On 3 April 1918, the third day of Tank Week, a Women’s Demonstration was organised by the local branch of the National Union of Women Workers (NUWW). On 4 April, the Eastern Daily Press reported on the event describing it as ‘incomparably greater than anything the week had witnessed so far.’ Women marched to Norwich Guildhall in their thousands, including representatives of women railways workers, Carrow Works, the Women’s Land Army, the Women’s Co-operative Guild, the Milk Girls, the Boot and Shoe Cooperative and women and girls employed in printing and allied trades.
The centrepiece of the demonstration was Nelson, one of the tanks used for the publicity drive. Nelson was used as a platform for speeches made by women of the NUWW, the organisers of the demonstration, who encouraged Norwich women to contribute to the war effort and implement war savings in their home lives. The speakers included; the President Lady Suffield, the Vice-President Lucy Bignold, the Treasurer Mrs Pillow, the Chairman of the Council Miss Wise, the Demonstration organiser Margaret Hill, Lady Gurney a Lady Fellow of the NUWW and council members Miss Burgess, Mrs Soman, Mrs Hazard and Mrs Colman. The Lady Mayoress also spoke from the top of the tank praising the achievement of women in the present time of crisis and urging women to lend their country every penny they could spare.
Lord Mayor Ethel Colman
The success of the WI in Norfolk was the result of a small band of pioneers including Lord Mayor Ethel Colman, who is pictured above with other founding members of the WI movement in Norfolk, at a special event at St Andrew’s Hall, c.1924. Lady Denman, the leading lady of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes, is pictured second from right.