Tag - WWII

Women in the Military

International Women’s Day and the Military

International Women’s Day started in 1910 when Clara Zetkin (a famous German advocate for Women’s rights) suggested the day become an international day of celebration. America already celebrated a National Women’s Day in 1908 after 15,000 women marched through New York City in demanding the right to vote and better pay and this sowed the seeds for what later became International Women’s day. Every year on the 8th of March women celebrate how far women have come in society, politics and economics. In countries like Russia, the day is a national holiday, where the sales of flowers double. Women currently make up about 10% of British Army personnel. They are, for the first time ever, working alongside their male counterparts in such roles as engineers, mechanics, lawyers and educators. Today, International Women’s Day, celebrates the achievements of women all over the world. The British Army now seeks to promote equality throughout all ranks and trades. Although women have served alongside men on [...]

Royal Tank Regiment

The Royal Tank Regiment

The Royal Tank Regiment or RTR is the oldest tank regiment in the world. The RTR was formed as early as 1916 during the Great War by the British Army. Originally formed from the Machine Gun Corps, the pioneers of armoured warfare became the Tank Corps, who formed 8 battalions by the start of 1919. During the Second World War, the RTR, had 25 battalions fighting all over the world. Currently the regiment is based at Tidworth and is equipped with Challenger 2 tanks. Their official uniform is unique to the rest of the Royal Armoured Corps; instead of the standard-issue blue beret, the RTR wear a black one. Their uniform of black coveralls is also reserved especially for the Regiment. Soldiers in the RTR also wear a cap badge which shows an image of an early Royal Tank Regiment tank. Their motto is ‘Fear Naught’. During the First World War, walking sticks were often used by officers to probe the ground [...]

Veterans March Past the Cenotaph London During Remembrance Sunday Service

Remembrance Day 2016

Soldier Wearing Poppy and Afghanistan Medal Britain will fall silent for two minutes to remember the end of the First World War on Friday the 11th of November. This tradition of holding a silence was started by King George V to ensure that the ‘thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead.’ This day is called Armistice Day, Remembrance Day or sometimes more informally Poppy Day. From 2014 to 2018 this day has an added significance from the fact that this period marks the centenary of the First World War. From 1919 until 1945, Armistice Day was always on the 11th of November. In 1946 it was moved to Remembrance Sunday. Since the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II in 1995 it became usual to have ceremonies on both days. In 2006 Veterans Day was also created to help celebrate the achievements of the veterans. Today this is named Armed Forces Day and held annually. This year [...]

Early Morning Rehersal for the HCav

The Household Cavalry

Household Cavalry The Household Cavalry (HCav) is made up of the Life Guards and the Blue and Royals – the most senior regiments of the British Army. These two regiments are the Queen’s official bodyguard and are divided into two with the Armoured Regiment (HCR) being stationed at the Combermere Barracks in Windsor and the Mounted Regiment (HCMR) at Hyde Park Barracks in London. The Household Cavalry is classed as a corps and dates back to the 1660s. With the Life Guards being formed by King Charles II in 1660 and the Blues and Royals both being formed in 1661. The Blues and Royals were amalgamated into one unit in 1969. The two units of the Household Cavalry have very different roles: The first is the Household Cavalry regiment (HCR). This has an active operational role and serves using armoured fighting vehicles meaning the HCR are often at the forefront of the nation’s conflicts. The Household Division have been required to take part [...]

WRAF Mechanics

Women in the Air Force

WRNS Checking Cockpit Equipment During the First World War, members of the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS) and the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) worked on air stations. The decision was then taken to merge the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) to form the Royal Air Force (RAF). It was thought that a separate women’s air service was needed which led to the formation of the WRAF in 1918. Civilian enrolment into the WRAF was huge in 1918 and personnel who were already in the WRNS and the WAAC were given the choice of changing roles to the WRAF. This meant that the number of members soared to 32,000 people. The minimum age for joining was 18 and there were a number of health checks which meant that candidates from polluted cities were excluded. Those that enrolled from upper class families were made officers. The original idea was for the female mechanics to free up men [...]

Working Women During 1940

Women’s Royal Naval Service

Enlisting Poster WRENS The Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS) was the first branch in the Armed Forces and Royal Navy made up solely of women and is officially known as the Wrens. The Wrens was first formed during the First World War in 1917 and standard jobs included cook, clerk, weapons analyst and range assessor. By the end of the First World War the Wrens had 5,500 members, of which 500 were officers. 2,000 of its members were transferred to the Royal Air Force (RAF). The Wrens were disbanded in 1919 after the end of the First World War. Director Dame Katharine Furse joined the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) in 1909. During the First World War she was chosen to be the head of the first VAD to be sent to France. In 1917 Katharine became the Director of the then, newly formed, Women’s Royal Naval Service. Katharine was awarded three service medals and became a Dame. The Wrens were then revived [...]

Women-of-the-Auxiliary-Territorial-Service-unload-rifles

Women in the Military

Women serving in the military has always been a controversial topic. As increasing numbers of countries begin to expand the role of women in their militaries, the debate continues. In order to be on the front line, women have been known to cross dress. The Royal Navy were the first to employ women in 1969 allowing a few to be nurses and laundresses on hospital ships. This was a controversial move and by the 19th century both roles had been eliminated. The Queen Alexandra’s Royal Nursing Service began in 1902 and is still in operation today. During World War II Britain established a uniformed service for women. This combined with the small units of nurses which had been in operation for a while meant that about 600,000 women served in the military. Most were working in units close to London where there was no risk of being captured by the enemy. The first woman was killed in the military in April [...]

Haworth 1940s Weekend

Haworth 1940s Weekend

Haworth 1940s weekend is an annual celebration and continues to grow, attracting an increasing number of visitors. This famous local event proudly raises money for SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association) and other local charities. The weekend usually follows a theme, with this year’s being ‘airborne’ to commemorate the bravery of the airborne forces. In fact there are many activities throughout the weekend including evening dances, the land army parade, a Spitfire flypast as well as many food, drink and gift stalls in the park. Every year, Wyedean, Skipton Properties and Airedale Springs open up their carparks to accommodate some of the 25,000 visitors per day. This year the car park managed to park 600 cars per day, which was helped by Skipton Properties rolling some of the land to increase the number of available spaces. The car park was split into two sections: £5 to park at the back for the day and £10 for the premium spaces at [...]

Soldiers being awarded the Military Medal

The Military Medal Ribbon

The Military Medal (MM), created by King George V in March 1916, was a way to acknowledge the acts of bravery in war which were not considered worthy enough to receive a Distinguished Conduct Medal.  Warrant officers, non-commissioned officers, and men on the recommendation of a Commander in Chief in the field were awarded this medal. During WWI, 108 members of the Royal Newfound Regiment received the Military Medal. A silver bar was also given out to eight of these recipients which signified subsequent acts of bravery. The Military Medal is shown below feturing a picture of the sovereign. In the First World War this medal depicted a bare-headed King George V in a Field Marshall’s uniform. The reverse of the medal reads “For Bravery in the Field”, circled by a laurel wreath with the Royal Cypher and Imperial Crown on top. The medal is displayed on a dark blue ribbon with red and white stripes. It is this medal ribbon [...]