Women worked in hospitals and driving ambulances. Here you'll find all the information. Please feel free to comment by clicking on the speech bubble icon at the top. This will take you to the forum.

Before the World War II, Great Britain had no national health service. There were three main arms to health care: first, the voluntary system, which included most large teaching hospitals and many small "cottage" hospitals; second, there were municipal hospitals run by local authorities; and finally, there were the community health services run mainly by local authorities, but which also included some voluntary services, such as the Queen's District Nurses. Each hospital and authority employed nurses to meet its own needs, and each was a law unto itself. There were many gaps and overlaps, and, although there was a Ministry of Health, there was no central organization.

Nurses, who had done a period of recognized training and had passed the examinations, were registered with the General Nursing Council, a statutory body which kept a register but did not record how many nurses were practising. Apart from registered nurses, hospitals employed a wide variety of what were loosely called "assistant nurses" and also, in some cases, auxiliaries and orderlies. There was no national pay scale, and different hospitals employed different categories as they thought fit.

In 1938 the Emergency Hospital Service was set up. The country was divided into sectors, each with a sector matron and administrative staff based on a teaching hospital. Later, under the National Health Service, these sectors became the basis for the regional hospital boards. The authorities urged urban hospitals to cut their nursing staff by half and to discharge as many patients as possible. Those who could not be discharged were sent with the staff to the sector hospital.

Information about nursing service in Great Britain during World War II


She joined the Red Cross and became a cadet officer. When war broke out in 1939, our two organisations again worked together and formed the Joint War Organisation. Trained volunteers (known as VADs, or voluntary aid detachments) served both at home and overseas in various roles – as nurses and welfare officers, civil defence workers and ambulance drivers

These volunteer production workers of the Red Cross prepared over 300,000 kits containing small articles for the comfort of the men sailing to foreign ports. The kits contained soap, writing materials, shoe laces, playing cards, a polishing cloth, and a paperback novel.
British Red Cross volunteers with bicycles and tricycles outside Hammersmith Red Cross headquarters during a fundraising day, with posters for the Red Cross and St John attached to the vehicles, 1939-1945.

If you want to get more information about the British Red Cross please clik:

Bristish Red Cross


She came to the rest centres because she wanted to do something helping people. She didn´t belong to the Peace Pledge Union.
Here you can get more information about Peace Pledge Union
She wanted to help people who were suffering from the war so she decided to join the rest centres. The idea was to have places where the people who had been bombed out of their homes could go to inmediately. At the beginning of the war there was an idea that there wouldn´t be this necessity.
Sylvia Jacobs joined the rest centre as a washer-upper and cleaner-upper and then she graduated to being a welfare adviser. She worked 24 hours on and 24 hours off. A lot of houses were requisitioned, so that people could find alternative accommodation. Many women had to bring their families up on their own, with husbands away for years and under difficult circumstances.

The Army Nurse 1945 US Army Pictorial Service, World War II Nurses. Source:

GAZ-AA Ambulance. 1932-1942.
GAZ-AA Ambulance. 1932-1942.

Poster of Ambulances. Illustrated poster explaining what the Barbados ambulances do and what other contributions Barbados has made to the British war effort.
The emergency ambulance was designed initially to transfer injured army personnel from the battle grounds to the medic unit. By time, it developed as a mini emergency room. Nowadays, the emergency ambulance is inseparable from hospital

Mrs. Bancroft decided to sell the shop she had and join the ambulance service. She had driven a van for Arsenal in the First World War, so she could do it in the Second. She had to have first aid lessons and she passed her first aid certificate. The ambulances weren´t like they are now. They were completely empty. They were short of materials, she tells that sometimes she had to leave the cases on the floor, because she needed the stretchers and blankets. She was paid 3 pounds a week for her work. In her spare time she was supposed to rest, when she had twenty-four hours off.


Utah Vivian Prince Swapp, 78, passed away in Logan on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 1999, from complications resulting from a stroke.
She was the first woman that appears in the topic "Health and Safety". She was in hospital during the war in what was known as the LCC (London County Council Health Service). She was a radiographer. She tells us some adventures getting to the hospital and back.

Here you can get more information about VIVIAN PRINCE

Second World War military hospital. Wounded soldiers recovering in an English military hospitals during the Second World War (1939-1945). This is the 2nd Evacuation Hospital, in Diddington, in what was then Huntingdonshire (now Cambridgeshire), UK. Photographed on 3 June 1943.

Second World War military hospital

Hyde Park Ward, part of the Springburn 'Red Cross' Hospital

Source: http://www.sciencephoto.com/media/300746/view



women´s army auxilliary corps.jpg