Working in the
forges : hell

Achille Moyon :

"I started in 1915, as a works' boy. It was the war. I was twelve."

(...) "The men, they wore flannel, overalls, vests, it scorched your skin. They approached, not too close, with pliers to turn the ingots over, and if it wasn't hot enough, they sent them back to the kiln. Kids like me, we had to take the ingots at the mouth of the kiln, as an eel by its head, to carry them to the wagons. (...) The one who didn't know the factory, quite often they took him back in the evening on a stretcher, sometimes even sooner, after a couple of hours. He hadn't seen the danger. Had to be young, had to be brought up in there to jump over the red scrap-irons... (...) Sometimes bars went through men's bodies like through nothing."

"Money ? We didn't scrape much then. Forty pennies a day. Eight pennies for a three kilo bread, eight pennies for half a kilo of butter. It was fishing that saved us : the Factory from 6 am to 6 pm - twelve hours a day we did - and half the night fishing in the Brière. So we had started having two or three cows, for a little milk, butter, and the patch with potatoes, vegetables."

Back to the Introduction

Trignac, une cité en devenir de 1880 à 1960,
Association Trignacaise pour la lecture, AREMORS