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’. Women had traditionally been involved in charity work, and rapidly directed these roles towards the war effort.
The First World War notably changed the factory landscape in Norfolk. Thousands of women joined the workforce, manufacturing munitions, footwear and clothing. Many employees at Carrow Works volunteered to support the war effort on the home.
Women played a vital role in feeding the nation during wartime, organising food production, cultivating allotments and preserving fruit and vegetables. The Women’s Land Army had 16,000 members in Agricultural, Forage and Timber sections.
How did the First World War affect local communities and women? Explore the role of the sub-postmistress and delve into the history of life on the home front in Great Yarmouth, Raveningham and the Flegg villages.