International Women’s Day 2019

I am running  so late  today , I have  not had  time  to write a post  for  International Women’s Day. I thought I  would re-post  an SoCs from November 2016. In  that post I pad tribute to  the  women  of  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 .

First a poem.

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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

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And  then a song.

 

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 factories  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.

Also some Facts.

” 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.

Also  they played  their  part in  SOE   read here   and also  here  .

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All images  from  Google Images  women  at  war  WW1 and WW2

My tribute to all women past present and future. We have always and always will pick up the slack , support men and do our best. Today there are women leading full services lives in all our armed forces and police.

 

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