As the entire nation mobilised for the First World War, women stepped up to new challenges. Many of these opportunities had previously been off limits, including military service.
During the Second World War women took on increasingly diverse roles. But, like their First World War predecessors, they were still prevented from fighting.
Formed in 1940, SOE was an underground army that waged a secret war in enemy-occupied Europe and Asia. Its agents demonstrated incredible courage and resourcefulness in their guerrilla war.
Women were finally allowed to undertake combat roles in 2016. But even before that, many female soldiers had been serving in war zones around the world.
Despite the difficulties, soldiers' affairs of the heart have flourished; some casual, others ultimately leading to engagement, marriage and a life together.
During the 19th century, soldiers' wives played a significant role in supporting troops on campaign. Here we take a look at some of these women, a few of whom became minor celebrities.
The modern British Army declares itself an equal opportunities employer. But becoming so has presented challenges for an institution deeply rooted in hierarchy, routine, regiment and tradition.
Since 2018, all British Army combat roles have been open to women soldiers. However, the history of women's service in the Army stretches much further back in time.
As the entire nation mobilised for the First World War, women stepped up to new challenges.
Florence Nightingale was a legend in her own lifetime and one of the most famous women in British history.
This was the women's branch of the British Army between 1949 and 1992. Its origins were in the voluntary auxiliary units created for women during the First and Second World Wars.
3 September 2018 - 23 July 2019
Investigate the concept of Total War by tracing the steps taken to prepare an individual for industrialised conflict in the First and Second World Wars.
22 March 2019, 11.30am
Mary Moreland, Chairman of the War Widows Association, will discuss the charity’s history and its role in campaigning for equality for all war widows in Great Britain.
28 June 2019 - 20 October 2019
Explore the changing role of women in the British Army through the lens of the Women's Royal Army Corps (WRAC).
KS3 (Age 11 to 14)
Explore the real people performing a soldier's tasks, their reasons for joining and the lasting impact it can have on their lives.
"First time @NAM_London today. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Thought the presentation & interpretation made the subject accessible..."
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National Army Museum, Royal Hospital Road, London, SW3 4HTRegistered Charity Number: 237902