‘Girlfriends in Khaki’ Lesbianism during the Second World War

by Ashleigh Percival-Borley The 20th century saw the greatest mobilisation of women serving in Britain’s auxiliary services. 43,000 women volunteered in the December of 1939, more than double of what had been initially projected. The total number of women to serve in the WAAF, WRNS and ATS during the war is suggested to be 612,000. … Continue reading ‘Girlfriends in Khaki’ Lesbianism during the Second World War

Josephine Baker: Flapper, war hero, civil rights activist

by Louise Quick Where to start with Josephine Baker? She was a glitzy 1920s star, a World War Two spy, and the only woman to speak during the March on Washington. Let’s begin where she did, with dancing! The performer Google ‘Josephine Baker’ and you’ll quickly find images of her wearing little more than a … Continue reading Josephine Baker: Flapper, war hero, civil rights activist

Remembering Two Gainsborough Girls: Patricia Roc and Phyllis Calvert.

by Linda Pike This blog is to commemorate two female stalwarts of British wartime cinema who have largely been forgotten. Between 1943-1946 Gainsborough Pictures adapted their film production of comedies starring Will Hay, Arthur Askey and George Formby to take advantage of the social and cultural shifts which saw women’s financial responsibility, independence and sexual … Continue reading Remembering Two Gainsborough Girls: Patricia Roc and Phyllis Calvert.

Women Projectionists in Wartime Cinema

by Linda Pike I am grateful for this opportunity to write for Herstory Club as part of their Film and TV blog to acknowledge the work made by those women who were often ‘hidden from history’, female film projectionists. ‘Going to the pictures’ was Britain’s most popular leisure activity during the Second World War, with … Continue reading Women Projectionists in Wartime Cinema

‘I am just an ordinary woman’ The Odette Legend

by Ashleigh Percival-Borley Odette was released in 1950. Directed and produced by Herbert Wilcox & Anna Neagle, distributed by British Lion Films I was a twenty-two-year-old combat medic, conducting pre-deployment training before being sent to Afghanistan on Operation HERRICK. The day's training had come to an end, so I returned to my accommodation to change … Continue reading ‘I am just an ordinary woman’ The Odette Legend