We often hear about men being asked: “Daddy, what did you do in the War?” Let’s turn this notion around. As we’ve said, for women who were both wives and mothers first, war work and domestic chores went hand in hand. Women had to do both.
By making use of the question: “Mummy, was it true you worked on a farm in the Great War?”, the context and the sources provided in the resource section are intended to encourage you to think about how a mother might answer her child’s question.
Your response might come from a mother who was a suffragette, or a woman determined to do her bit to help the war effort. Be creative and show you can really get into the “shoes” of a mother asked this question after the War was over.
Evidence sheets 1,4 & 6 provide useful information about the urge by some women to participate in the War by helping on the land.
Evidence sheet 2 (A PowerPoint) offers some images that show some women in Newton Abbot, Bridestowe and at Brentor.
You are encouraged to read through the resources before composing your response to the child’s question.
It is suggested that students look at the PowerPoint and are taken through the copies of contemporary newspaper articles to get a sense of the enthusiasm that fired lots of women to break the boundaries of sex role stereotyping.
It is hoped that looking at the images and reading the reports will fire their enthusiasm and create a thoughtful response to the child.
NB: By asking the question after 1928 it is possible to include reference to women over 21 finally getting the vote.