Crowds of mostly women climbing the stairs to fit onto an omnibus

Richmond WW1 Diary 13 May 1917

London bus drivers strike |  In May 1917, Richmond was affected by the London-wide strike by bus drivers. Unrest had been growing as the war dragged on and wages failed to keep pace with the rising costs of food and basic necessities. In February 1915 in Scotland, Clydeside armament workers went out for higher pay.…

Postcard with cartoon of woman wearing a pair of trousers. Caption "Scores of women are filling mens places with great success."

Richmond WW1 Diary 31 March 1917

Women At War The General Post Office on the Home Front had employed thousands of women to replace men as they enlisted and left to fight – 35,000 by the end of 1916. In March 1917, the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) was formed to take on tasks that did not need heavy labour. The first…

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Richmond WW1 Diary 19 January 1917

Venesta factory explosion At about 7pm on January 19 a massive explosion in a munitions factory in Silvertown, West Ham, killed 73 people. Many of the workers killed were women, ‘munitionettes’ who had volunteered to do their bit to support the war effort. The explosion happened after the day shift had ended; had it been…

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Richmond WW1 Diary 29 August 1916

The funeral of Mrs Christmas An article in the Richmond & Twickenham Times recorded the funeral of Mrs Christmas of 2 St John’s Cottages, Kew. Alice Christmas had been working out of the Acton Garage for the London General Omnibus Company when she was killed in an omnibus accident in Fulham. Her funeral was attended by 32…

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Richmond WW1 Diary 6 May 1916

Austerity bites In Spring 1916, much space in the Richmond & Twickenham Times had been devoted to the new regulations on food prices. The shortage of food had caused some traders to dramatically increase prices, making some items unaffordable for many people. Infants’ milk was singled out as needing special consideration to ensure prices were…

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Richmond WW1 Diary 26 October 1915

Belgian refugee child adopted The First World War caused an unprecedented refugee crisis in Europe, as people sought safety from the battles and from associated hunger and disease. St Mary Magdalene, the Anglican parish church in Richmond provided a focal point for activities related to supporting parishioners and others during the war years. The monthly…

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Richmond WW1 Diary 14 August 1915

The shortage of workers impacts daily life As the war progressed, one local impact was the shortage of staff and workers. In the early war, before women began to make a significant contribution to the workforce, this made everyday life difficult for the people of Richmond. On 14 August the Richmond & Twickenham Times carried an article…