With the anniversary of D-Day on it’s way I got to wondering what role women had to play both in the lead up and in the activation of the famous landing on Normandy shore. Well quite alot actually. It’s not very widely known that women too were called up by the National Service Act. This means that women were actually required to play an active part by the governments of the day. Many who refused served time in jail. A harsh penalty indeed. In America, Canada, Britain and Australia as well as many allied European countries women were mobilised as orderlies,drivers,postal workers and ammunition inspectors as well as joining officer ranks in the field of medicine. There was a women’s voluntary service at home and the women’s land army helping out on the farms. By 1943 9 out of every 10 women took part in the war effort. Their jobs were dangerous too especially when working as radar operators, dealing with anti aircraft guns, and patrolling their turf as military police. Let’s list some of the job titles.
First Aid Nursing Yeomanry ( U.K. )…..’ FANYs’ ( Yes it’s true. )
Canadian Women’s Army Corps …… ‘CWACs’
Women’s Airforce ….. ‘WASPs’
Women’s Army Corps ….. ‘WACs’
Women’s Royal Australian Navy …., ‘WRANs’
Women’s Royal Navy …. ( America, Canada ) …. ‘WRENs’
Where are the accolades for a job well done? Where are the documentaries on their considerable achievements? How many of these brave women died defending their countries? Many women went back to their normal every day lives as hum drum housewives taking second place once more in the world of men. Even when on war duty these women were not given the credits they deserved. In fact if their brave deeds were made public and their names posted in the halls of war memorials and on monuments you would probably find them listed under …. ‘D. DOLLs’.
Think about it.
© Renee Dallow ( Hybiscus Bloom ) 29/5/2014