With most men being required for military service during WW1, that left a huge gap in the employment market at home, and created the need for some women to serve overseas too. Women took on many traditionally male roles during the men’s absence, and thousands more chose to serve as nurses, or in branches of the armed forces.
Members of the Women’s Fire Brigade at the training school.
Munitions workers. Thousands of women worked long hours in that dangerous job. During the war, over 400 of them were killed in explosions or accidents whilst working.
Female Ambulance drivers leaving for France. They worked close to the front lines, and many were killed or injured.
Railways had to run and be maintained throughout the war.
These are female luggage porters working at a London Railway Station.
As well as driving buses, women were employed to repair and service the buses too.
These women are recycling paper by pulling apart old ledgers.
Women also did hard physical jobs outside, such as these female building workers.
In 1918, the King and Queen held a gathering at Buckingham Palace to thank all the women who served in the forces during the war. These are members of the Women’s Royal Air Force.
The gathering inside the palace. Those in white aprons are nurses who served at the front, or in hospitals at home.