'Front line angels' is what the ANZACs called the nurses during the First World War. 

A nurse and her patients

Nurse and patients in the New Zealand Stationary Hospital, Wisques, France

These nurses were as brave as the soldiers, working long hours in hard conditions. The hospitals were often built close to the front lines (of fighting), this meant that they were sometimes bombed.

When we think of what women did during the war, we often think of nurses, but as you can see below, there were many other important jobs that they took on.

Women packing parcels for soldiers

These women are packing parcels to send to New Zealand prisoners of war.

Women packing parcels for new Zealand prisoners of war

Women assembling mortar shells

Women in Wellington put together parts for trench mortar shells.

Women assembling parts for trench motor shells, Swan Electric Co Ltd, Dixon Street, Wellington

Women working in a dehydration factory
Women working in a food dehydration plant in Pukekohe during World War Two

In Pukekohe during World War 2, women are working in a food dehydration plant. Dehydrated food doesn't go 'off', is light and doesn't take up  much space ... great for shipping overseas to the soldiers.

Women working on an airbase
Woman driving a tractor alongside an Avro Anson training plane, during World War Two

Many women learned new skills during the war, as they took on the jobs that men usually did.


A poster encouraging women to work on the land
A poster from 1942 - 1943

Many of the farmers had gone to fight for their country. The farms were now tended to by women.


Women digging to plant food
Women's war service in new Zealand


Women growing vegetables
Women planting a garden in Wellington, during World War Two

Food was needed at home and for the soldiers at war.



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(Info) Januaryl, 2006