Lucienne Boyce ‘“Men must fight and women must work”: Women’s Objection to War Work in the First World War’

In 1915 the Government carried out a census of British men and women to determine the number of men of enlistable age and the number of women available for war work. Known as the “War Census”, it was a prelude to the introduction of conscription of men into the armed forces in 1916. Many men went on to become conscientious objectors; but what of women who objected to offering their services to the war? How could they object, and did any of them in fact do so? Lucienne Boyce will look at women’s response to the call to do war work, and tell the story of Lily Girdlestone, a Bristol “conscientious objector”.

Lucienne Boyce is a Bristol-based author of fiction and non-fiction. In June 2013 Lucienne published The Bristol Suffragettes (non fiction), a history of the militant suffrage campaign in Bristol, which includes a walk and map.