Local Harriet Gardner, a widow in her seventies from Rangataua knitted by candlelight 1.36 socks for every single day of World War One. Harriet’s story is one of many remembered in the National Army Museum’s latest exhibition Women of Empire 1914-1918 which opened on 14th August.
The First World War was a transformative experience for many women. Opportunities to take on new roles and learn new skills saw these women become ambulance drivers, doctors, farmers and fund-raisers. They travelled the world, from Cairo to the Western Front, from Samoa to Serbia; or they remained at home, ‘doing their bit’ to keep businesses, farms and households afloat while their men served King and country in far away lands.
Women of Empire 1914-1918 draws on the personal experiences of New Zealand and Australian women during the First World War. Experiences illustrated by original costumes and accessories from the Dressing Australia Museum of Costume collection. The costumes of an era; of women in uniform, working women, women campaigning against conscription, women fundraising, women in mourning….the Women of Empire.
This travelling exhibition from Dressing Australia Museum of Costume is supported with artefacts fro the National Army Museum’s collection. The exhibition runs until 13th November.