During all these years 'Duncans' as it was then called had always made pipes under the shadow of Smithfield Market. Then in 1940, after the terrible night in December when the German bombers visited Manchester, they were compelled to move higher up Shudehill to premises in the fruit and vegetable market.
The Second World War came and Robert Henry Duncan son of John Louis was serving with the Royal Artillery in the Normandy landings, and was away from the business from 1940 until 1946. During these times materials for pipes were almost unobtainable, but many substitute woods were tried, and although by no means as good as Briar root, they served to retain the smokers' interest in pipes.
In order to retain the services of their valuable labour force, contracts were accepted for small precision work from the Admiralty. It was a period of severe stress for all, working all day and air raid duty in the evening. Thankfully our staff were spared to return to full production in 1946.