On April 10, 1917, the Eddystone Ammunition Corporation was to become a household word across the United States. On that Monday, April 10th at about 9:55 a.m., “F” Building of the plant was torn apart by a terrible explosion. “F” Building was where about 380 girls and young women were loading shells with black powder. One hundred and thirty-two persons, mostly girls, lost their lives in the explosion. The majority of the women killed worked in the loading room. The first explosion was followed by two smaller ones. Bodies were thrown in the air and some were found hundreds of yards away. The Chester Times published three extra editions the day of the explosion. At first, many thought the explosion was an act of sabotage as the United States had just entered World War 1 just days before the explosion. Fifty-two of the dead were never identified.

The unidentified dead were buried at a mass funeral service in Chester Rural Cemetery. The service was held on April 13 at 11:00 a.m. An estimated 12,000 people attended the funeral service. The Eddystone Ammunition Company paid for all the funeral services. In less then two weeks the company was back to work. The mystery of the explosion was never solved. Whether it was carelessness on the part of a worker, German sabotage or Russian sabotage, the cause never became known. Investigators later felt that the Russian, Leon Trotsky, had the plant sabotaged to prevent the shells from reaching the new government set by Kerensky, which was democratic. The Plant closed shortly after the First World War ended and remained empty for many years. In 1956, the Plant was bought by Philadelphia Electric Company and torn down for the company’s Eddystone Power Station.

Text Box: Burial:
Chester Rural Cemetery
Delaware County, Pennsylvania
Plot: Section U, Rows 248 to 251

The Eddystone Police Department also dedicates this page to our United States Military Forces.

Text Box: In Memory of Someone We Loved Dearly

Somewhere someone’s sad today,
With broken heart that once was gay.
A loved one’s gone to life’s own goal;
The body’s here, but not the soul.
She’s gone to seek a land so fair,
Leaving those who fondly care.
In deepest reverence now we pray
For her, and someone who is sad today.
You and I must do the same.
Answering when He calls our name.
Heavenward then we’ll wend our way,
Leaving somewhere, someone sad today.
Look forward to that glorious end,
Where we shall meet our truest friend.
We know full well life ends that way,
Still somewhere, someone’s sad today.
-By Charles Granger.
In Loving Memory

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Website created by: Lt. J. Pretti