement are the following things that really sends a shiver to the spine.

Cleaned & Repaired By W.U.Holmes  September 1914

‘At war with Germany & Austria and still smiling ‘

Later Engraved in Nov/December 1917

‘War still on. But no smiles now.’ W.U.Holmes

You really get the impact on life, through this small engraving. The effect of the war years by a horologist at the time. When I am ever miserable or think I wish I had this or that, I think back to conditions and hardships back during wartime. I realize just how lucky most of us are today.

Debt of gratitude

My thoughts go out to all those who gave up their lives so we have our freedom that we live with today. We owe a great debt to women during the World War’s who manned most of the factories at home whilst their husbands were fighting on the front line. They made ammunitions and things vital to the war effort.

War time engraving still visible DSC_0088 DSC_0089