The Wartime Memories Project - The Great War

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The Women's Army Auxiliary Corps

The Women's Army Auxiliary Corps was formed in 1917, all members were volunteers. The WAAC was organised into four units; cookery, mechanical, clerical and miscellaneous. The WAAC uniform was a khaki jacket and skirt (which had to be no more than twelve inches above the ground) and a tight-fitting khaki cap. Trousers added to the uniform as they were more practical. Over 57,000 women served in the WAAC both in Britain and abroad.

List of those who served with The Women's Army Auxiliary Corps during The Great War

Looking for help with Family History Research?   

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Can you help?

The Wartime Memories Project is run by volunteers and this website is funded by donations from our visitors.

If the information here has been helpful or you have enjoyed reaching the stories please conside making a donation, no matter how small, would be much appreciated, annually we need to raise enough funds to pay for our web hosting or this site will vanish from the web. In these difficult times current donations are falling far short of this target.

If you enjoy this site please consider making a donation.


  • The Wartime Memories Project is the original WW1 and WW2 commemoration website

    This website has been running for 18 years and receives in excess of a million hits per month. The website and our group will continue long after the 2014-18 events are over. We hope that people will continue to support us by submitting material and stories in addition to submitting to the new websites set up for the anniversary.

  • We are looking for volunteers to help with researching the activities of units of the Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, Territorial Force, Regular Army, Pals Battalions, Kitchener's New Armies, Voluntary Organisations and the Ships of the Royal Navy. We currently have a huge backlog of stories and historical documents which need to be edited or transcribed for display online, if you have a good standard of written English, an interest in the two World Wars and a little time to spare online we would appreciate your help. For more information please see our page on Volunteering.

Wanted: Digital copies of Group photographs, Scrapbooks, Autograph books, photo albums, newspaper clippings, letters, postcards and ephemera relating to the Great War. If you have any unwanted photographs, documents or items from the First or Second World War, please do not destroy them. The Wartime Memories Project will give them a good home and ensure that they are used for educational purposes. Please get in touch for the postal address, do not sent them to our PO Box as packages are not accepted.

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Feb 2018

    Please note we currently have a backlog of submitted material, our volunteers are working through this as quickly as possible and all names, stories and photos will be added to the site. If you have already submitted a story to the site and your UID reference number is higher than 239080 your submission is still in the queue, please do not resubmit without contacting us first.

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Did you know? We also have a section on World War Two. and a Timecapsule to preserve stories from other conflicts for future generations.

Edith Bennett Womans Army Auxillary Corps

Born 20-09-1900, married and became Edith Back and died 12-08-1981. Joined so that she could do "her bit" as her two older brothers, George b.1897 and Walter b.1899, were serving as regulars in the Royal Navy. She was discharged 21-10-1918 against number 51064. Her unit was later changed to the Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps. I understand that such members of the unit were not given service numbers.

Chris Lordan

Gladys Powers

Gladys Powers served in the British Women's Army Auxiliary Corps and later in the Women's Royal Air Force as a waitress. She met Ed Luxford, a Canadian soldier and went to Canada in 1920 as a war bride.

S. Flynn

Lt. Winifred Florence "Snuffy" Brealey Transport Women's Army Auxiliary Corps

My grandmother, Winifred Florence Brealey, served as a single women in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps in WWI. She was originally from Bovey Tracey in Devon, born 11 November 1895, 19 Southview Bovey Tracey, to parents John Brealey and Alice Maud Brealey, nee Bratcher.

She was in the transport division of Auxiliary Service Corps and finished her service as a Lieutenant. In 1918 my grandfather, Edgar Herbert Bristen Preston-Thomas, (originally from Weybridge) who served with NZ's Wellington Infantry Battalion and was in the Gallipoli campaigns, was in London. He had been discharged upon receiving a bullet wound to the hand and from suffering subsequent sickness. It was in London they meet each other and a romance blossomed despite the 16 year age gap. They used to travel around London in a motorbike and side car. After the war they married on 16 June 1919 and immigrated to NZ. On leaving for NZ at Plymouth, Winifred was pregnant and not expecting to give birth until they arrived in NZ some 6-8 weeks later. She went into labour and gave birth almost immediately on departure and their first daughter was born just off Drake Island still within the harbour.

Upon settling in NZ Winifred kept her A.S.C uniform in her wardrobe for many years and in WWII volunteered and assisted with soup kitchens and hosting soldiers to dinner for morale and hospitality services. She continued to be patriotic and serve people and lead them in times of need. I have searched the records section and have not been able to discover her name so maybe thinking her records are amongst those that are lost from WWII bombings of London. If anyone can guide me to further research opportunities it would be appreciated.


Nurse Maud Elizabeth Wilson Womens Army Auxiliary Corps

Aycliffe Village Local History Society

Mary Ellen "Molly" Buffell

My Grandma, Mary Taplin served in the WAAC.

Sandra Taplin

Helen Charlotte Isabella Gwynne-Vaughan Woman's Army Auxiliary Corps

Dame Gwynne-Vaughan made a huge contribution to botany, being a pioneer in the study of fungi genetics. She was named the head of the University of London's Botany Department in 1909 and was brought in to lead the Woman's Army Auxiliary Corps in 1917. She found herself at the head of a force that reached nearly 10,000 women across France, from nurses to aircraft technicians, and in 1918, she also became the head of the Women's Air Force.

s flynn

Marie Annie Parry

My grandmother Marie Parry (pronounced Marry) served in the WAAC during the Great War from 1917 to 1918 so far as I can ascertain. She was very reticent, as were many, to speak about her service but stated that after her fiance was killed at the Somme (he was in the Liverpool Pals) she decided she needed to do something more than act as a housemaid for Lord Derby, at Knowsley Hall.

She therefore took herself off, alone and joined the WAAC when it was created and the only thing she would tell me was that she was stationed at Audricque, and that there was a German prisoner of war camp nearby. She spoke of the beautiful German voices singing Christmas carols, probably 1917, and how the sound of it really touched her. I have photographs of her and WAAC colleagues, together with postcards of Audricque but that is as much information as I have.

Jill Revill

First World War Army Service Records: A Guide for Family Historians

William Spencer

This revised, expanded and fully updated edition of the longstanding bestseller explains the vast First World War holdings at The National Archives and the British Library's India Office. Expert advice for all those exploring the First World War or tracing relatives who served in it. It covers material already released and some soon to come on subjects such as service records, war diaries, medals, the WAAC, London Gazette and overseas records. This is an expanded and updated edition of William Spencer's already excellent book, which is indispensible for anyone researching their ancesters who fought in the British army (it doesn't cover navy) and wants to go beyond the medal-cards and fatality records that can be easily viwed via Ancestry. William Spencer has a thorough knowledge of the National Archives, and systematically describes the War Office archives available at Kew, and crucially gives the War Office WO reference numbers of each. If you are serious about tracing Britis
More information on: First World War Army Service Records: A Guide for Family Historians

Army Service Records of the First World War

William Spencer

A guide to the records relating to army personnel during World War I. This third edition is published to coincide with the transfer to the Public Record Office in early 2001 of the British Army Nurses and Indian Army Records. There are five new chapters covering: Army Nurses records; WAAC records; Indian Army records of service; Indian Army operational records; and casualties. It also provides more details on pension records; personnel files on selected officers, including General Haig; how to use the "London Gazette" to piece together a service record; expansion of the material on honours and awards; and information on service records contained within WO76. Researching a soldier of the British Army of 1914-1918 is no easy task. The records that survive are incomplete and full of military jargon that is difficult for the uninitiated. Most of the records are held at the National Archives in Kew, London, and this book gives good guidance to what is available and how to make effective
More information on: Army Service Records of the First World War

Can you help us to add to our records?

The names and stories on this website have been submitted by their relatives and friends. If your relations are not listed please add their names so that others can read about them

Did your relative live through the Great War? Do you have any photos, newspaper clippings, postcards or letters from that period? Have you researched the names on your local or war memorial?

If so please let us know.

Do you know the location of a Great War "Roll of Honour?"

We are very keen to track down these often forgotten documents and obtain photographs and transcriptions of the names recorded so that they will be available for all to remember.

Help us to build a database of information on those who served both at home and abroad so that future generations may learn of their sacrifice.

Celebrate your own Family History

Celebrate by honouring members of your family who served in the Great War both in the forces and at home. We love to hear about the soldiers, but also remember the many who served in support roles, nurses, doctors, land army, muntions workers etc.

Please use our Family History resources to find out more about your relatives. Then please send in a short article, with a photo if possible, so that they can be remembered on these pages.

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