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© 2020 Gathering Voices

  • GVHeritage Group

Our Great Grandmothers

During our earlier Sounding the City project we started to look into Bristol's First World War history, mostly with a focus on the young men who fought and died for the freedom of the nation.  This started an interest in the stories of womens' lives during the war.


It is fair to say that life for women before the First World War revolved mainly around domesticity and their ‘place’ was to a large extent in the home. Whilst a minority of women, including the Suffragettes, were campaigning for change, the majority accepted the status quo of their mothers and grandmothers. 

Prior to World War 1 less than 10% of the female population were actively employed but by the outbreak of the war this number had risen three fold.  Huge resilience was needed for the changes to come as women were forced and expected firstly to join the previously male dominated workforce and then to renounce their newly found independence for the returning heroes.  Development of resilience for young people (perhaps especially girls) is of great importance now as it was then.