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World War 1 Women in War ww1

Updated on August 30, 2014

A Housemaid WW 1

House Maid typical work for a woman before the outbreak of World War 1
House Maid typical work for a woman before the outbreak of World War 1

The Unsung Hero's of WW1

Before the outbreak of World War One in 1914 a woman's role in the workplace was quite restricted, jobs for women consisted mainly of domestic labor, nursing, teaching, and agriculture if their family owned a small holding.

Although some women were employed in factories they performed mainly menial and repetitive tasks and were paid a small percentage of what their male counterparts earned.

The Great War changed the role of women in the workplace forever, as more and more young men volunteered or were conscripted into the armed forces to fight in the war, women were called upon to fill their roles in the factories, mines and many other roles traditionally carried out by the men.

Women were the unsung hero's of the war, keeping the industrial wheels turning and the home fires burning.

The Woman's Army WW 1

Although very few women ever fought in The Great War women were enlisted into Auxiliary Armies, so that the men could be released to fight on the front line.

In the UK, many women joined the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps, which later became known as Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps.

The women were largely employed on unglamorous tasks on the lines of communication: cooking and catering, store keeping, clerical work, telephony and administration, printing, motor vehicle maintenance.

women also became truck and ambulance drivers as more and more of the men were called to the front line.

The Women's Land Army

The Woman's Land Army

Because of naval battles and blockades during the war food supplies from abroad became scarce and food production on the home front had to be massively increased, in Britain 113,000 women joined the Women's Land Army which was set up in 1917, to provide a workforce to run the farms.

Many members of the land army came from the middle and upper classes of society.

They made a valuable contribution to the war effort, but there numbers were very few compared to the millions of working class women running the farms in the rest of Europe.

The Legion Of Death

The Legion of Death

A number of Russian women joined The Legion of Death, to fight for their country.

The First Battalion from St Petersburg distinguished themselves during a retreat by capturing over 100 German prisoners, sadly a lot of the battalion died during the battle.

Russia's women soldiers pledged to take their own lives rather than become German war prisoners. Each woman soldier carried a ration of cyanide of potassium to be swallowed in case of capture.

The members of the women regiments, agreed that death was to be preferred to the fate they would probably meet at the hands of the Germans.

Nurses on the Frontline

Nursing on the Front Line WW1

With so many men fighting in the trenches, there were hundreds wounded every day, Nurses were brought to the front line, to help in the treatment of those wounded, being on the front line these women ran the risk of being hit by a stray bullet or even shelled during an enemy bombardment.

many of these women were killed whilst carrying out there duties

An Embroidered Handkerchief Sent to a loved one in the Trenches

Keep the Home Fires Burning

Even with their new duties women still found the time to write to their sons, boyfriends, husbands, brothers and friends who were fighting on the front line, sending them momento's from home such as pressed flowers from the garden, photographs and embroidered handkerchiefs.

These letters proved to be essential in boosting the morale of their homesick and frightened men.


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      Madison Martineau 18 months ago

      I feel triggered. but this was very helpful

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      keven johnsen 5 years ago

      this was very good thx

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      John 5 years ago

      Ithink it was brillants and cool.

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      Maria 6 years ago

      This page was so helpful for my History homework. Thx so much and keep on making stuff like this its very helpful.


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      rose 6 years ago

      this will help lots

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      Briy 6 years ago

      Thanks so much for this interesting information. It's really going to help with my U.S. History project.

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      Megan 6 years ago

      Thanks so much, I am going to get a good mark on history project now :)

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      bob 6 years ago

      your a life saver thank u sooo much on me HM : } @ }


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      sora 6 years ago

      thx fr the hlp ty ty!! :):):)

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      hannah xoxoxo 6 years ago

      oh em gee this iz da best help eva!!!! thnx so mch im guna gt an A* nw!!! THNX!!!!!!! XXXOXOXOXOXOXOXXXXXXXXOXOXOXOXOXXXXX

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      Rozzirose 6 years ago

      Thankyou so much!! that was really helpful towards my history homework :):):)x

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      ella 6 years ago


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      orange 6 years ago

      Thank you very mutch for this information

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      jasmin 6 years ago

      that was kool

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      tinkle bell 6 years ago

      Whoever wrote. Thx Really help me out in my HW.

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      katy 6 years ago

      thanks so so much! i'm glad you've said it in the way we speak - informal!

      thanks so much! great help! it was so ineresting to see what life was like for women then!

      thanks xxxx

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      jay 6 years ago


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      Little Miss Trouble 6 years ago

      Thankyouuu this is my History project just about finished

      The info was interestion and very informative



    • profile image

      me 6 years ago

      thanx for the info. x

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      thelma 6 years ago

      wonterful,women are really important people in our lives. imagine whet the world would be like without them.

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      Hannah 6 years ago

      thank you

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      Georgia 6 years ago

      Thanks for the help, i enjoyed reading about this. I can't imagine how the women would feel during this. I love how you tell it like it is.

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      13 6 years ago

      yay!!! that's my history home work just about done thanks for helping!!

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      harry 6 years ago

      good information, however i think you would benefit from doing it in other languages such as welsh, because its difficult to translate certain words and phrases and certain snetences. but did help me, very greatful :) itee but. :M xx

    • profile image

      me 6 years ago

      wow thanks this helping soooooo much lol omg smiley faces

    • profile image

      sammy 7 years ago

      helped me with my hard project

    • profile image

      juytjjkljh 7 years ago

      who done farming in ww1 while the men were off fighting

    • profile image

      Diego 7 years ago

      this is awesome for my hw, sooooo helpful thnx!

    • profile image

      Lola 7 years ago

      Thank you! this was extremely helpful towards my History Project :)

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      eliud 7 years ago

      this was very helpful. thank you

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      dan 7 years ago

      thanks for the info

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      stephanie 7 years ago

      extreamly helpful thanx

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      im good like that 7 years ago

      its well good lol

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      charlotte  7 years ago

      this is a great site it rrreeeaaalllyyy helped me thank you very much !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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      Issabella 7 years ago

      thanks this really helped me with my homework!

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      bella  7 years ago

      WHAT ABOUT THE ARMED FORCESS??? :S connfusedd from this website-thanks :(

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      Cameron M 7 years ago

      Thanks Jimmy, this really helped rejog my memory for my History Homework, all the other websites are crap.

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      mykayla 7 years ago

      this was every helpful... thank u!!

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      Vicky 7 years ago

      This is Fab!

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      kobe 7 years ago

      thanks for info

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      Christina Eskandari 7 years ago

      Very good information on here, but there is a word spelled wrong in the third paragraph of "Unsung Heros.." "Apon" is not a word, it is an acronym. I believe the word that is supposed to be used instead is "upon."

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      Anouser 7 years ago

      Which country is that housemaid in?

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      Bonnie Milnes 7 years ago

      very interesting sorce :)

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      the snort 7 years ago

      this is great thanx

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      Katie 7 years ago

      Thanks this helped ith my History Project

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      Kizaaaa  8 years ago

      Hiyaaa! I am soo glad I have read this! It has really helped me with my history project!. Yh yh Nicole you are right now guys wont just fnk gerls jus have pretty faces! :) :D But serious all my question is on this pagee! :D :) x x x :P ;

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      snort, 8 years ago

      Thanks this helped with my homework!

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      x lol x 8 years ago

      This articale is really good! It so is helping for my history homework, its in for tmrw! Thnx for all the gr8 info, it just shows the true meaning of GIRL POWER!


      x lol x

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      Unknown 8 years ago

      Thanks. It really helped me with my essay and gave me the information i needed.

    • vaneet2310 profile image

      Vaneet Mengi 8 years ago from Delhi

      I am a big follower of World War I & II topics. Whenever I get time I go to the internet & search for new information about the War. But this piece of information is really new & informative for me. People rarely know about the women who were involved in the war.

      Great Job!!!

      Thx a lot for sharing this wonderful information.

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      jalo  8 years ago

      hey thanks it really helps in my humanities :)

    • profile image

      history student 8 years ago

      it was alright... kinda boring though

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      princess 8 years ago

      thanks for story it helped on a project thanks

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      jono 8 years ago

      WOW great info really helped with my assignment. :)

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      someone lol 8 years ago

      i liked it kind of!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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      floyd 8 years ago

      this is very helpful, thanks a lot. can anyone please help me with the topic: "why did men oppose the employment of women work in industry during the first world war" please, this is for my gcse coursework, any help will be appreciates. e-mail me at-

      thanks a lot

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      Nicole 8 years ago

      Great infromation! this helped out A lot with my history report on Women in the War-1917. I can't beleive that women were so Nationalistic to their country that some would rather drink poison during the war. this stuff still amazes me and i hope that it opens the eyes to men that women are much much MUCH more than just a pretty face. :)

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      bob 8 years ago

      very cool you helped a lot woth my history project. Thank you

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      nat 8 years ago

      thanks! helped a lot

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      amber 8 years ago

      Love the info, but how would you cite this in a bibliography. please help.

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      lil miss shawty from school :p 8 years ago

      thank you mr'hub' .u helped me with my history homework on the women at war :D

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      erchelle 8 years ago

      hey baba hubsiee :) cheers for the info hub..

      nice name hub..

      hub, hub, hub :P

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      michin 8 years ago

      women should have had the same oppurtunities as men.

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      Leesha 8 years ago


      thanks for the great hub..

      helped me with my assignment/speech :)

      lol ty

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      kitcat 8 years ago

      I think this is good information

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      p0i8 8 years ago

      this did not help me at all, good effort though

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      rhysl 9 years ago

      cool story my nans mum may have been in "the great War" HUB!!!

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      rhys 9 years ago

      good info man hub

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      Larry Dick 9 years ago

      Awesome shizzzz

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      scarlet 9 years ago

      this site is okaii

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      bob 9 years ago

      oh ya

    • Ashley Joy profile image

      Ashley Joy 9 years ago

      Wonderful work on the research for this hub! We rarely hear about the role that women play in war.

    • santosh1947 profile image

      santosh1947 9 years ago


      thank u so much for a nice info

    • LondonGirl profile image

      LondonGirl 9 years ago from London

      lovely hub, thank you.

      Two of my great-aunts were nurses during the Great War, one in France, one in Liverpool. It was far from being an easy life.

    • ameliehub profile image

      ameliehub 9 years ago from UK

      Great hub. Have joined recently and found this. Really nice. I thought women remain most of the time unheared. Have put all the things in interesting way....

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      livelovecoffee 9 years ago from Georgia

      Great hub. Lots of info I didn't know about. Thanks!!!!!!!

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      sam 9 years ago

      hey awesome website it is very usfull

    • trish1048 profile image

      trish1048 9 years ago

      Interesting hubs on the war. It would be nice if you responded to comments, however. :)

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      ZipClip 9 years ago

      Very good hub

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      xxx 10 years ago

      what's your last name pleaseee!!:....i need it for mi the way....great info, thanx...!!

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      ash 10 years ago

      great info

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      Patrick Bernauw 10 years ago from Flanders (Belgium)

      Very interesting story!... I live in "Flanders Fields" and I am fascinated by "the Great War"!

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      wellness5 10 years ago

      Good to see somebody writing about this- it is often forgotten. Thanks for the great hub.

    • Bob Ewing profile image

      Bob Ewing 10 years ago from New Brunswick

      Great hub and fascinating history, thanks.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Very interesting HUB. I always find it hard to believe that it's been less then a hundred years when women started to get 'unwrapped'. Last year I read a book that was about the Russian women's battalion. I can't remember the author but I will find it. It was quite a harsh look at the way of war life.

      awesome hub regards Zsuzsy

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      bluewings 10 years ago from Milkyway

      Amazing story!

    • Chuck profile image

      Chuck Nugent 10 years ago from Tucson, Arizona

      Great Hub Jimmy.  Thomas Fleming in his book "The Illusion of Victory - America in World War I" devoted a chapter or two on women in World War I but, other than that, I haven't seen much on this prior to your Hub.  Always interesting.  Chuck