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British Army sisters and soldiers in the Second World War

Negotiating nursing explores how the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service (Q.A.s) salvaged men within the sensitive gender negotiations of what should and could constitute nursing work and where that work could occur. The book argues that the Q.A.s, an entirely female force during the Second World War, were essential to recovering men physically, emotionally and spiritually from the battlefield and for the war, despite concerns about their presence on the frontline. The book maps the developments in nurses’ work as the Q.A.s created a legitimate space for themselves in war zones and established nurses’ position as the expert at the bedside. Using a range of personal testimony the book demonstrates how the exigencies of war demanded nurses alter the methods of nursing practice and the professional boundaries in which they had traditionally worked, in order to care for their soldier-patients in the challenging environments of a war zone. Although they may have transformed practice, their position in war was highly gendered and it was gender in the post-war era that prevented their considerable skills from being transferred to the new welfare state, as the women of Britain were returned to the home and hearth. The aftermath of war may therefore have augured professional disappointment for some nursing sisters, yet their contribution to nursing knowledge and practice was, and remains, significant.

British popular fiction and post-war uncertainties
George Simmers

war effort. The Irish, despite the 1916 Easter Rising, provided a supply of brave volunteers; they were also used as comic relief in British war stories. After the Armistice, it was clear that the social problems of the Edwardian age had not been swept away. Women’s war work had strengthened the case for the female vote, so the militant suffragism of the Edwardian period was no longer necessary, but the position of women in the post-war world would need to be renegotiated. In novels ranging from bestsellers like A. S. M. Hutchinson’s If Winter Comes (1921) to Parade

in The silent morning
David W. Gutzke

breaching of gender lines in leisure. In repeatedly portraying women’s war work as a product of a national emergency, officialdom directly addressed societal fears of females sacrificing their femininity through transgressing strict prewar gender boundaries by entering masculine territory.33 Commentators Gutzke_WomenDrinking.indd 59 22/11/2013 11:02 60 Women drinking out in Britain and officials alike implicitly sanctioned women’s drinking in pubs – another incursion into male territory – as an extension of new gender working roles, while simultaneously conveying to

in Women drinking out in Britain since the early twentieth century
Understanding museum collections and other repositories
Leonie Hannan
Sarah Longair

following the First World War. The social context of this era included the effects of the Great War on British society, the destabilising of gender roles through women’s war work, a prevailing concern with upholding traditional standards, and much moral outrage in the press about the ‘painted boy menace’. As Houlbrook concludes, thinking in these terms highlights the intersection between discrete historical processes – the emergence of the ‘cosmetics industry’, a particular understanding of sexual difference, the contentious politics of policing, and worries over the

in History through material culture
Mary A. Procida

’, it is understandable that their reluctance to devote themselves whole-heartedly to the war effort aroused resentment from the hard-pressed British population. 72 Officially, the government of India tried to project an upbeat attitude on women’s war work, emphasizing Anglo-Indian women’s willingness to volunteer and the racial harmony purportedly characteristic of wartime

in Married to the empire
Louise A. Jackson

in terms of women’swar work’, undertaken for ‘the duration’ only and in relation to a feminine duty to serve the nation. Certainly wartime conditions and experiences facilitated women’s move into policing, demonstrating their utility and creating precedents that could be drawn upon by ‘pioneers’; to some degree, therefore, war was an accelerator of social change. As the Higonnets have 17 women police argued, however, the process of gender transformation during wartime was in part illusory; while women appeared to advance, gender lines were redrawn as war

in Women police
Abstract only
The French units and the convoy at St Omer 1917–18
Janet Lee

officially incorporated into the armed forces with the establishment of the WAAC, WRNS and WRAF, the public became increasingly curious about these gendered adaptations and reversals and eagerly consumed stories about them. The Women’s War Work Committee held an exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery and FANY activities were well-represented in this display with photographs, buttons and badges, and medals and decorations, as well as fragments of shells and the famous aerial torpedo that fell in the camp of the British convoy in Calais.29 At the beginning of 1918 the

in War girls
Gender modernity and the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry
Juliette Pattinson

that women could assume behaviours more commonly associated with men, an anxiety about the need to preserve conventional passive femininity can be detected. During the war, editors and journalists acting out of patriotism underscored the positive features of women’s war work. This was blatant propaganda. Membership of the Corps thus brought women into the public gaze in a novel and highly visible way. Bringing both public and personal representations into dialogue, Women of War sits at the crossroads of British, social, gender and women’s history, drawing upon

in Women of war
The First World War, reconstruction and the campaigns for equal pay, 1914–24
Helen Glew

Gender distinctions remained for rates of war bonus in both the LCC and the Civil Service  – as Deborah Thom has noted for other types of women’s war work – and this highlighted several facets of the equal pay debate.42 By definition, war bonus was paid to employees to help them meet new costs created by wartime inflation, and these new expenses were clearly not differentiated by gender. However, the Treasury and the CAB insisted on maintaining a distinction between men and women for the Civil Service war bonus. The FWCS labelled this publicly as ‘slovenly and muddle

in Gender, rhetoric and regulation
The equal pay campaigns from 1939 to 1954
Helen Glew

predecessors, was a stalling tactic and a means for the government to claim it was addressing the issue whilst not really addressing it.19 Chaired by the Honourable Mr Justice Asquith – son of the former Prime Minister – it also featured Dr Janet Vaughan, the Countess of Limerick, Dame Anne Loughlin, DBE and Lucy Frances Nettlefold. Vaughan was the Principal of Somerville College, Oxford, and a doctor with socialist sympathies, and Loughlin the TUC President who believed that equal pay should be given as a reward for women’s war work.20 Nettlefold, one of several women to

in Gender, rhetoric and regulation