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Women at War

Our 1940s Weekend recreates an electric wartime atmosphere on the home front. Women played a vital part in WW2, at war and on the home front.

This year we have 'domestic life on the home front' demonstrations from the 'Women's Home Guard Auxiliary and Home Front Defenders'. Re-enactor Jenny gives a taste of how they bring women's wartime history to life, touching on '40s fashion, rationing and even learning to fight should it have come to that. Watch the video below.

Women at war in the Black Country

Women supported our soldiers by working on the home front in factories building ammunition and as landgirls on the farms digging for victory.

Here is a small part on the Black Country's Women at War Local Production.

Archibald Kenrick & Sons started life as an iron founder in 1791, manufacturing buckles and livery fittings from our site in West Bromwich. Prior to the war Kenrick would have supplied shops with cast iron hollow ware like kettles, pots and pans. However, during the war Kenrick produced hand grenades, trench mortar bombs, mincers and tornado nose cones. They also produced hollowware demanded by the armed forces.  

Here we have a couple of images supplied by Kenrick of women working in the Kenrick factory making grenades.

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Over 200 years later they still manufacture from the same site today, now supplying quality window and door hardware to the trade.


 GKN-  Prior to the war GKN manufactured screws, this continued alongside the production of mortar bombs.


Joseph Sankey & Son (Wolverhampton) made hollowware like the beetle trap. During the war, they made helmets (any helmets stamped JSS is one made by Sankey.) They also manufactured pressings for the DH98 Mosquito aeroplane (pictured right) and helped to develop jet engines.


Avery (Smethwick) before the war they made scales. During WW2, they switched to making munitions, scales to weigh shells, parts for sea planes and gun carriages. The factory was damaged by incendiary bombs, but production continued as they used underground tunnels.


Here are a couple of example recruitment posters that women in the 40s would have seen to encourage them to get involved on the home front.

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