Army Girls is the intimate story of the final few women who served in World War II and are still alive to tell their tale. They were female soldiers in a war Britain wanted to fight without conscripting women. It was a vain hope, by December 1941 for the first time in British history women were called up and a generation of girls came of age in khaki, serving king and country. Barbara trained to drive army-style in giant trucks and Grace swapped her servant’s pinafore for battledress and a steel hat, Martha turned down officer status for action on a gun-site and Olivia won the Croix de Guerre in France.
Commemorating the 80th anniversary of conscription for women, Army Girls captures remarkable stories from the last surviving veterans who served in Britain’s female army and brings to life a pivotal moment in British history. Precious memories and letters are entwined in a rich narrative that travels back in time and sheds new light on being young, female and at war.
Uniquely this moving Second World War memoir is embedded in the present day. Written in the midst of a global pandemic, the parallels and paradoxes between two very different national crises are explored in a book that honours the women who fought on in extreme youth and now once more in great old age.