The role of women during the first and second world wars will be commemorated during a ceremony as the National Memorial Arboretum, in Alrewas.
Women at War centenary commemorations at National Memorial Arboretum will take place from noon on Thursday, July 7.
The Royal British Legion will commemorate the centenary of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) with a ceremony led by the Reverend (Wing Commander) Ruth Hake and music will be provided by a Tri Services Military Band under the direction of Captain Lauren Petritz-Watts (CAMS).
The WAAC was formally instituted by Army Council Instruction Number 1069 on July 7, 1917, enabling the enrolment of women into the British Army for the first time, taking on roles as cooks, clerks, drivers, mechanics, telephonists, and telegraphers.
This followed on from contributions of women on the home front, as Britain faced a severe shortage of manpower due to conscription. Some 58,000 women served in the Corps before it was disbanded in 1921, with 82 women dying in service, and five being awarded the Military Medal.
In November 1917, the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS) was formed, and April 1918 saw the creation of the Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF). Members of these organisations were the first of many thousands to serve on military operations over the past 100 years up to the present day.