Manchester Art Gallery

woman's auxiliary army corps uniform

Object description

Jacket : Greenish brown (khaki) twilled wool. Lined with white twilled cotton. Sides flared, fastening with three buttons. Low V neck with collar and revers. Buttonhole in right reverse to fasten to additional top button to form high neck. Pocket below waist each side. Slit pocket lined with rayon at left bust. Belt missing from waist. Long sleeves with wrists bound in leather. Skirt : Greenish brown (khaki) twilled wool. Slightly flared at back with stiffened inner waistband, fastening on left with three hooks and eyes. Pocket lined with black cotton in opening. Hem lined with greenish wool. Jacket : Greenish brown khaki twilled worsted gabardine. Lined with khaki cotton satin. Flared at sides. Fastening with three metal buttons with raised design of royal arms. V neck with turn-down collar and revers. Metal badge with wreath, attached to each end of collar. Large pocket with flap. Pocket in left front lining. Two medal ribbons at left bust. Belt attached and fastening at waist with buttons. Epaulette at shoulder with three metal roses. Long sleeves with three blue chevrons embroidered on right arm; also black and red cloth badge applied just below shoulder. Skirt : Greenish brown khaki twilled worsted gabardine. With stiffened inner waistband fastening CF with three hooks and eyes, skirt fastening with hook and eye and eight press studs concealed in CF tuck. Pocket lined with khaki cotton twill, in side seams just below waist. Belt at waist. Coat : Khaki twilled wool. Mostly lined with khaki cotton satin. Double breasted. Fastening Cf with thre pairs of leather buttons to V neck with turn down collar and reverse. Reverse have extra button to form high neck. Pocket lined with khaki cotton, at waist each side, with flap. Under belt fastening with three buttons. Epaulette with three metal roses. Long sleeves. Gaiters : Khaki Hat : Khaki. Also see blouse and tie.

Display label

This khaki wool gabardine suit with a beige silk shirt was supplied by Geo. B Ashford Ltd of Birmingham, and the khaki felt hat is labelled "Woodrow, Piccadilly, London". The bronze hat and lapel badges have the letters "WAAC". It was worn by Olive K Jordan, whose rank was Acting Administrator. This rank was equivalent to an Army captain, but the women's services were not allowed to use army rankings. The Women's Army Auxilliary Corps was formed in 1917, after several years of pressure and struggle on the part of influential women who wanted to provide what they saw was much-needed back-up to the front line fighting forces. There were four sections: Clerical, Mechanical, Cookery, and Miscellaneous. Many of the women who joined up worked in France, in camps alongside the main army units, carrying out their duties as store keepers, clerks and record keepers, motor mechanics, signallers, cooks, and gardeners in the war cemetries. Although non-combatant, their work was often dangerous, and they were exposed to air raids and shells. Their recruiting slogan was "The girl behind the man behind the gun"