Saturday, 18 September 2010

WWII Propaganda Fabric

Here is a photo of my John's Mum taken when she was around 18-20 years old. At the time, she was still Rose Mary Vinall as she was unmarried and, in fact, involved in war work making shells. It was taken around 1941-43 in the thick of WWII.

Nevertheless, it is a lovely photo of her and we always thought that the print on her dress was birds. However, have a close look! They are not birds but airplanes! She's literally wearing her patriotism! I have managed to even find a book called Wearing Propaganda: Textiles on the Home Front in Japan, Britain and the United States 1931-1945 so there must have been lots of different propaganda fabrics produced.

Wouldn't it be great if someone somewhere has some of that fabric!


Rachael said...

That's very interesting Elaine. I had no idea about that fabric at all. I need time to read everything you point out to me!

Elaine said...

Well, although I'd be curious to get a copy of the book ..... can't see that happening for a while :)
It costs £75!

Rose was very proud of having 'done her bit' by making ammunition shells during the war. She was an engineer at Gestetners before starting war work so it wasn't the war that pushed her into engineering. She looks too demure in this photo to have done that! However, she was quite tall for a girl, at 5 foot 10 inches, and quite a tom boy! Into swimming, rowing, cycling, skating, dancing.

Nevertheless, they worked 12 hour shifts both day and at night and there was always the fear that at the end of a night shift, there might not be a home to go back to. Living at South Tottenham in the Lea Valley industrial corridor meant they were a target for bombing, just as much as the East End and at least twice her home was bombed.

We owe a huge debt to her generation in my humble opinion.

Rachael said...

I totally agree about owing her generation a huge debt.

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