Whitby Online Historic Photographs Collection

Whitby Women in the Second World War
Women and War
Mildred Thompson, Doreen Loudfoot, and Maebelle Rowley attend Whitby's Victory in Europe Day Parade, 1945.
Mildred Thompson, Doreen Loudfoot, and Maebelle Rowley attend Whitby's Victory in Europe Day Parade, 1945. Details

During the Second World War, women entered the workforce in growing numbers. Their services were required for a variety of jobs from serving in the military, working in factories, organizing fundraisers for troops overseas, and providing medical care at the front lines in Europe. Women manufactured parts for airplanes and ships, they worked on farms, joined the navy, army, and airforce, volunteered as nurses with the Red Cross, organized rationing, and led their communities during wartime.

When the Second World War began in 1939, 600 000 women held permanent jobs; by 1943, the number of working women doubled, reaching 1 200 000. Of that, 439 000 women worked in the service sector, 373 000 women were in manufacturing, and 4000 women entered construction jobs. Clearly, women played an important role in Canada's war effort.

Whitby has many fine examples of women who stepped up to support their county. This exhibit will look at Whitby women in military service, manufacturing, and the community.
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