The WRAF, Women's Royal Air Force, was founded in Britain in1918 as an auxiliary to the Royal Air Force, enabling women to take various roles at air force bases (and thus free up men for the front). Though the majority of the over 32,000 women who served from 1918-1920 were employed as clerks and typists, all kinds of trades and roles became open to women. Awesome women, of course!
For more information, the RAF museum has a good blurb.
Note: at the original time of posting, this post had three additional images, including two of women actually working on planes. At the time, the IWM site did not note any restrictions on use of these images; however, when I went back to cite more properly, I noticed not only had this changed to "all rights reserved", but the IWM itself had removed the images from their site. So I did the same-- it's a shame, and the post is much weaker without them (I wouldn't have posted it, now), but this blog is committed to only using images within copyright!
I did, however, find these images--which I can't share, due to copyright restriction, but which can at least be linked to!
|© IWM (Q 12291)|
A WRAF motorcyclist. Source
|© IWM (Q 12260Q)|
Taking a tea break. Source
|© IWM (Q 33817)|
A woman driver serving with the RFC (precursor to the RAF). Source
|© IWM (Q 12260P)|
A WRAF officer with a dog mascot. Source
|© IWM (Q 27257)|
WRAF members in a RAF lorry. Source