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Duration 0:40

Women’s Army in France

This clip comes from a compilation film of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps in France, 1917-1918. In this segment we see women with their sleeves rolled up maintaining or repairing an engine. They may be a female ambulance crew (possibly 41st Auxiliary Ambulance Car Company at Rouen) who had to look after their vehicle as well as their patients.

Context

When the Great War started most people thought it would be a short war. It was soon clear that this was not the case. It would be a long industrial war. The ability to make guns, shells, ships and aircraft would be just as important as the tactics on the battlefield. Britain was soon in need of more workers to fill the gap. By the end of the war around 2 million women workers stepped in to carry out much needed work. They served as clerks, drivers and also worked in engineering and munitions.

Interesting or important points about the film

As with the clip of the Land Army worker, this film would have raised a few eyebrows when it was shown. The women are clearly handling their jobs and enjoying themselves in the process. The film was probably not part of a campaign to get women the vote after the war but it had that effect.

Please note that this video is silent.

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