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Industry

Otley's industries provided the men and materials that ultimately helped Britain win the First World War.  In the initial patriotic rush to volunteer roughly a third of the male employees in the town's principal employers, the printing engineering firms and the textile mills, joined the the armed services to fight, and die, on the Western Front

 

As the war dragged on such labour shortages were overcome through the increasing use of female workers and the employment of men from previously non-industrial backgrounds, including local publicans and even a theatre manager

 

What they helped produce were the materials of war; specialised lathes for turning shells and shell cases were manufactured by the printing engineering companies, Otley Mills produced khaki cloth for army uniforms, and Barker's leather works made 3 million boots for the Russian Army alone

 

Through such endeavours Otley made a significant contribution towards the victory in 1918

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Otley Mills Grove Hill Memorial