Women in War (Book) Review

by All About Shipping.co.uk - James Brewer
Women in War

Released: 17th May 2012
RRP: £19.99
Publisher: Pen and Sword Books Ltd
Author: Celia Lee & Paul Edward Strong
Type: Hardback
ISBN: 9781848846692
Pages: 256

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If we now have a positive image of women doing so-called men’s work, a new book reminds us that this respect was hard won by some redoubtable ladies – through the blood and tears of international conflict.

The compendium of courage, cussedness, and compassion in Women in War: From Home Front to Front Line[\i], edited by Celia Lee and Paul Edward Strong, arises from those two writers setting up a Women-in-War group within the British Commission For Military History.  Celia and Paul decided that the way to give the group a voice was collectively to write a book on the subject. Seventeen of the members each wrote a chapter.

Each section is a moving narrative. In one of the earliest, Elspeth Johnstone, secretary of the Douglas Haig Fellowship, surveys the work carried out by women in the First World War at a time when they were still not allowed to use firearms.  It was considered unthinkable for the species that gave birth to children and reared them to take a life.  Fighting was considered to be men’s work. Writes Elspeth: “The women’s suffrage movement had sown the seeds of desire for equality but it was the war that harvested and gave recognition to the talents and capabilities of British womanhood. The women of Britain were to become indispensable through their contribution to the nation’s war effort not only on the home front but in the war zones of the British army; especially in France and Belgium, known as the Western Front.”

Reviewed by James Brewer at All About Shipping.co.uk


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