and Home Front 

Living History Group

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Dr. Edith Summerskill M.P.

The enamel badge shown above was issued to members of the Women's Home Defence (WHD).  The WHD was founded in June 1940 by Dr Edith Summerskill, a Labour M.P for Fulham West, whose aim was for women to have a role in armed defence alongside the Home Guard.  This was bitterly opposed by the War Office.  Other  groups, namely the Amazon Defence Corps, under the leadership of Venetia Foster in London and the Women's Home Defence Corps, under the leadership of Miss Watson-Williams at Bristol,  were being formed   The Secretary of State for War was petitioned for  equal membership of the Home Guard and that "women of the Home Guard shall be trained in the use of handling of firearms, and that firearms shall be issued to them"   These women's organisations and groups all came together and formed a new national wartime organisation, named The Women's Home Defence (WHD).  Not surprisingly, the War Office refused to recognise the WHD!.

Venetia Foster (Amazon Defence Corps)
Addressing New Members.

Some Photos Courtesy of Getty Images.

WHGA Training Exercise Crays Pond 21/22 May 2016