WOMEN HEROES OF WORLD WAR 1
Sixteen Remarkable Resisters, Soldiers, Spies, and Medics
Kathryn J. Atwood
I found a lot to interest me in this book. Although intended for the 'young adult' market, I think that description does it a disservice. With the centenary of the Great War prominent in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe there is increasing interest in the period among ordinary people, previously neither historically nor academically inclined. Kathryn Atwood's well researched book gives a factual and straightforward account of sixteen women whose names are unknown to most, written in a relaxed style and uncomplicated language.
Divided into 'bite-sized' pieces, it can read as a whole or dipped into for information on a particular individual or area. The choice of subjects is wide-ranging and covers spies, resisters, medical staff, journalists and soldiers. Although many names will be unfamiliar, the stories are compelling and there is a great deal to be learnt about the enormous scope of women’s work during wartime, elsewhere usually confined to a handful of high profile women, organisations and services. Background information, extra notes and suggestions for further reading are included with each chapter, making it simple to find out more about areas of personal interest.
The stories act as a reminder to the island nation which is the United Kingdom of how lucky we are not to have suffered enemy invasion during the twentieth century, and how easily our own women could have been in a similar position to the spies and resisters of France and Belgium. Much emphasis has been laid on Edith Cavell in the past but this book makes it clear that many more women were also involved in patriotic espionage and suffered a similar fate. I would definitely recommend the book as suitable for both young and old alike.
Publisher: Chicago Review Press, 2014