canadian women who won medals in ww2

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canadian women who won medals in ww2

Ted Harris
Ted Harris

October 6th, 2008, 7:00 pm #1

gents and ladies,one and all

i am presently writing my 1st assignment paper for laurentian university...the subject: gender ineqality from 1939 to 1945...my title i chose for my paper : the role of women in ww2 , and i am wondering where i could get a list of canadian women who won medals in ww2...i found the american list very easily but i am having a hard time finding it for canada

can anyone help me find a list? i need a few examples...where,when,why etc


thanks

Ted
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Michael Dorosh
Michael Dorosh

October 6th, 2008, 7:08 pm #2

A subtle distinction you might want to make and some points to consider

a) no one "wins" medals. They are awarded according to several criteria - bravery and merit, generally, though some are for service (showing up). Having said that, there have been cases (even with the Victoria Cross in some rare instances) in which names have been selected at random to determine who would be awarded a medal, as representative of the actions of a group

b) women did not serve in a combat capacity in the Second World War

c) women served in dramatically lower numbers than their male counterparts

You may want to look at the CD-ROM Courage & Service which lists just about every medal recipient of the Canadian Army, Navy and Air Force of the Second World War, including all the citations. It does not break things down by gender and is all raw data, but is an invaluable source document, and available from Service Publications - http://servicepub.com

I'm unaware of any awards listing but try the history of the CWAC - "Athene" - Doug Townend will be along to be more helpful than that, I am sure.
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Ted Harris
Ted Harris

October 6th, 2008, 7:24 pm #3

thanks Mike for the correction on the "win" and "awarded" topic....i know women never served in combat but were they awarded medals just the same? or was it just canada (maybe Britian as well?) who did not award medals? the us certainly did...they list them here

http://userpages.aug.com/captbarb/medals.html

i will check out the cd, nice piece to add to a collection

thanks again Mike

Ted
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Michael Dorosh
Michael Dorosh

October 6th, 2008, 7:35 pm #4

Doug Townend will have the scoop and so will the history of the CWAC - my copy is in storage - but try the local library. But off the top of my head, I would imagine that female soldiers probably earned a fair share of British Empire Medals (BEM), which was a common award for merit if memory serves.

And if not, you can certainly make a case for gender inequality, as male quartermaster sergeants seem to have gotten them with some regularity, as a look at some infantry battalion award listings will show.

I stand to be corrected on this.
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Doug Townend
Doug Townend

October 6th, 2008, 11:33 pm #5

A subtle distinction you might want to make and some points to consider

a) no one "wins" medals. They are awarded according to several criteria - bravery and merit, generally, though some are for service (showing up). Having said that, there have been cases (even with the Victoria Cross in some rare instances) in which names have been selected at random to determine who would be awarded a medal, as representative of the actions of a group

b) women did not serve in a combat capacity in the Second World War

c) women served in dramatically lower numbers than their male counterparts

You may want to look at the CD-ROM Courage & Service which lists just about every medal recipient of the Canadian Army, Navy and Air Force of the Second World War, including all the citations. It does not break things down by gender and is all raw data, but is an invaluable source document, and available from Service Publications - http://servicepub.com

I'm unaware of any awards listing but try the history of the CWAC - "Athene" - Doug Townend will be along to be more helpful than that, I am sure.
Hugh A. Holliday, noted aviation author, has researched and produced definitive lists of citations for H and A to the CWAC and the RCAF Womens Division. He may have done it for the WRCNS too.

In the CWAC list, 19 pages long with 4 to 5 entries per page, the members of the CWAC received the following awards - MBE (Member, Order of the British Empire), BEM (British Empire Medal, MID (Mention in Despatches), and Commendation for Brave Conduct.

I dont have a copy of the citations for H and A to the RCAF WD. You might try the Air Force Association in Ottawa. I remember reading an article by Hugh Halliday about H and A to the RCAF WD.

Cannot give you contact info for Hugh Halliday as he is not in the phone book. Perhaps Clive Law may be able to help.

Keep in mind, women were not in combat units in general, except for Nursing Sisters who were in medical units (Casualty Clearing Stations and Field Ambulances) located very close to the combat units, so they would not have been in a position to potentially commit an act of bravery worthy of a a bravery award.

You might also research "Canadian Military History" published by the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies at Wilfred Laurier University. Contact the editor Mike Bechtold by email at <mbechtold@wlu.ca> or 519-884-0710 extn 4594. They published a very interesting article about Canadian and British Nurses fighting the British Army in WW1 for award of the Military Cross.

DT.
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Doug Townend
Doug Townend

October 6th, 2008, 11:45 pm #6

gents and ladies,one and all

i am presently writing my 1st assignment paper for laurentian university...the subject: gender ineqality from 1939 to 1945...my title i chose for my paper : the role of women in ww2 , and i am wondering where i could get a list of canadian women who won medals in ww2...i found the american list very easily but i am having a hard time finding it for canada

can anyone help me find a list? i need a few examples...where,when,why etc


thanks

Ted
I dont think you'll find much on gender inequality in the military because other than diferences in pay and not being able to serve in combat units women in the military were fully integrated into the units in which they served.There was some grumbling from some men initially because the objective for recruiting women was to release me to fight the enemy. The women quickly proved able to do the job and much more. As Air Marchal Breadner, RCAF, said to one group of women on demobilization "We could not have done it without you".

A worthwhile source is "They are still women, after all" by Ruth Roach Pierson. You can buy a copy at ABEbooks.com. The author is a professor at Memorial University in Newfoundland and a feminist. The book is a very good read.
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Ted Harris
Ted Harris

October 7th, 2008, 12:03 pm #7

thanks Doug....your quote you wrote "The women quickly proved able to do the job and much more. As Air Marchal Breadner, RCAF, said to one group of women on demobilization "We could not have done it without you"."
is in my paper, not word for word but very close...

i even quoted air marshal leigh-mallory saying they sould employ women in the waaf as pilots

thanks again

Ted
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