What did you do in the war, Mum? Townsville women in World War Two

Menghetti, Diane (2005) What did you do in the war, Mum? Townsville women in World War Two. In: Hansen, Geoff, and Menghetti, Diane, (eds.) Townsville in War and Peace 1942-1946. Townsville Museum and Historical Society, Townsville, QLD, Australia, pp. 71-109.

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[Extract] On 3 September 1939 Townsville women found themselves involved in a conflict between European powers; a struggle over territories on the other side of the world. The declaration of war initially had a limited effect. Some of their husbands and sons noted "join the A.I.E" posters in Hinders Street shop windows and rushed to the recruitment hall above the Townsville Post Office.1 For most, though, the "phoney war" provided a relatively gentle introduction to a world conflict that would, eventually, change their lives. Later, when the war approached northern Australia, some of the women evacuated, others saw their families broken up by internment or enlistment; indeed a good number of them joined the armed forces themselves. Those who remained in Townsville found that traditional women's jobs, such as nursing and teaching, became harder as resources dwindled and expectations ballooned. Women took on many of the roles left vacant by the recruits or created by the exigencies of war. In the meantime they coped with shortages and adapted to the massive ingress of uniforms, Australian and American, that turned Townsville into a garrison city.

Item ID: 27856
Item Type: Book Chapter (Non-Research)
ISBN: 978-0-9756095-1-4
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2013 04:39
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2103 Historical Studies > 210303 Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology @ 100%
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