War workers

Photograph showing two women war workers on the railways, 1942, Catalogue ref: RAIL 1057/3280(c)

By December 1939, 43,000 women had volunteered for active duty in the Women’s Auxiliary Services of the Army, Navy and Air Force. They were not allowed to fight but did work that supported the efforts of the soldiers, sailors and airmen. At first this included typing, cooking, cleaning, driving and operating telephone switchboards but they were soon given more military work to do, such as identifying enemy aircraft, plotting air and shipping movements on battle maps, and acting as motorcycle messengers.

Return to Home Front 1939-1945 (part two)