To commemorate the part women played in the ‘Great War’, we bring you images and footage from the Bridgeman archive.
Woman working in an arms factory, c.1916 by Jacques Moreau, Archives Larousse, Paris
Women at their workplaces
Before the outbreak of WWI, the role of women mainly involved looking after their households and fulfilling domestic chores. With their husbands leaving for the front, many new job opportunities arose. Women started to work as military caregivers, nurses or took over positions in ammunition factories as munitions were needed in vast supplies for warfare. Life would never be the same again.
Left: Woman driving a tram in Toulouse during WWI / Bibliotheque Nationale / Archives Charmet Right: City street female sweeper, Paris, 1915, Jacques Moreau (b.1887) / Archives Larousse, Paris, France / Giraudon
In Great Britain alone, five million women were working by 1918. Many of them were recruited into industrial positions. Propaganda posters produced by organisations all over the world encouraged women to work hard during these dire times.
Left: Poster depicting women making munitions, English School / Private Collection / Peter Newark Military Pictures Right: Women are working day & night to win the War, English School / Private Collection / The Stapleton Collection
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