How you can say Thank You to the WW1 generation of women

Women played a huge role in WW1; and this, in turn, helped to change the role of women in Britain. Today women are an integral part of the workforce in the UK, however, before WW1 this was not the case. Their vital role in supporting the war effort meant that many more women worked in jobs outside the home. Women administered first aid on the front line, served as nurses in field hospitals, and many worked in at home in munitions factories.

The women that worked in munitions factories became known as Canary Girls, as they were exposed to toxic chemicals, which subsequently turned their skin yellow. Their work was often as hazardous as being in the trenches.

After the war it was expected that women should return to domestic roles. However, their role in the war had fundamentally changed how society perceived them and in 1918 around 8.5 million women over 30 got the vote.

Read our more about the brave women in WW1 in our stories on the Canary Girlslifesavers of WW1Life as a Land Girl during WW1, The Women Surgeons of WW1 and The Voluntary Aid Detachment in the First World War.

We want to take a moment to say Thank You to the inspiring WW1 generation of women who shaped our world. Here are a few ways you can say your own special Thank You:

  • Visit Millicent Fawcett’s statue in Parliament Square to say Thank You, or head further afield to a WW1 heritage site in France or Belgium.
  • Hold a jumble sale to symbolise the home front effort to get clothes to those in need on the front line.
  • Hold a lunch with colleagues to celebrate the greater role of women in the workplace.
  • Host a First World War pub quiz as a fun way to inspire conversation and Remembrance. Questions could include ‘In which year did women first exercise their right to vote in the UK?’
  • Hospitals can get involved by saying Thank You for First World War medical advances. Create a display to interest patients and visitors

For other ideas on what you can do to say Thank You watch our video below or visit the inspire me page on our website.