During 2014, 2015 and 2016 a number of events took place in Ipswich to commemorate the outbreak of World War I a hundred years earlier.
Our group made the decision to undertake research about women's situations and women's contributions during the war. We shared our knowledge by participating in exhibitions at the Ipswich Town Hall and other venues and by giving presentations. We were particularly pleased to be part of the International Women's Day celebration organised by the Stutton Women's Group in 2015.
It gave us the opportunity to highlight the contributions made by women. Women took on many new responsibilities; helping and raising funds for refugees, those suffering the effects of war and soldiers and sailors serving overseas
Many women trained as nurses, working in this country and near the front. Women took on work that had previously been done by men, as teachers, bus drivers and conductors, taxi drivers, police, local and national government officers. Many pubs were run by women. Thousands of Ipswich women and millions of women across the country, worked in factories producing goods for the war, i.e. aeroplanes.
We also talked about how local school children helped the war effort by making bandages, fundraising and giving up their meagre rations by donating eggs to wounded soldiers.
Feedback at the events were often about the lack of general awareness of women's contribution and how our exhibitions helped inform the visitors.