Can you identify these women?

The photo below shows a group of 43 women who worked in the Defence Industries Limited munitions factory in Verdun. It was found by the Montreal Gazette’s theatre critic Pat Donnelly among her late uncle’s possessions. Her uncle, Fr. Francis Malone, C.S.S.R., had been a priest at St. Ann’s in Montreal’s Griffintown neighbourhood in the early 1940s.

Fr. F.M. Malone Collection, Courtesy of Pat Donnelly, Montreal Gazette

Fr. F.M. Malone Collection, Courtesy of Pat Donnelly, Montreal Gazette

The caption written on the back of the photo reads: “DIL Verdun, Quality Control Department,” followed by a coy “can you find me?” plus the date, 1944, and a helpful hint: “1st in 1st row.”

In Canada, the cultural icon representing women who worked in defence weapon factories during WWII was Ronnie, the Bren Gun Girl, borrowed from the name of the real woman, Veronica Foster, who posed for the posters. In the United States, she was dubbed Rosie the Riveter.

View a slighter clearer image of the photo and read the entire article here:

If you spot a relative in the photo, please send an email to Ms. Donnelly at pdonnel@montrealgazettecom.


About Gail Dever

Gail Dever is a Montreal-based genealogist and blogger and a webmaster for the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa.
This entry was posted in Military, Montreal, Photos and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Can you identify these women?

  1. Susan Gingras Calcagni says:

    I’m surely going to give it a whirl. I’ll show it to my Aunt Gladys as she grew up in Verdun and in in this age group. I think I’ll print off the photo and leave it with her after our visit. I know she enjoys going down memory lane. Thanks, found a little project for my dear one.

    • Bob Price says:

      8:10 AM (4 minutes ago)

      Hi Gail Dever and Pat Donnelly
      First I sent an email to the addresses on the website and tried for a better photo but my email was returned undeliverable and the clearer image isn’t at that location so I cut an pasteds the email here hopefully you will get it.

      You can’t believe my surprise when I did a search of “vintage images of Verdun Quebec and saw the photo below posted by you. My mother and a few aunts are in the picture but I could barely make them out from the size but I do know for a fact that it is the same picture my mother used to show us and tell us about her working at the D.I.L. during the war, she is the woman on the top row second from left in black cap and my Aunt Kay is the K.P. with the arrow pointing at her on the bottom row first on the left. Her full name is Katherine Peachey. I have written a bit below about her as she was very active in the Catholic Church in Verdun for about 86 years and her mother and father before her. She was later to become an executive with a Montreal Ad Agency who supplied all the advertising on Montreal’s buses, Subway System Le Metro and Taxi’s at Place Ville Marie. If possible I would like to obtain a larger more clearer photo as I went to the link supplied by you but the image isn’t there any longer and I would love a copy for my genealogy files and to identify more of my aunts who I know are also in the photo but can’t make out on this smaller version.
      Thanks for any assistance.
      Bob Price

      Ps I am also interested in any other stories or photos pertaining to the DIL and Verdun during the war.
      While searching for the same photograph I remember seeing of my mother during WWII. I would like to see a better version or copy of it as I believe the person with the arrow and initials K.P. is of my Aunt Katherine (Kay) Peachey who lived in Verdun for 86 years and attended the church where the father F.M. Malone was situated (she was very active in the Catholic Women’s League and traveled around the world for them.) She lived at No. 40 Osborne St.Since her father Gerald Peachey had arrived from Ireland, and who owned a local grocery store near my mother Bernice Jeanette Price nee. Kunzli, who lived at 3967 Evilyn Verdun and who is also in the photo. Top Row Back second from left. I know some of the other women but without a clear picture of their faces I couldn’t identify anyone else. (I only know the two people from having seen the larger 8×10 my mother had which was lost when my father passed away and many things where given to various relatives. If you have a clearer photo I would appreciate a copy if you could scan the original and email it to me for my genealogical archives which I have been working on for 35 years. At one point during the war all my relatives lived in or near Verdun. Hope this helps you in identifying Rosie the Riveter.

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