Invisible women in World War 1

The Channel 4 series “Not Forgotten” reminded us of the integral part women played in the First World War. At the same time it is unusual for their names to appear on memorials. A notable exception is a chapel at York Minster which records over 1,000 women who undertook varied roles and contributed to victory.
In Britain women assembled the shells needed on the front. At one factory at Barnbow in Leeds there was a catastrophic explosion in 1916 which killed 35 women and injured many more. The story has not been told because the munitions factory’s existence was classified as an offical secret. Now a memorial has been erected in Leeds.


Walsall in the West Midlands was a scene of bombing by a Zeppelin air ship. A tram was hit killing a number of people, including the Mayoress, Mary Julia Slater. A plaque in Walsall town hall commemortes this. as does another memorial by a dmaged section of wall hit by shrapnel from the blast.
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