Women and War

The war dramatically changed life for women. We have been looking at what happened at home while men were fighting overseas.  Items saved carefully over the years – embroidered handkerchiefs and mourning brooches – are poignant reminders of life at this time.  We are grateful to members of Praze WI, and to Vivian Thomas, grandmother of Jago Ford (student at Redruth School) who have all lent items to Heart of Conflict.

– Bereavement: a mourning brooch.  Women wore such brooches to show that they were in mourning.

–  These were not easy times. Women had to work hard to make ends meet: Linda Barraclough of Praze remembers stories her grandmother scrubbing steps in Liverpool to earn enough to feed her family.

– Women became a radically new  work force. Many women across Cornwall went to work in factories, shops and offices for the first time.

–  In the mines, women did vital work. Valerie Grigg recalls that her grandmother, Laura, worked as a Bal Maiden at Tolgus mine crushing rock during the years that her grandfather, Edward Whear, was at War. They had married in 1914.

– Others worked in munitions factories. For more information, click here.