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What WOMEN were inspiring during WWII

(70 Posts)
Spidermama Mon 28-Sep-09 19:33:18

For her homework DD has to pick a person from the second world war and write about them and present their story to the class.

She wants to write about a woman. Can you think of any? (Eva Braun has already been taken).

Elk Mon 28-Sep-09 19:40:44


Ponders Mon 28-Sep-09 19:43:04

Oh, there was a wonderful French resistance person that someone wrote a poem about...hang on a sec...

differentID Mon 28-Sep-09 19:44:05

How about Vera Lynn?
Miep Gies, Anne Frank's friend? she could also do something about the continental resistance.

mrz Mon 28-Sep-09 19:44:38

Violette Szabo and Odette Churchill
Vera Lynn and Gracie Fields
Amy Johnson

luckyblackcat Mon 28-Sep-09 19:45:12

This may be a little general, about the role of women in different areas

YouLukaStunning Mon 28-Sep-09 19:45:44

Anne Frank

Vera Lynn

Ponders Mon 28-Sep-09 19:45:46

OK, that was Violette Szabo although the poem was written for someone else but used as code & in the film of VS's life

choosyfloosy Mon 28-Sep-09 19:46:52

Violette Szabo was an SOE agent (and Leo Marks her codemaster wrote 'The life that I have' for her).

Noor Inayat Khan was also an SOE agent.

Eleanor Roosevelt founded the precursor to the United Nations in 1943.

bruffin Mon 28-Sep-09 19:47:26

Violette Szabo

Portofino Mon 28-Sep-09 19:49:23

Mata Hari? Does it have to be a famous person? What about the Mass Observation Project ie Housewife 49?

Ponders Mon 28-Sep-09 19:50:00

VS's life was amazing but you would need to gloss over her end sad

Portofino Mon 28-Sep-09 19:50:01

Or the Land girls? Munitions factory workers?

mrz Mon 28-Sep-09 19:50:25

Mata Hari was WWI

OrangeFish Mon 28-Sep-09 19:52:04

All those housewives who went to cover job positions while the men where at the front.

They not only kept the country running but also made it possible for us to be seen as equally good as a man to carry out similar jobs (well... mostly)

choosyfloosy Mon 28-Sep-09 19:52:36

(sorry yes the life that i have was written for someone else originally).

Gladys Aylward
Martha Gellhorn

choosyfloosy Mon 28-Sep-09 19:53:13

what about her own grandmother/great-grandmother/great-aunt?

Ponders Mon 28-Sep-09 19:53:26

"Violette Szabo was executed on or about 5 February, 1945 and her body disposed of in the crematorium. She was 23 years old."

23 years old.

Northernlurker Mon 28-Sep-09 19:54:04

Ooh yes lots!

Vera Brittain - inspiring for her pacifist convictions which made her hugely unpopular.

The Queen Mother (obvious) but a significant public figure working to support morale

Ver Atkins - the woman behind the SOE women

Nancy Wake - another SOE operative - with a happy (ish) ending

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 28-Sep-09 19:57:41

Message withdrawn

Ponders Mon 28-Sep-09 20:00:06

It's true that we generally only hear about the "celebrities" of the war - it might be nice to find someone "ordinary".

Northernlurker Mon 28-Sep-09 20:04:23

here this looks like a good site if she does want to do a SOE woman - or for anybody who wants to know more.

I read a fascinating book a while back and I can't remember it's name which is very annoying. It was a biography of many of the women and we look back now and see them as historical figures and you don't get the complexity of their lives coming across. They weren't all as young as Violette Szabo. Some were middle aged, some had children, were widowed or had husbands also serving. THey were doing a job as well as they could and some of them had been betrayed before they ever even got to France. THey were just like us - as we sit hammereing away on our keyboards - ages, experiences, interests just like us but we are so much luckier than them sad

differentID Mon 28-Sep-09 20:07:01

How about Edith Hahn Beer? A Jewish girl who pretended to be aryan and ended up marrying a member of the Nazi Party. She died earlier this year.

BonjourIvresse Mon 28-Sep-09 20:26:58

Anne Frank
Queen Mother

I like the idea of doing a female relative though, its those storeis that are the most interesting imo.

Ponders Mon 28-Sep-09 20:32:05

The difficulty there is finding a relative still alive who was an adult at the time, BI. Someone born in 1925, who would have been 14 when the war began, is 84 now.

Portofino's Mass Observation suggestion might be good though.

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