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Gas cases on a hospital train near Bethune, April 1918, being taken care of by members of Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS).

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Presentation on theme: "Gas cases on a hospital train near Bethune, April 1918, being taken care of by members of Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS)."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gas cases on a hospital train near Bethune, April 1918, being taken care of by members of Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS). This army nursing service numbered only 300 when war broke out but soon recruited thousands more both from its own reserve and from civilian hospitals. They were professionally trained nurses, unlike the VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment) recruits who were usually young girls with no previous nursing experience. World War One

2 The Great Procession of Women (often known subsequently as 'The Right to Serve March') took place on the 17 July Organised by Emmeline Pankhurst, the march through central London was a demonstration of the frustration felt by large numbers of women (many of them former suffragettes) at not being allowed to contribute to the war effort other than by nursing and charity work.

3 Female munition workers or munitionettes working in the TNT shop at Woolwich Arsenal, supervised by Superintendent Lillian Barker. The fierce debate in parliament in May 1915 over the shortage of munitions resulted in the setting up of a Ministry of Munitions, to be headed by David Lloyd George. From being a totally male preserve, munitions factories became female dominated, 90% of the work force being female by The drawbacks of munitions work, the risk of TNT poisoning or of being blown up, were partly compensated for by high wages, which could top 4 pounds per week compared with only 5 shillings a week in domestic service.

4 Munition workers at Woolwich Arsenal going to the canteen. Government interference in munitions factories brought with it benefits as well as restrictions. Canteens began to be the norm rather than the exception and reasonable lavatories and washing facilities were provided. Medical services and rest rooms were also introduced.

5 Women coke heavers at work. This is one of a large series of photos of aspects of life on the home front taken by Horace Nicholls during 1916 and Concerned to show the unusual rather than the commonplace at that time, Nicholls tended to concentrate on women rather than men doing certain jobs.

6 Milk-roundswomen delivering the milk. The gradual take over by women of men's work spread beyond purely war production into a wide sphere from office work and transport to agriculture and all kinds of services.

7 Women railway ticket collector. Transport showed the greatest proportionate increase in women's employment from 18,000 in 1914 to 117,000 in 1918, the biggest leap coming after the introduction of conscription in As well as clippies on the railways, women became both conductress and drivers on the trams and buses.

8 Members of the Women Police Service on duty at a railway station. Margaret Damer Dawson set up the Women Police Service in February Never officially part of the Police Force, their work consisted mainly of patrols in the cities to protect women and girls in the West End of London, at major railway stations, near army camps and at munitions factories. It was not until the early 1920s that women were accepted into the Metropolitan Police.

9 First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY) driver cranking up her ambulance, Calais January Originally founded in 1907 as a means of bringing immediate first aid to the wounded on the battlefield, in 1916 the FANYs became the first women to drive for the British Army, their role being by this time transport and convoys rather than nursing. FANYs received 100 decorations during the war and were the only women's service not to be disbanded at the end of the First World War.

10 A Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps (QMAAC) cook preparing dinner for the troops, Rouen September The WAAC (Women's Army Auxiliary Corps) had been formed in December 1916 with the purpose of freeing more men to go to the front by recruiting women to do all the support work such as cooking, driving, etc. Many were sent to work in France behind the lines and by the end of the war their numbers had totaled 57,000. In May 1918 they were re-named Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps.

11 Ratings of the Women's Royal Navy Service (WRNS) carrying a mine which has been washed ashore. The Royal Navy was slower to recruit women than was the Army but in November 1917 recruiting posters appeared to attract women into various types of shore duties. Their main tasks were as messengers, postwomen and waitresses in the officers' mess but they were also at the forefront of the development of wireless telegraphy. They remained the smallest of the women's services, never numbering more than 7,000

12 Women's Royal Air Force (WRAF) motor cyclist. The WRAF was set up in April 1918 and many of its early members were drawn from the WAAC and WRNS. They worked as drivers, typist, telephonists and storekeepers rather as they would have done in the other services. In addition, however, some received technical training and became skilled fitters, riggers, electricians and acetylene welders. Their numbers reached 32,000.

13 A mother saying goodbye to her children who are being evacuated. Only children under 5 were accompanied by their mothers when evacuated, the remainder being entrusted to teachers, WVS workers and others volunteers. Inevitably this led to heartache on both sides and by Christmas 1939, with no air raids having occurred, 700,000 of the 1.5 million evacuees who left for the country in September had returned home World War Two

14 Women queuing outside a greengrocer's in Wood Green, North London. While many foods, including meat, cheese and butter were rationed after 1940, others like fish and vegetables remained off ration throughout the war. However, demand inevitably outstripped supply and many hours were wasted queuing for food that ran out all too quickly.

15 WVS workers provide refreshments at a Blitz canteen. Set up by Lady Reading in 1938, the Women's Voluntary Service had 300,000 members within a year, most from the middle and upper classes since the work was unpaid. They were involved in a wide variety of activities but the provision of food, clothing and shelter to victims of the Blitz was perhaps the most important.

16 First aid workers on duty in Chelmsford, Essex. Women were expected to play an active role in Civil Defence and by 1942 there were 80,000 full time and 350,000 part time workers involved as wardens, ambulance drivers, first aiders and fire fighters. However discrimination persisting as regards pay, a female warden receiving only 2 pounds, 3 shillings and 6 pence for a full week's work rather than the man's 3 pounds and 5 shillings.

17 Women making tank tracks. With the introduction of female conscription in December 1941, women were given the choice of joining the auxiliary services or finding work in essential industries. By 1943 there were 7.5 million women in employment, often in areas such as engineering that had traditionally been regarded as a male preserve.

18 Workers in a Royal Ordnance Factory canteen. In order to save time and to ensure that workers were adequately fed, the Ministry of Food encouraged employers to provide canteens, numbers rising from about 1,500 in 1939 to 18,000 in Ordinary canteens were allowed more meat, cheese, butter and sugar than restaurants and those for heavy industry were given twice as much again. In addition the canteen also provided a useful social centre.

19 Children at the Flin Green Road Nursery, Birmingham. To release more mothers for work extra provision was made for the care of young children. By 1943 there were about 1,450 state run nurseries with places for 65,000 children and another 130,000 under fives had been allocated spaces at elementary and nursery schools.

20 School mistress refereeing a football match at Queen's College, Taunton. Teaching was one of those professions, like nursing and the Civil Service, from which a women was expected to resign if she married. The shortage of staff brought about by the war ended this, greatly enhancing the married women's career prospects in these areas.

21 Land Army Girls picking sprouts. Re-formed under Lady Denman in June 1939, the Women's Land Army had nearly 90,000 members at its peak. In return for 48 shillings a week and 7 days leave a year, the girls worked long hours, often in primitive conditions.

22 ATS recruits rushing to their posts during the Battle of Britain. Formed in 1938, the Auxiliary Territorial Service comprised over 200,000 women by While some were restricted to routine office work, others played an important part in the country's air defences working barrage balloons, search lights and anti-aircraft batteries. Although not directly involved in combat, nearly 400 members of the ATS were killed in action.

23 A Wren mechanic welding aboard a landing craft. The Women's Royal Naval Service, which had been disbanded in 1919, was revived 20 years later with the threat of war and had nearly 75,000 recruits in However, although they were involved in 90 different areas of work, the Navy, unlike the other services, never placed its women on an equal footing with its men.

24 Radar plotters at Fighter Command Headquarters during the Battle of Britain. The Women's Auxiliary Air Force was the second largest of the women's services with 182,000 members in 1943, approximately 16% of the total strength of the R.A.F. Although none was allowed to fly, they were involved in ground control and observation, as well as comprising 70% of the workforce in some skilled trades.


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