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The United Kingdom’s one of a kind monument dedicated to the brave British women who served their country during the Second World War

David Goran

When the Second World War began, women were called upon to fill positions that were reserved for men. Over seven million women volunteered for the armed services. They made bombs in factories, drove trucks, served as air raid wardens and as nurses, worked in communications, intelligence, and emergency services, and performed hundreds of other clerical duties that provided critical support to the war effort. Many brave women earned medals throughout the war and some even died in service of their country.

Monument to the Women of World War II. Source

Monument to the Women of World War II. Source

Since the war ended, hundreds of memorials have been erected all around the world dedicated to the brave men and women who served in the war, but only a handful of them commemorate women exclusively.

It is a tribute to an entire generation, many of whom are still alive today. Source

It is a tribute to an entire generation, many of whom are still alive today. Source

 

Dark monument with bronze reliefs of servicewomen's clothing and protective costumes, appearing as if they have been hung up at the end of a working day. Source1 Source2

Dark monument with bronze reliefs of servicewomen’s clothing and protective costumes, appearing as if they have been hung up at the end of a working day. Source1 Source2

The Monument to the Women of World War II is a British national war memorial located in Whitehall in London and it is the first and only one of its kind in the United Kingdom. The National Heritage Memorial Fund donated £934,115 towards the cost of the memorial, while £800,000 was raised by Baroness Boothroyd on a celebrity episode of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire”. The remaining funds were raised by a charitable trust run by volunteers in York.

The 22ft-high bronze sculpture depicts the uniforms and working clothes worn by women during the war. Source

Thousands of women joined the combat through the local resistance, smuggled supplies, and information and sabotaged enemy movements. Source

This big, black, block-made of bronze, 22 feet high, 16 feet long and 6 feet wide was sculpted by John W. Mills. It was unveiled by Queen Elizabeth II as a part of the events celebrating the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and it was dedicated by Baroness Boothroyd in July 2005.

The typeface used on the sides of the monument replicates that used in war-time ration books. Source

The typeface used on the sides of the monument replicates that used in war-time ration books. Source

The sculpture features 17 items of clothing depicting the various roles carried out by women during the war. These outfits include uniforms as worn by the Women’s Land Army, Women’s Royal Naval Service, a nursing cape, a police overall and a welding mask.

The sides of the block are sculpted with 17 individual sets of clothing and uniforms worn by women during the war. Source

The 22ft-high bronze sculpture depicts the uniforms and working clothes worn by women during the war. Source

 

Wreath laying ceremony at the Memorial to the Women of World War Two on International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, 29 May 2012. Source

Wreath laying ceremony at the Memorial to the Women of World War Two on International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, 29 May 2012. Source

A plaque attached to the south side reads: “This memorial was raised to commemorate the vital work done by over seven million women during World War II“.