Sunday, July 20, 2014

Fighting on the Home Front

During the past month I have been concentrating on researching my family history research. Researching an individual or a family can often lead to undertaking research on a broader topic - in this case, women in England during the First World War.

Fighting on the Home Front: the legacy of women in Wold War One by Kate Adie (2013) is a good book for an overview of the effect of the war on the lives of women in England. With so many men fighting overseas women stepped in to keep essential services operating and also to assist with the war effort in England and overseas. Some of the work was paid but much was voluntary following on the practice of voluntary work undertaken by many women prior to the war. The skills of these women were put to good use not only in supporting the war effort but also in supporting women whose roles had dramatically changed during this period of conflict.

The Virago Book of Women and the Great War 1914-1918, edited by Joyce Marlow (1998). This is a chronological account of events that occurred from 1914 to 1918 from the perspective of women. The book contains excerpts from newspaper articles, books, diaries, correspondence, memoirs portraying the effect of the war on women in many countries, including England, involved in the fighting and the social changes that followed.

Singled Out: how two million women survived with out men after the First World War by Virginia Nicholson (2007) looks at the plight of women who had been brought up to believe that they would marry and have families but, because of the large numbers of men killed and wounded during the war, were to remain single. The book looks at stories of women who found different ways of coping in a new world and the wide reaching social changes and, sometimes, opportunities that opened for some women after the war.

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