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Women and WW2

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As the prospect of war became increasingly likely, the government wanted to increase the amount of food grown within Britain. This would mean that less food would have to be imported freeing up more ships for troop movements and reducing the risk of convoys being attacked. In order to grow more food, more help was needed on the farms and so the government started the Women's Land Army. The Women's Land Army was set up in June 1939 and by September it had over 1,000 members. By 1941, its numbers had risen to 20,000 and, at its peak in 1943, over 80,000 women classed themselves as 'Land Girls'. ...read more.


Some women lived in hostels but most lived on individual farms. Conditions were often poor and pay was low but many women enjoyed the work. The Women's Land Army remained in existence until 1950. The Women's Voluntary Services (WVS) began in June 1938 to prepare women for civil defence work. By September 1939, the WVS had 336,000 members, increasing to 1 million members during the war. One of the main tasks of the WVS was to recruit women for Air Raid Precautions services (ARP). They also ran field kitchens and rest centres for people made homeless by bombing; provided canteens at railway stations for soldiers and sailors; escorted children being evacuated; running clothing centres for those who had lost all their possessions; operating car pools ...read more.


Although some of the duties of the WVS may have seemed bring, the women carried out vital war work, helping Britain to run as normal. The work could be dangerous and some members of the WVS were killed on duty. The WVS is still in existence today and is known as the Women's Royal Voluntary Service (WRVS). Although women had worked in factories before, there was a big increase after war broke out in 1939. As men were called-up to join the Armed Forces more and more women were needed to replace them. Women could not do the heaviest lifting jobs that still needed the greater physical strength of men and they were not sent to work in the mines but they soon proved that they could do almost any job usually undertaken by a man, and do it as well, if not better. ...read more.

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