This part of our website will focus on local women who served in wartime. For a good number of years we have been researching women alongside the men who served.
They have been hard to find though. Usually we find the name of a local woman whilst reading through newspapers and coming across the odd account of her service which we can then research further. Occasionally someone will enquire about a relative who served or supply with information on their mother or grandmother who served in munitions or something similar during the wars.
Below here are links to various sections and blog entries in our website which specifically focus on the service of local women. As this section is developed further, we will include other aspects of their service to bring them to the fore.
Our dedicated team for research in this section are Laura Goodchild, Carole Hodge and Kat Hyde who all live locally.
Clearly women served but not usually in fighting roles.
During the Great War they served in surgical roles, as nurses and in hospital administration. They also served with Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS), Territorial Force Nursing Service (TFNS), First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY), Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps (QMAAC) and also in the WRNS, WRAF, WRAC and with the Women's Land Army.
At least one local woman (Frances Hildred Mitchell) is buried with a Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone.
They also served in munitions and they also took up the manufacturing jobs vacated by men who went off to serve, only to have these jobs taken away as the men returned home, having proven that they were perfectly capable of doing the tasks given to them. During WW2 they also served as aeroplane transport pilots and in operations plotting, radio operators and in coastguard roles, including taking up commissions in uniform and even with the S.O.E.
Keighley National Shell factory:
Steeton Dump WW2 munitions factory:
We are extremely keen to make sure their service is not forgotten. In recent years the Red Cross has made their record cards available which give details of the Voluntary Aid detachment (VAD) Volunteers. These were usually women serving in nursing or other roles in hospitals and convalescent homes, sometimes as ambulance drivers and alongside men who were VAD's, who served as orderlies, porters and ambulance drivers.
Blog entries featuring local women who served:
The logo for the 'Women of Worth' section is taken from an original brass badge worn by women during the Great War period, to show they were doing work of national importance:
We've taken elements of the original design and changed the wording to reflect the fact that local women from Keighley and the Worth Valley served in wartime and to give a clear identification to this section of the website to make it easier to recognise.