The British war effort during the Second World War relied on a increasingly large scale mobilisation of women, who filled just about every non front line combat role.
Most of this book consists of a series of first hand reminiscences produced by the women themselves. The three uniformed services (ATS, WAAF and WRNS) take up the bulk of the book, but a wide range of civilian service is also recognised, including the Land Army, the Timber Corps, the Voluntary Aid Detachment, Queen Alexandra's Imperial Nursing Service, the National Fire Service and the NAAFI.
The final chapter takes a different approach, and looks at the stories of three women who served with the SOE and paid the ultimate price.
The first four chapters are by far the most useful part of the book. The women tell their own compelling tales, mostly (but not entirely) positive. None report regretting their service and most enjoyed it, but what stands out is the matter of fact way in which they narrate some fairly horrendous events.
This book is a fitting tribute to a remarkable group of people whose contribution to the Allied victory deserves to be commemorated.
1 - Auxiliary Territorial Services (ATS)
2 - Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF)
3 - Women's Royal Naval Service (WRNS)
4 - They Also Serve
5 - Special Operations Executive (SOE)
Author: Collette Drifte
Publisher: Remember When