February 13th, 2004

knitting sketch

Why do I always manage to do this?

In preparation for the study day at the Sybil Campbell library the other day, I followed up an item I'd first come across in 2001. My logic ran thus; the Imperial War Museum is hosting an exhibition on Women and War, Kate Adie's book was produced for the exhibition, surely the Monument is ready to be unveiled? How wrong I was.
Mock-up of Memorial showing an ARP warden sheltering two children from the effects of a blast. Around the base of the plinth, the hats and coats of the various works undertaken by women in WWII.

I googled for up-to-date news of the monument and found many links to memorials to women's war work in other countries. Nothing for Britain - except an entry in Hansard, July 2002, where the location of the plinth was debated.

When I raised this at the end of the discussion, I was amazed to find that none of the other women present knew anything about a proposed memorial. On hearing that £150,000 had been raised by July 2002, the President of the London Branch (BFWG) agreed that it was something the branch ought to follow up. Women's War work in the First and Second World Wars was just one of the means through which men's attitudes to women began to change. Certainly we have a debt of gratitude to the political campaigners, the Suffragettes, but also, I believe to the unsung heroines working in dangerous and dirty conditions on the front line and also on the home front.

So, having released the news, albeit old news, I've now landed myself with the job of following up and contacting the charity set up to manage the memorial fund.

I have a sneaking suspicion that progress has been hijacked by the debate about a memorial to the late Queen Mother.
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