Women made vital contributions to the war effort across the region on active service and fighting on the home front. Their crucial roles and experiences during the First World War challenged stereotypes and proved vital.
FIRST WORLD WAR WOMEN ON ACTIVE SERVICE
Thousands of women’s lives were completely transformed during the First World War. Women proved their strength and bravery in a varied roles in military service, hospitals, on the land, in factories, and on the home front changing roles and perceptions of women in society.
For this strand of the project, volunteers uncover the stories of Norfolk women working with Norfolk Libraries, Norfolk Record Office, Norfolk Heritage Centre and other museums and collections in Norfolk.
EXPLORE THE HISTORY
Wounded soldiers that had undergone surgery or suffered serious illness needed somewhere to rest and recuperate before returning to the front line. To accommodate this, additional hospitals were set-up across Britain.
In 1914, Norfolk women were mobilised through a uniquely feminine type of patriotism closely intertwined with the idea of ‘women’s duties’. In contrast, a number of pacifist communities spread across Britain with an increasing number of female reformers.
The Norwich engineering company of Boulton & Paul were specialists in sectional and steel-framed buildings. In 1915, at the request of the British government, they embarked upon the new venture of aeroplane production and a workforce of women were recruited.
Life on the home front included criminal activity and in wartime Norfolk, women were commonly recorded as committing crimes. Any female convicted and admitted to Norwich Prison had her name and crime recorded in red ink in the admissions register.
How did the First World War affect local communities and women? Delve into the history of life on the home front in Great Yarmouth, Raveningham and the Flegg villages of Hemsby, Martham, Winterton, Somerton, Scratby and Caister.