On this day: the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force is Formed

Waaf Australian Auxiliary Air Force REcruitment Poster Second World War Two 1940s

Second World War recruitment poster.

Britain’s Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, whose members were known as WAAFs, was formed on the 28th of June, 1939, shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War. Conscription of women began in 1941.

Women in the organisation worked in many fields, from parachute packing to meteorology, aircraft maintenance, and work with codes, in addition to catering and nursing.

Two WAAF cooks at an Royal Air Force aerodrome, following recipes for a hundred pies and a hundred scones. September 1940.

Two WAAF cooks at an Royal Air Force aerodrome, following recipes for a hundred pies and a hundred scones. September 1940. X

By 1943 over 2000 women were enlisting a week, bringing the force’s numbers to a peak of over 180 000.

At the end of the war numbers reduced significantly, and the WAAF was turned into the  Women’s Royal Air Force in 1949.

May 1940

May 1940 General Maurice Gamelin, Commander in Chief of the French Army, reviews Canadian troops at Aldershot, England shortly before the Dunkirk evacuation. Second world War Two

May 1940: General Maurice Gamelin, Commander in Chief of the French Army, reviews Canadian troops at Aldershot, England shortly before the Dunkirk evacuation.

Second World War.

From the collection of the Imperial War Museum.

On this day…

Mrs Emmeline Pankhurst, Leader of the Women’s Suffragette movement, is arrested outside Buckingham Palace while trying to present a petition to King George V.

The Imperial War Museum dates this photograph as the 21st of May, 1914.

Mrs Emmeline Pankhurst, Leader of the Women's Suffragette movement, is arrested outside Buckingham Palace while trying to present a petition to King George V in May 1914. 21 May 1914

On this day: the sinking of the Lusitania

British ocean liner RMS Lusitania was sunk by a German U-boat on the 7th of May, 1915, less than a year into the First World War. 1198 out of 1959 people aboard were killed, and the sinking played a big hand in turning international opinion against Germany.

This propaganda poster was released in Britain the same year, in an attempt to recruit men into the Leicestershire Regiment (now the Royal Leicestershire Regiment).

Leicestershire_Regiment_recruiting_poster_1915 Recruiting poster for the Leicestershire Regiment Men Of Leicestershire. Avenge The Lusitania. How To Do It Britain First World War One

On this day: Workmen in London

Workers at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London remove scaffolding from the Victoria Tower. The image appeared in The Illustrated London News on the 20th of March, 1954.

From The Londonist, via the British Newspaper Archive.

workers removing the scaffolding from the Victoria Tower Westminster London in 1954. the Illustrated London News, 20 March 1954.

On this day: Wounded soldiers in Norway.

Raid_on_Vaagso,_27_December_1941_N481 Norway British Army Second World War Two Black and White Vintage

27th December 1941: Wounded soldiers are transferred onto a landing craft in Vaagso (the island of Vågsøy), Norway. The country was under Nazi occupation at the time.

The photograph was taken during the one-day Operation Archery, a combined British and Norwegian raid against German forces that resulted in an Allied victory over the Nazis.

The Norwegian commander of the raid, Martin Linge, was killed in action during the operation.

Christmas on the Western Front

British troops eat Christmas dinner in a shell hole in Beaumont Hamel, France on the 25th of December, 1916. The commune was almost completely destroyed during the Battle of the Somme that took place that year.

Source

Christmas_on_the_Western_Front,_1914-1918_Q1630British troops eating their Christmas dinner in a shell hole, Beaumont Hamel, 25th December 1916. First World War One