000 women in these three organizations.54
In these organizations, women held a wide range of jobs in support of the Army, Royal Air Force (RAF) and Royal Navy, both abroad and at home. These jobs ranged from traditionally female roles such as cook, receptionist, and telephone operator to more traditionally male roles such as mechanic, gunsmith, or searchlight operator.55 and anti-aircraft instrument operator.54
British women were not recruited into combat units, but could volunteer for combat missions in anti-aircraft units, which shot down German aircraft and V-1.56 missiles 57 Civilian women joined the Special Operations Executive (SOE), which used them in high-risk roles as secret agents and clandestine radio operators in Nazi-occupied Europe.58
The propaganda for British women was issued during the war in an attempt to convince the housewife that, while maintaining the domestic role, she too should assume a political role of patriotic duty.59 The propaganda was intended to eliminate all conflict personal and political and create a female heroine. Poster, radio, and film propaganda asked women to redefine their personal and domestic ideals of femininity and to motivate them against the roles that had been instilled in them.59 The government fought to encourage women to respond to posters and so on. forms of propaganda. One attempt to recruit women into the workforce was a short film, My Father’s Daughter. In this propaganda film, the daughter of a factory owner begs that she wishes to be a part of the war, but her father has a stereotypical belief that women are meant to be only caregivers and are incapable of handling heavy work. When a foreman introduces him to one of the most valuable and efficient workers in the factory as the daughter, the father’s prejudices are eliminated. The encouraging message for this short film is: “There is nothing women cannot do.” 59
The most common role for women in active duty was as searchlight operators.60 In fact, all members of the 93rd Searchlights Regiment were women. Despite being limited in their roles, there was great respect between men and women in mixed batteries.60 In fact, one report says, “Many men were amazed that women could serve as adequate gunners despite his excitable temperament, lack of technical instincts, his lack of interest in airplanes and his physical weaknesses.