Ladies ‘doing their bit’ for the war effort in the north-east of Scotland.
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PEDERSEN, S., 2015. Ladies ‘doing their bit’ for the war effort in the north-east of Scotland. Women’s History: The Journal of the Women’s History Network, Vol. 2(2), pp. 16-20.
My son’s primary school class recently undertook a project on the First World War. One of the topics that the children could choose to study was ‘Women in the War’ and the usual subjects were included – nurses, VADs, munitionettes and the women’s auxiliary services. As was obvious from the wall displays, such contributions to the war effort were mostly undertaken by unmarried, younger women, although of course many of the organisations were under the (nominal at least) leadership of older men. There were very few photographs or descriptions of older women in the children’s project. As Braybon points out, it is young and photogenic women who were most likely to receive attention and become part of the photographic record of the war.1 This led me to ask where the older married women were during the war. What was their contribution to the war effort and how has it been perceived by posterity?