Reference HO 199/401
Title Women's Work in Civil Defence': memorandum from Women's Voluntary Service
Former Department Reference HSI: 173/4
Government Department Ministry of Home Security
Themes Military Activity and Home Defence
Subthemes Air Raid Precautions and Civil Defence, Gender and work
Document Types Official Correspondence, Memoranda
Civil Defence Regions Nationwide
Organisations Civil Defence Service, Emergency Medical Service, National Fire Service, Women's Voluntary Service


A file of government correspondence and memoranda relating to the work of women in civil defence. Subjects covered in the file include the areas of work within civil defence and social welfare in which women are engaged, including the report and control centres, the Wardens' Service, firefighting, first aid, hospitals, shelter welfare, and care for the homeless after air raids. Also covered are the conditions of work, including working hours and wages for full-time employment as compared with men's wages; and the allocation of less physically strenuous, indoor work to women. Other subjects discussed include the increasing number of women in civil defence due to the military conscription of men; the duties of each line of work, including the extensive duties of social welfare work; and an outline of the responsibilities and terms of work for the Housewives' Service, including boosting morale and providing assistance to wardens after raids.


accommodation, administration, air raids, air-raid precautions, air-raid shelters, air-raid wardens, ambulances, bedding, billeting, bomb damage, children, civil defence, civilian casualties, clothing, communal feeding, compensation, conscription, construction, disability, domestic equipment, domestic work, education, emergency procedures, employment, entertainment, family, female labour, fire services, fires, first aid, food preparation, food supplies, gas, gas masks, gender pay gap, healthcare, hospitals, hot water, housing, identity cards, industrial workers, industry, infants, infrastructure, local authorities, meals, mothers, motor vehicles, nurses, office workers, old age, parents, part-time employment, public health, public morale, recreation, salvage, sanitation, telephonic communications, timber, vocational training, voluntary organisations, volunteers, wages, water supply, welfare, widowhood, working hours

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