Women’s roles during the war

Women played a key role in keeping the lines of communication open during World War One and World War Two.

During the First World War, thousands of women, whether married or single, were employed to deliver mail in urban areas and work as telegraph messengers. Women’s employment was similarly greatly extended in the Second World War. During the build up to Christmas 1940, the Post Office called for women to volunteer as postwomen and within hours 4,000 women – out of the 8,000 required – had volunteered in London alone.

This was initially regarded as a temporary measure. but the women impressed the Postmaster General. The decision was taken to retain them for further work. By November 1941, around 100,000 women were employed by the Post Office in either permanent or temporary capacities.

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