History Source 1

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Source one is an extract from M. Arthur from a book called ‘Forgotten voices of the great war in 2002, Mrs M. Hall wrote this piece. This extract is useful to tell us about working women in the war as we know that the work was dangerous “so and so’s gone”, we can tell that women were injured and also killed during working in the factories. As from our own knowledge we know that factories did blow up –for example: Silverton on the 9th of January 1917; killing 69 and injuring 400. We know that working women would turn yellow from being around powder too much and were nicknamed ‘canaries’ because of the colour they turned, Mrs M. Hall mentions that there was “powder around them.” These prove that the conditions were bad and we also know this from our own knowledge so this strengthens the source. Also, the women were working as the men were fighting ‘In France’ also- in 1916 we know that the UK was short of 2 million workers. The source suggests that women wanted to help with the war effort; they were doing work that they had never done before- “I’ve never been in a factory before.” We are also told that they worked hard “I never grumbled”, “memorable”- suggests that she enjoyed it. From our own knowledge we know that in World War One woman were not conscripted to work so it was volunteered.
However, this source doesn’t tell us about the amount of women that worked in that factory or mentions nothing about pay- from our own knowledge we know that women were paid £3.50 a week; more than they have ever been paid before but still less than men. It’s also very vague about the nature of work- doesn’t say what jobs women actually did or whether they needed specific skills or about working in the other factories and the conditions. It doesn’t explain how it was organises and how she was recruited, we know that work was voluntary in WW1. There is also a lack of information about the types of women that were working I know that some married women were working but the majority

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