A packed Town Hall recently heard an appeal for Jersey women to join the armed forces. A senior organising officer from the Ministry of Labour made the appeal, representing the recently formed Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps, or WAAC.
In her presentation, Miss Deane dwelt upon the WAAC’s function. It was a full part of the British Army, she explained, under War Office control and its members subject to military discipline. It had been formed to take over many non-combat roles, thus freeing men for active service. The tasks undertaken by the WAAC ranged from cooking and domestic duties, through to clerical jobs and more technical work such as repairing aircraft.
There were some restrictions on those volunteering. Women whose husbands were members of the armed forces could only serve at home and not go overseas. And the rate of pay was not high, although, as the speaker reminded, no-one joined the army to become rich.
The Constable of St Helier, John Pinel, thanked Miss Deane for coming to the island. He also reminded those present that a need remained for women to work on Jersey farms – supporting the island should not be forgotten.
A/D1/W6 contains correspondence on the WAAC and its attempts to recruit women from Jersey.