This is part of LindGHill‘s Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Linda said
As the prompt this week is “mem” and as tomorrow is official Remembrance Sunday here in the UK . I thought I would remember the women for WW1 and WW2 who took over all the jobs that the men who had been sent off to war left empty here in what was known then as Great Britain.
Not only did the women do these , sometimes very dangerous jobs,but they looked after the families and homes. Now I do not wish in any way to detract from the huge sacrifice of all the men who fought for our countries during the two wars .
Please forgive any mistakes as it is SoCs I had no time to research or prepare.
Remember the women left back home.
They made the ammunition for Tommy
Dangerous work,they died too it was not funny.
Women became officers of the law
Something never heard of before.
Nurses, drivers even pilots for planes
Remember them we will never know their names
Someone had to give the farmers a hand
Remember the men were at war in a foreign land.
The members of the ” fairer sex ”
Drove the buses, trains and lorries
Kept all essential job going ,however complex
They also fed the family and kept the Home Fires Burning
During the wars ww1 and ww2 women filled in the gaps that the men who had been sent off to war left. It is not always remembered that they, worked in the factorys drove buses , trains and flew planes and probably sailed ships. They became members of the forces, nurses at home and on the war front too. They were also seconded into the police these jobs were almost unheard of for women before the first world war. They also had to do hard farm labour on the farms to help keep the food supplies going.
Women worked in shipyards, built planes and also made ammunition, hard and dangerous work.
It was not just the fact that the bombs , shells or landmines could explode if mishandled but the TNT was dangerous to the women’s health.
” Munitions workers whose job was filling shells were prone to suffer from TNT poisoning. TNT stood for Trinitrotoluene – an explosive which turned the skin yellow of those who regularly came into contact with it. The munitions workers who were affected by this were commonly known as ‘canaries’ due to their bright yellow appearance. Although the visible effects usually wore off, some women died from working with TNT, if they were exposed to it for a prolonged period. As Ethel Dean, who worked at Woolwich Arsenal, recalled, ‘Everything that that powder touches goes yellow. All the girls’ faces were yellow, all round their mouths. They had their own canteen, in which everything was yellow that they touched… Everything they touched went yellow – chairs, tables, everything.’ (IWM SR 9439) More imformation here
Women did so many jobs that before the first world war, those of the middle and higher class would never even contemplated. Many died of injury and of disease due to chemicals, asbestos used in badly ventilated buildings.
All images from Google Images women at war ww1 and ww2