Women and War: V3: British Women and War, 1850-1950, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Women and War: V3

British Women and War, 1850-1950, 1st Edition

Edited by Linsey Robb


423 pages

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Hardback: 9780367375898
pub: 2020-03-25
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This is an seven-volume collection of primary texts, each selected and introduced by experts, reproducing in facsimile a wealth of materials related to the history of women and warfare in the English-speaking world. The editors are historians and literary scholars with a wealth of publications in women’s writing and war literature. The project focuses, for most of its historical range, on England (and Britain); it also includes volumes on the United States, Australia, and Canada. The collection documents women’s historical and literary participation in, and commentary on, war. It represents the first attempt to examine the variety of roles women have played in war, and as critics and commentators on war, across all of history into the twentieth century. The project makes a unique and powerful claim about the long history of women’s involvement in war in the English-speaking world

Table of Contents

Volume III: British Women and War – 1850 – 1950

Edited by Linsey Robb



Part 1. 1850-1914

1.1 Crimean War

1. ‘The Sick and Wounded Fund’, The Times, 8 February, 1855, p. 7.

2. ‘Letter from Miss Nightingale’, The Manchester Guardian, 30 September, 1855, p. 7.

3. Letter to Elizabeth Herbert, (Letter 184 in ‘Nurse’s Testimonials’,National Archives, London - WO 25/264).

4. Mrs Henry [Fanny] Duberly, Journal Kept During the Russian War: From the Departure of the Army from England in April 1854, to the fall of Sebastopol (London: Longman, Brown, Green & Longmans, 1855), pp. 27-32.

1.2 Indian Rebellion of 1857

5. Harriet Tytler, extract from An Englishwoman in India: The Memoirs of Harriet Tytler 1828 – 1858 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986), pp. 147-151.

1.3 Boer War

6. ‘Mafeking, Attempt to Capture the Boer Guns’, The Manchester Guardian, 1 January, 1900, p. 5.

7. Lady Sarah Wilson, extract from South African Memories (London: Edward Arnold, 1909), pp. 153-155.

8.‘The Concentration Camps: Miss Hobhouse’s Report’, The Manchester Guardian, 19 June, 1901, p. 10.

9. Emily Hobhouse, Speech from the Unveiling of the National Women’s Memorial, Blomfoentein, South Africa. 16 December, 1913.

Part 2. First World War

2.1 Women and Warfare

10. Vera Brittain,extract from Testament of Youth (London: Victor Gollancz Ltd, 1933), pp. 96-100.

11. Christabel Pankhurst, Preface to The War: A Speech Delivered at London Opera House on September 8th 1914 (London: The Women’s Social and Political Union, 1914), pp. 1-2.

12. May Sinclair, extract from The Tree of Heaven (London: Cassell & Co, 1917), pp. 297-298.

13. Women’s International League, 'The Women's International Congress: The Idea and Its Developments', Towards a Permanent Peace: A Record of the Women's International Congress (London: 1915), pp. 6-8.

14. Margaret Skinnider, extract from Doing My Bit For Ireland (New York: Century Press, 1917), pp. 109-117.

15. Herbert Asquith, Parliament and Local Elections, House of Commons Debate, 14 August, 1916, vol. 85, cc1451-1453.

16. Herbert Asquith, Mr Speaker’s Services, House of Commons Debate, 28 March, 1917, vol. 92, cc468-471.

17. Millicent Garrett Fawcett, extract from The Women's Victory - and After: Personal Reminiscences, 1911-1918 (London: Sidgwick, 1920), pp. 141-155.

18. The Diary of Beatrice Webb, 13 October 1918 – 17 November 1918, London School of Economics Archive. Passfield/1/2/7.

19. Extract from Esther Roper (ed.), The Prison Letters of Countess Markievicz (London: Longmans Green, 1934), pp. 179-183.

2.2 Women’s Civilian War Work

20. Miss G. M. West, Diary entry for October 14, 1916 (Imperial War Museum. Document 7142).

21. ‘Women for Work On Munitions: Mr Lloyd George to Meet Volunteers’ Deputation’, The Manchester Guardian, 2 July, 1915, p. 8.

22. Miss W. M. Bennett, Diary entries from 1-5 January, 1918 (Imperial War Museum Document. 10500).

23. Gertrude Bell, Letter to Dame Florence Bell, 1 December, 1914, Newcastle University Archives.

24. Gertrude Bell, Letter to Dame Florence Bell, 27 April, 1916, Newcastle University Archives.

2.3 Women’s Military War Work

25. Vera Brittain, extract from Testament of Youth (London: Victor Gollancz Ltd, 1933), pp. 260-261.

26. Regulations for Admission to the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service (London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1916), pp. 1-13.

27. K. E. Luard, extract from Unknown Warriors. Extracts from the Letters of K. E. Luard … Nursing Sister in France 1914-1918 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1930), pp. 196-202.

28. Women Commissioners: general correspondence; reports May - July 1917 (National Archives, London).

29. Helena Z. Smith, extract from Not So Quiet…Stepdaughters of War (London: Albert E. Marriot Ltd, 1930), pp. 30-35.

30. Edith Cavell, Final Letter before Execution (Imperial War Museum Document Q44147).

31. ‘Merciless Execution of Nurse Cavell: How the Germans Baffled the American Legations Efforts’, The Manchester Guardian, 22 October, 1915, p. 7.

2.4 Women at Home

32. ‘Death Roll of the Naval Raid’, Daily Express, 18 December, 1914, p. 1.

33. J. E. Buckrose,extract from Marriage While You Wait (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1919), pp. 32-33.

34. Cynthia Asquith, extract from Diaries 1915 – 1918 (London: Hutchinson, 1968), pp. 217-223.

Part 3. 1918-1939

35. Vera Brittain, extract from Testament of Youth (London: Victor Gollancz Ltd, 1933), pp. 467-474.

36. Elizabeth Clara Brown, Letter to Mrs Pennyman, 12 January, 1919, Ormesby Hall, Teesside Archives.

37. Rose Ann Richardson, Letter to Mrs Pennyman, 1 December, 1918, Ormesby Hall, Teesside Archives.

38. Virginia Woolf, extract from Mrs Dalloway (London: The Hogarth Press, 1925), pp. 7-11.

39. Dorothy Sayers, extract from Unnatural Death (London: Ernest Benn Limited, 1927), pp. 34-37.

40. Sylvia Pankhurst, ‘You Are Called to the War’, Worker’s Dreadnought, 19 April, 1919.

Part 4. Second World War

4.1 Women and Warfare

41. Nella Last, Diary entry for August 1939, D5353, Mass Observation, pp. 1-5.

42. Vera Brittain, extract from War-Time Letters to Peacelovers (London: Peace Book Company, 1940). pp. 5-14.

43. Virginia Woolf, ‘Thoughts on Peace in an Air Raid’ in The Death of Moth and Other Essays (London: The Hogarth Press, 1942), pp. 154-157.

44. Vera Brittain, ‘Introduction’, in Seed of Chaos: What Mass Bombing Really Means (London: New Vision Publishing, 1944), pp. 7-14.

45. First Women's Tribunal: Fulham 25.5.42, Mass Observation, Topic Collection 6-1-B – Tribunals for Conscientious Objectors.

46. What W.V.S. Is, Mass Observation, Topic Collection 32-4-I - Women’s Voluntary Service – WVS Pamphlets.

47. Margaret Dryburgh, ‘The Captives Hymn’, sheet music published by Theodore Presser Company.

48. Clara Margaret Anderson, transcribed extract regarding internment in Shanghai (Imperial War Museum Sound Archive 6106).

49. Diana Mosley, extract from A Life of Contrasts (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1977), pp. 174-177.

50. Rosemarie Dalheim, ‘Bradda Glen’, in The Sunny Hours (Brighton: Indepenpress Publishing, 2011), pp. 247-251.

4.2 Women’s Civilian War Work

51. Edith Summerskill, Production Supply and Manpower, House of Commons Debate, 22 January, 1941, vol 368 cc242-248.

52. ‘Conscription For All: The New Bill. Problem of the Children’, The Manchester Guardian, 29 November, 1941, p. 7.

53 Miscellaneous Press Cuttings, Mass Observation, Topic Collection 19-1-C - Day Nurseries 1941 -1946. pp.1-6.

54. Mass Observation, extract from People in Production (London: Penguin, 1942), pp. 128-138.

55. Mrs M. L. Le Petit, Private papers regarding work in munitions (Imperial War Museum Documents 8542), p. 16.

56. ‘The New Women Factory Workers: Two Effects: Improved Conditions and Higher Accident Rate’, The Manchester Guardian, 7 October, 1943, p. 3.

57. Correspondence dated 8th and 9th December 1943 in Strike at Rolls Royce Ltd. Glasgow, involving A.E.U. and T.G.W.U. (National Archives, London, LAB 10/239).

58. Elaine M. Edwards, extract from ‘Ellanora Sherry (nee McLaughlin)’, in Scotland’s Landgirls: Breeches, Bombers and Backache (National Museum of Scotland, 2010), pp. 72-79.

59. Mrs H. Johnston, Extract from private papers regarding service in the Women’s Land Army (Imperial War Museum Documents 1400), pp. 3-4.

60. Joan Vereker Bindon, transcribed extract regarding civilian service with the Government Code and Cypher School (Imperial War Museum Sound Archive 16066).

4.3 Women’s Military War Work

61. Responses to Day Survey in 1941 regarding the ATS, Mass Observation, Topic Collection 32-2-E – ATS Service: Women’s Attitudes. pp. 1-6.

62. Mrs E. O. Scovell, From private papers regarding service in the Auxiliary Territorial Service (Imperial War Museum Documents, 6785), pp. 86-89.

63. ‘Princess Elizabeth Joins A.T.S.: Taking a Driver’s Course’, The Manchester Guardian, March 5th, 1945, p. 5.

64. Mrs A. D. Deacon, Diary extracts regarding service in the Women’s Royal Naval Service (Imperial War Museum Documents, 1849), pp. 135-139.

65. Maureen Wells, extract from Entertaining Eric: A Wartime Love Story (London: Ebury Press, 1988), pp. 59-71.

66. Margaret Pawley, extract from In Obedience to Instructions: FANY with the SOE in the Mediterranean (Barnsley: Leo Cooper, 1999), pp.70-73.

67. ‘Central Chancery of the Orders of The Orders of Knighthood’, The London Gazette, 19 February, 1946, Third Supplement.

68. ‘They Tortured Mrs. Sansom’, Daily Express, 21 August, 1946, p.1, 4.

4.4 Women at Home

69. Reactions to Arrival of Evacuees, October – December 1939, Mass Observation, Topic Collection 5-1- I – Evacuation 1939-1944, pp. 1-10.

70. Olive Quin, extract from The Long Goodbye: A Guernsey’s Story of the Evacuation Years (Guernsey: Guernsey Press, 1985), pp. 9-15.

71. Rationing 1939, Mass Observation, Topic Collection 67-1-C – Food 1937 - 1953, pp. 1-7.

72. Mollie Panter-Downes, ‘The Hunger of Miss Burton’ in Good Evening Mrs Craven: The Wartime Stories of Mollie Panter-Downes (Persephone Books, 1999), pp. 123-131.

73. Mrs E. D. Petch, Letter Regarding the Bombing of Manchester (Imperial War Museum Document, 14957).

74. Betty Moore, ‘The Night that Changed My Life’, in Clydebank Life Story Group, Untold Stories Remembering Clydebank in War Time (Clydebank: Clydebank Life Story Group, 1999), pp. 15-20.

75. Inez Holden, ‘September’, in It Was Different At The Time (London: John Lane, 1943), pp. 67-70.

76. Elizabeth Jones, transcribed extract regarding life as an RAF bride and wife, (Imperial War Museum Sound Archive, 20498).

77. Irene Olive Gray, transcribed extract regarding wartime pregnancy (Imperial War Museum Sound Archive, 14987).

78. Marjorie Swales, transcribed extract regarding life as a war widow (Imperial War Museum Sound Archive, 9997)

Part 5. 1945-1950

79. Nella Last, Diary for May 1945, D5353, Mass Observation, pp. 22-36.

80. ‘War Bride Sees Her First Taxi’, Daily Express, 19 June, 1945, p. 1.

81. ‘G.I. Bride Goes Home With Her Triplets’, Daily Express, 29 December, 1945, p. 3.

82. Volunteer report on VJ Day – Corfe Castle, Dorset, 15 August 1945, Mass Observation, Topic Collection 49-1-E - VJ Day, pp. 49-60.

83. Mollie Panter-Downes, extract from One Fine Day (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1947), pp. 7-9.

84. Helen Hay, transcribed extractregarding experience of demobilisation and re-enlistment in the military (Imperial War Museum Sound Archive, 2317).

85. Joyce Hargrave-Wright, extract from The Bridge of Wings (PLACE: Abilitywise LLP, 2016) pp. 32-33.

About the Editor

Dr. Linsey Robb is a lecturer in the Humanities Department at Northumbria University. She is a social and cultural historian of warfare and has published widely on the issue of gender and warfare.

About the Series

History of Feminism

The History of Feminism series aims to make key archival source material available to scholars, researchers, postgraduates and undergraduates working in the fields of women and gender studies, women's history and women's writing. Subject matter and texts are selected for their decisive contribution to the feminist history of ideas in an international context.

Sets are published in hardback format of between three to six volumes and include full-length documents, pamphlets, reviews, newspaper articles and debates, letters, and fiction. The first set, Sex, Social Purity and Sarah Grand (edited by Ann Heilmann and Stephanie Forward), is concerned with the most prominent British New Woman writer and her contemporary critical reception.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Women's Studies