Monday 26 September 2022

Book Review: “Women are now doing men’s work” by Lawrence Taylor, Edited by Carole McEntee-Taylor

As those of you who follow my weblog and Facebook page Inspirational Women of World War One will know, I have been researching the women of WW1 seriously for over ten years now.   However, while I was familiar with some of the information in Lawrence Taylor’s wonderul book, which has been written to raise awareness of women in the Great War, I found quite a lot of information that was new to me.   

There are 21 chapters – covering The First Aid Nursing Yeomanry, Munitionettes, The Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, Voluntary Aid Detachments, Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service, Hospital Ships, The Australian and New Zealand Army Nursing Services, The Scottish Women’s Hospital, The Women’s Royal Naval Service and more.  The book has a delightful cover of a cartoon by Fred Spurgin (1882- 1968), a British comic illustrator.

"Women are now doing men's work" is a definite must read for anyone truly interested in the history of The First World War.  I very much hope that Lawrence plans more books about the women of WW1.

You can purchase a copy by following this link:

Lawrence explains in the Further Reading Section at the end of the book that the Imperial War Museum, London has an excellent website where you can view photographs of the women of WW1. Agnes Conway, who chaired The Women's Work Subcommittee of the Imperial War Museum London (which was founded in 1917), collected a vast number of photographs of the women of WW1 for the nation. Lawrence Taylor finds many of those photographs and regularly researches and posts information about the women of WW1 on his Facebook page

From 1917-1929, Agnes Conway – whose father was Martin Conway - the first honorary Director-General of the IWM - gathered information and photographs pertaining to the role of women during the First World War.   She was the curator of the Women's Work Section of the Imperial War Museum and was named Honorary Secretary of the Women's Committee between 1917 and 1920. Agnes was helped in her work by Lady Priscilla Norman, who ran a hospital in France during the first few months of the war, Lady Asquith, Lady Mond and Lady Haig.