War, Women and Work marks the impact of World War One on life at Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls one hundred years ago. The research for this exhibition has been undertaken by our committee of pupils, along with the school’s archivist, and has provided us with a wealth of untold stories and remarkable facts about the school’s role in the war effort.
The outbreak of World War One was to have a great impact on life at Habs. Enthusiastically led by headmistress Miss Margaret Gilliland, the school contributed a phenomenal amount to the war effort, from knitting items of clothing for soldiers on the front line to “adopting” and assisting local families who had lost members to the armed forces. Our exhibition will also focus on the female contribution to the war effort, including the incredible stories of two pioneering former students, Mabel Lethbridge and Phyllis Lambert, who joined the rest of the country in helping Britain in its time of need.
The contribution of the soldiers of Empire to the Allied victory is often understated. Thus, we have aimed to represent the diversity of the First World War through an exploration of the family histories of our current pupils and teachers. As we are a multicultural school, we have been privileged to hear some remarkable stories from a wide range of sources, from the British Expeditionary Forces in Belgium and France to the Empire troops from countries as far from the Western Front as India, Dominica, New Zealand and Algeria.
The exhibition has been supported by the partnership with the UK Punjab Heritage Association, where two pupils volunteered as Research Historians. This included trips to the National Army Museum in Chelsea and the Queen’s Private Collection at Windsor Castle, allowing the girls to gain access to an extensive range of primary source material.
We are delighted to inform you that there will be lectures and object-handling sessions led by the parents and teachers whose relatives’ stories feature in this exhibition, along with talks by students from SOAS (The University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies) and a curator from UK Punjab Heritage Association (UKPHA).
Please click on the images below to find out more.