Birmingham City Council

Women in the War

Birmingham Remembers VE Day

Women in the War

For further information, and a larger version, please click on the image or the caption.

Joan and Maureen welding

As in World War One, women from Birmingham played a vital part in this country success in World War Two. By mid 1943 almost 90 per cent of single women and 80 per cent of married women were employed in essential work for the war effort.


Mobile Unit, Handsworth

Birmingham women joined the services and although not allowed to bear arms, many worked, and in some cases, died under fire.



Canning's recruitment float

They also joined the Women Land Army, which the Government promoted in its posters as a glamorous opportunity. The reality, however, was often somewhat different.


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Castle Bromwich


Many thousands went to work in factories such as the aircraft factory in Castle Bromwich or BSA in Small Heath, often doing highly skilled jobs. Pay was mostly good in relative terms. Almost always, though it was much less than the rate of pay for men in similar jobs.


'Lest We Forget' Exhibition