Tuesday, 10 October 2017


First World War Recruitment Poster


 It will never happen... or would it? 

Even in 1902, prior to WW1, articles appeared telling of the history of women in war... was this some kind of premonition or just acknowledging that women have always stood up for what they believed in.

Please click on articles to enlarge...

By 1911, more articles were appearing.. 
this was published in 

Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (NSW : 1876 - 1954) , Wednesday 27 September 1911, 
National Library of Australia
Recruitment Poster UK & Australia

Shepparton Advertiser (Vic. : 1914 - 1953), Monday 25 January 1915, page 2 
National Library of Australia

By WWII, it had become to be taken for granted that women would be involved in far more than raising funds and nursing... The Australian Women's Land Army was just one organisation that had little trouble recruiting women.    
Australian War Memorial

The following photos are from the Argus Newspaper Collection of Photographs, State Library of Victoria and are out of copyright. All were sourced from TROVE    Pictures, photos,objects 

Women of the Australian Women's Land Army at work
Shows a girl driving a harvester at the Research Farm, Werribee, Vic.; girls using a transplanting machine; stacking hay; Y.W.C.A. Women's Garden Army ploughing land made available by the Brighton Council; Connie Woodward on stack of grass hay with Margaret Creswick; 

Shows part of the group of A.A.N.S. women, civilian nurses and other women involved in war work after being held for over 2 years. They had been captured at Rabaul and taken to Manila and then to Japan. 

Australian War Memorial

Women were involved worldwide

National Library of Australia

Tweed Daily (Murwillumbah, NSW : 1914 - 1949), Tuesday 10 February 1942, page 2 
National Library of Australia http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article194547374 

Australian War Memorial

Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW : 1888 - 1954), Wednesday 1 July 1942, page 1 
National Library of Australia

This was thought to be a vast improvement...

 By 1944, women were no longer a novelty in many fields...

Central Queensland Herald (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1930 - 1956), Thursday 24 September 1942, page 17 

National Library of Australia

Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld. : 1933 - 1954), Wednesday 15 December 1943, page 2 
National Library of Australia

We don't hear a lot about the effect that the war had on the children...

Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), Wednesday 6 January 1943, page 5 
National Library of Australia
Many well known personalities became involved in the war effort...

WOMEN IN WAR WORK was a regular column in TRUTH, Brisbane...

Truth (Brisbane, Qld. : 1900 - 1954), Sunday 24 January 1943, page 20 
National Library of Australia

However, post war, with the men returning, there was a cry for women to resign and give the jobs to the men... something, many were reluctant to do, as they had gotten used to working in all manner of jobs. Also not all women had husbands to support them now.. a social problem which was very much a problem of the times.
Editorials such as the one below cried out that the women should stand aside...

Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), Tuesday 19 March 1946, page 1
National Library of Australia

As things do, eventually it all settled down, though it took many years to recover from the war.. if we ever do...another story for another time.

One of the most famous photos of the celebrations at the announcement of the end of the war in the Pacific.

Dancing Man, Sydney, Australia, 15 August 1945

For extra reading...

just a few of the many articles/sites that are available... and of course, there is always TROVE

https://ww1.sl.nsw.gov.au  view the collection

https://ww1.sl.nsw.gov.au/diary-readings   Listen to recordings of diaries…

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