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War & Decline

The Second World War

ATS Corporal's uniform jacket

20th Century
In 1938 the British Government formed a women's army branch known as the Auxiliary Territorial Service(ATS). During the Second World War these women provided an important boost to army recruit numbers.  As well as filling roles commonly associated with women such as telephonists and typists, they also filled many of the duties which had been until this point carried out solely by men such as motorcycle dispatch riders and truck drivers.  Women however were still not allowed to take an active role in the actual fighting and were not trained in the use of firearms or artillery.
The Baird Institute
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East Ayrshire Council