South Tyneside celebrates role of women in First World War

From left to right, WHIST volunteers Eve Allen, Pamela di Stefano and Donna di Stefano.
From left to right, WHIST volunteers Eve Allen, Pamela di Stefano and Donna di Stefano.
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A popular exhibition in South Tyneside is celebrating the role of women in the First World War.

During the conflict, which lasted between 1914 and 1918, women contributed greatly to the war effort in Britain.

The exhibition is expected to remain for most of this week.

The exhibition is expected to remain for most of this week.

Many women took on jobs vacated by men who had gone to fight, and took on roles in workplaces like munitions factories.

Women’s Health in South Tyneside (WHIST), based in Salus House, 33 Mile End Road, South Shields, has been highlighting their role with an exhibition which started last Friday.

It features photos and documents from the war, as well as items from the time.

Donna di Stefano, from WHIST, said: “It’s a big display, and has been put together from research we have done about the First World War.

A lot of work has been put into it, so it’s great to get nice comments

Donna di Stefano

“Some of us went down to London and looked in the national archives to find the information.

“We’ve had lots of nice feedback so far, with people saying that it’s wonderful.

“They have all been very happy with it. A lot of work has been put into it, so it’s great to get nice comments.

“People have been talking about their grandparents, and what they told them about the war, so it has stirred up a lot of memories for people.

Letters, photographs and poems make up part of the exhibition.

Letters, photographs and poems make up part of the exhibition.

“Women got involved in everything during the war, and it’s great to be able to recognise that.”

The exhibition is expected to last until late this week at the Mile End Road base of WHIST, which is open from Monday to Friday between 9.30am and 4.30pm.

There is plenty of reading material on show.

There is plenty of reading material on show.

Volunteers researched thoroughly in preparation for the exhibition.

Volunteers researched thoroughly in preparation for the exhibition.