How did Woman help the War Effort?
The Call to Arms
Woman's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF)
They were mechanics, engineers, electricians and fitters for aeroplanes. They undertook the interpretation of aerial photographs and provided weather reports. Many members of the WAAF worked in the radar control system as reporters and plotters. Their work was vital during the Battle of Britain and later in guiding night-fighter aeroplanes against German bombers.
Woman's Royal Naval Service (WRNS)
Woman in the Royal Naval Service were often named Wrens. Wrens were initially recruited to release men to serve at sea. This was reflected in the recruiting slogan 'Join the Wrens today and free a man to join the Fleet.'
As the wartime navy expanded, the WRNS followed suit, taking on tasks that the Royal Navy had previously considered beyond their capabilities. WRNS responsibilities included driving, cooking, clerical work, operating radar and communications equipment and providing weather forecasts.
The Naval Censorship Branch was staffed by WRNS clerks and censor officers either worked in mobile units or in London. Many Wrens were involved in planning naval operations, including the D-Day landings in June 1944.
Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS)
New recruits were issued with their uniform and asked to carry out trade tests to establish which area they should go into. Experience in civilian life was usually crucial for example, if a woman had been a shorthand typist she would almost certainly be assigned clerical duties.
During the course of the war the range of duties undertaken by the ATS expanded and women worked as telephonists, drivers, mess orderlies, butchers, bakers, postal workers, ammunition inspectors and military police.