Glass worker carrying a tube of rolled glass at Pilkington Glass Ltd., St Helen’s, 1918, courtesy of the Imperial War Museum ©IWM Q28392

Giant photos at IWM North Manchester mark vital role of women on the First World War Home Front

Posted on on 05 February 2014
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The vital contribution of women to the Home Front in the First World War is being marked with a giant display of photographs from the Imperial War Museum's archives at IWM North in Manchester. 

Six pictures of women at work in the factories of Northwest England have been enlarged for an exhibition outside the museum exploring how the war changed society.

The originals were jointly commissioned by the Imperial War Museum and the Ministry of Information to demonstrate the new and wide range of roles performed by women who were recruited to meet the demands of the war effort on British industry. 

Visitors are being invited to get in touch with IWM North if they recognise family members pictured in the display.


Women stacking oil cakes at an oil and cake factory, Lancashire, 1918, courtesy of the Imperial War Museum ©IWM Q28254

Graham Boxer, Director of IWM North, said: ‘The First World War was a major turning point that shaped the world we live in today, including the roles of women in society. These six powerful images depict women at work during an extraordinary time. 

"It is a fitting start towards a major programme of exhibitions, displays and events marking the First World War Centenary at IWM North. Later this year we will open the largest exhibition ever created exploring the role of the North West of England during the First World War.’

The pictures are the work of an official First World War photographer, G.P. Lewis, who specialised in documenting heavy industry. They've been enlarged for display in huge five-metre high frames outside the museum on the Quays in Manchester.


A woman working in Charles Macintosh and Sons’ Ltd rubber factory, Manchester, 1918, courtesy of the Imperial War Museum ©IWM Q28231

Visitors are invited to contact IWM North on Twitter @I_W_M #IWMNorth or if they can help with identifying any of the women in the pictures.

Source: IWM North

Date of press release publication: January 2014

Images courtesy of the Imperial War Museum

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News