FIRST WORLD WAR|
|When war broke out in 1914, the suffragettes immediately
stopped their militant action to focus their efforts on helping to win the war.
Many men had been called to serve in the forces and their jobs at home were taken
over by women workers.|
Women worked in many roles such as bus
conductors, nurses, munitions and engineering workers and firefighters. In munitions
work on the "home front" women risked their lives daily, manufacturing shells
filled with dangerous chemicals to send to the front. Contact with these chemicals
tinged the women's skin yellow and they were known as "canaries".
shortages developed, women volunteered to join the Women's Land Army to work on
farms, helping to produce essential food supplies for the country. Women also
eventually joined the newly established women's branches of the armed forces.
As a result of all these efforts, women were held in high esteem and opinions
about their suitability to vote began to change.
There are two sources
in this section.
|Sources 5A and 5B are photographs
of women working in Scotland during the First World War.|
5A shows female staff at Bishopton Munitions Factory being trained by
Glasgow Fire Brigade.
Source 5B shows women war workers
at Mavor and Coulson
Click to enlarge the images, then answer the following
- What do the photographs
tell us about the role of women during the First World War?
were women required to do these jobs?
- How valuable are these
sources as evidence of the reasons women were given the vote in 1918?