WWII

Author Appeals For Wartime Heroines To Tell Their Stories

Author Tracey-Ann Knight wants to make sure the women who helped Britain win the Second World War are not forgotten.

Author Tracey-Ann Knight has urged women who served in the Second World War to get in touch so their stories can be recorded and preserved for history.

Ms Knight has already written a book called 'Women Warriors' about female soldiers who centuries ago disguised themselves as men to join the military.

One case study was Kit Caviner who fought in the Spanish War of Succession in the 18th century, serving for years alongside her husband before she was discovered. 

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Kit Caviner on horseback.

Another was Dr James Barry - born Margaret Buckley, who became a military medic – 50 years before the first woman. In 1826 he is said to have performed the first successful caesarean. He died a man and left strict instructions that there was to be no post mortem.

To maintain their disguise some went to great lengths to make sure they were not discovered; they pretended to be young teenage boys to excuse their highs voices and hairless faces, they bound their breasts and even padded their legs.

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Author Tracey-Ann Knight leafs through her book, "Women Warriors".

Now Ms Knight has turned her attention to the “very strong and audacious women” of the Second World War.

In the 1940s millions of British women were conscripted to do their part for the war effort, serving in the Land Army, in the Women’s Timber Corps, the Auxiliary Fire Service and many other organisations as well.

Queen Elizabeth II training as a mechanic in the ATS
Some women, like the young Princess Elizabeth, joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service, which was the women's branch of the British Army (Picture: PA).

“I think it’s really important that we gather these stories and we tell them before they are lost,” Ms Knight told Forces News.

“So we can show that the entire nation was involved in that particular conflict and it affected everybody’s life. And that 50% of the nation didn’t just sit at home waiting for the men to come home. It just wouldn’t have happened without those amazing jobs that those women did.”

Anyone who has a story to tell can get in contact with Ms Knight via her website.