Women in Wartime
The war was only two weeks old when the British Government announced plans for the gradual drafting of at least one million women into war work. They would replace men in occupations such as bus conductors, railway cleaners, textile workers, clerks, shop assistants, and in processed food factories. At this early stage of the war, it was thought that at least 500,000 women would be needed by munitions works, though not in skilled work.
This book contains 200+ images from the Mirrorpix Archive. They feature some of the many roles undertaken by women in Britain during the greatest armed conflict in the history of the world.
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By 1945 it is estimated that around 770,000 women were working in engineering, shipbuilding, and vehicle construction. 640,000 were serving in the armed forces, about 10,000 were with the Merchant Navy, and 260,000 were working in munitions. Tens of thousands more were working in transport (railways, buses and trams, canals, road haulage) and 74,000 were in the Women’s Land Army with a further 6,000 in the Women’s Timber Corps. Others worked in local government, the police, or the post office. Still more were employed in Civil Defence where one in six full time ARP wardens was a woman. Others were pilots ferrying new aircraft from manufacturers to RAF squadrons or worked on code breaking at Bletchley Park, and a very brave few were secret agents operating behind enemy lines.