THE PROCESSES OF EVOLUTION
From maids to mechanics: Incredible pictures of the women who swapped a humdrum life in wartime Britain for service with the Army in World War One
Three years into World War One, Britain was running short of men, with millions of Tommies mown down during a series of bloody battles including Ypres and the Somme.
To carry on the fight, the government called on the services of thousands of women, who swapped the dreariness of wartime Britain for the peril of life on the front line.
The Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) was created in March 1917, one hundred years ago this month, and on the 31st the first detachment of members, 14 cooks and waitresses, were sent to France.
Due to a shortage of male soldiers, the government called on the services of thousands of women to help in the Army, forming the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) in 1917. Pictured are some of its members marching in Britain on June 1, 1917, before leaving for France
On March 31, 1917, the first detachment of 14 cooks and waitresses were sent to France. Pictured are members of the WAAC during an inspection at a barracks in 1917
Volunteers wore khaki uniforms like male soldiers, but any skirt was not allowed to be more than 12 inches from the ground. Pictured is Queen Mary inspecting members of the WAAC at Aldershot barracks in 1917
Although they were not involved in fighting, women replaced men in support roles at offices and army bases. Queen Mary was a great fan on the WAAC, which took her name in its title after 1918 until its dissolution in 1920. Behind the Queen is King George V (carrying a stick)
Members of the WAAC kept fit with activities such as Morris Dancing and hockey. Pictured are women taking part in a tug-of-war contest in August 1918 while hundreds of male soldiers watch on
Volunteers wore khaki uniforms like male soldiers, but with a skirt that was not allowed to be more than 12 inches from the ground.
Although they were not involved in fighting, women replaced men in support roles at offices and army bases.
Some even went from being maidservants back in Blighty serving as mechanics in France - an unthinkable concept before the war.
- To make up for manpower shortages in the Army, the government called on thousands of women to serve
- One hundred years ago this month the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps was created to aid the war effort
- Members worked as cooks and office workers and some served as mechanics - unthinkable before the war
They regularly worked as cooks at hospitals and army camps, often serving up food that was far better than the men had enjoyed at home.
At first there was some resistance to the idea of using women in France. Sir Douglas Haig, commander-in-chief of the British Army, was concerned they would not be able to manage the physical labour done by men.
He also questioned whether the presence of women in storerooms - where male soldiers had to change - would undermine moral standards.
At first there was some resistance to the idea of using women in France. Sir Douglas Haig, commander-in-chief of the British Army, was concerned they would not be able to manage the physical labour done by men. Pictured are members of the WAAC walking back to billets in France in 1916
Volunteers such as Miss Carter, from Manchester,(right) were inspired by recruitment plasters such as this one,(left) which urged women to see themselves as a vital part of the war effort. Both photos were taken in 1918, when the WAAC had been renamed Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps
This postcard shows members outside the Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps Hostel, 5 Rollestone Camp, on Salisbury Plain. Some 50,000 women signed up to the WAAC the end of the conflict in 1918
Members of the WAAC march through London in 1918, presumably after the end of World War One in November. The contribution made by women to the war effort greatly increased the respect they were afforded among the male establishment. Women over the age of 30 who owned property were given the vote in 1918
But in the end he accepted the idea, writing to the War Office on March 11th, 1917: 'The principle of employing women in this country [France] is accepted and they will be made use of wherever conditions admit.'
Some 50,000 women signed up to the WAAC by the end of the conflict in 1918, with each recruit being paid upwards of 24 shillings a week.
After 1918, the organisation was renamed Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps, and remained in existence until 1920.
However, it was not only through the WAAC that women contributed to the Allied effort during World War One.
Thousands worked as nurses and ambulance drivers for the Voluntary Aid Detachment, whose most famous member and leader was Katherine Furse.
There was also the Women's Royal Navy Service, established in 1916, and the Women's Royal Airforce that came into existence two years later.
While most never came too close to the front line, there was one female soldier - 20-year-old Dorothy Lawrence, a journalist who joined the British Expeditionary Force in 1915 by passing herself off as a man.
It was not only through the WAAC that women helped out in World War One. Pictured are members of the Women's Royal Air Force, created in 1918. This image was taken in London in 1919, when members were attending a party for war workers
Thousands of women also carried out dangerous work at munitions factories in Britain. In total, 400 women died in these factories, between 1914 (when this image was taken) and 1918, when the war ended
Women war workers, including the distinctively white-capped and VAD nurses in aprons, parade outside Buckingham Palace in 1918
Female ambulance workers, such as this group photographed in November 1915, served both at home and on the front line
Members of the Women's Fire Brigade - another women's organisation separate from the WAAC - photographed in their uniforms beside an extinguished fire in March 1916
The evolution of sex appeal: 100-year-old postcard images of 'sexy' women from around the world show how the idea of a perfect pin-up has gone from dainty and demure to raunchy and risque
- The postcards come from around the world, featuring women in the US, France, Spain, Germany, Nepal, the Philippines, and elsewhere
- Taken within a couple of decades, the photos show how style of dress and hair trends varied around the globe
- They also spotlight the differences in modesty, as a girl in the Philippines posed nearly nude but 'erotic' western postcards were quite tame
The final days of the Ottoman Empire: Fascinating colour pictures show life in 1890s Constantinople when it was Europe's biggest and richest city before being renamed Istanbul
- Pictures taken in 1809s in Constantinople have had colour added using a process called Photocrom
- Postcard images give a fascinating insight into Europe's wealthiest and biggest city at the time
- They were taken in the later years of the Ottoman Empire, which collapsed after the First World War
Bringing the bootleggers back to life: Colorized photographs from the Prohibition Era show the lengths Americans went to keep their booze
- From 1920 to 1933, the US government issued a nationwide constitutional ban on alcohol
- The ban increased the illegal production and sale of liquor and the proliferation of speakeasies
- In 1933, Congress repealed the 18th Amendment and brought the Prohibition Era to a close
- A collection of photographs from the time were colorized by British expert Tom Marshall
- Marshall's images show 'Prohibition agents' and people taking part in illicit alcohol consumption
Children riding on elephants, horse carriages at the beach and nights out dancing at a floating ballroom: Incredible black and white photos reveal what life was really like in 1920s Adelaide
- Incredible pictures give a glimpse into daily life in 1920s Adelaide
- It was an interesting time in the South Australian capital's past because people loved getting out and going to public events
- One of the city’s main attractions was Lillian the elephant at Adelaide Zoo