Rare pictures of women in World War II
Protecting English cities:
British cities were under constant threat from German bombs during the Battle of Britain, with the bombardments lasting a year, from 1940 to 1941.
It was primarily women who were called to reinforce cities’ defences on the Eastern Front as well.
Under the threat of bombing:
During the height of the Second World War, agricultural work was not without danger. In this 1944 photo, a WLA recruit works a field in southern England.
Watching the skies:
In this photo, British Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) lookouts scan the sky for enemy aircraft in Scotland around 1942.
Making explosive shells:
In this California factory, American workers made explosive shells. During the war, the arms industry relied heavily on women.
Building Canadian bombers:
A young Canadian worker is pictured here, working on the cabin interior of a Bolingbroke bomber, in Montreal’s Fairchild factory in Quebec.
Auxiliaries in the Canadian Army:
In 1943, a group of young Canadian women in uniform are sworn in as they joined the army as auxiliaries.
In this photo dated May 7, 1943, a group of African-American welders are pictured working on Liberty ship SS George Washington Carver, in Richmond, California.
Farmers in wartime:
Women that belonged to this organization are shown here, during a stacking operation at a Buckinghamshire farm during the summer of 1944.
In 1940, volunteers in the British Civil Defence Service train in handling rifles.
Grandmothers in factories:
After the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and the United States’ entry into the war, millions of American women were called to take on non-traditional jobs.