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1914-18 War • Women's Army Auxiliary Corps

from July 1917 •The WAAC
WAACWAAC cap badge
The Women's Army Auxiliary Corps was formed in July 1917.This was the first Army Unit for Women.
The WAAC "Workers" uniform collars were brown. The lighter collars are "Forewomen".
Coloured insets in their shoulder strap indicated a womans job.
Red for the Household section
Purple for Mechanical and General (except motor drivers),  
Brown for the Clerical section
Claret for Motor Drivers.
In a monochrome photograph these colours have a similar greyscale value and it is unlikely we can use this information.At this time gloves or gauntlets were the trade mark of a motorist.Those held by the WAAC on the right, I would maintain, indicate that she is a driver.Their leather buttons were embossed with the Royal arms.

Voluntary unpaid Women's organisations such as the Women's Legion & WVR had existed before this, all founded and controlled by influential Ladies.
Most of the long debate on Servicewomen revolved around their status under the Geneva Convention, their terms and conditions and what jobs they could perform.The original plan was for WAACs to serve only as cooks, waitresses, clerks, telephonists. All were given the rank of "Worker". This was to distance the WAAC from any marshall Warlike connection. WAAC officers were called Controllers or Administrators and NCOs Non-Commisioned Officers=Corporals & Sergeants were called Forewomen.
In April 1918 the WAAC was renamed Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps (QMAAC)
The WRNS and WRAF were both formed around this same time.

Photograph above right Embossed C E Wright & Sons ....est Gate [Forest Gate ?]

Inscribed on the front: Sincerely yours 52733 QMAAC