Sunday, April 25, 2010

The war on fashion

As Australian's commemorate there diggers today on ANZAC day I felt it only right to dedicate this one to the women of the war. As a previous member of the Australian Army & the wife of a Soldier I am far too familiar with the uniform. Now less femine that there vintage counter parts. As it once was described to me as a "ladies Army", Women wore, skirts, stockings, heels, white gloves and lipsticks. This was even as late as the 80's. However the styles for women in todays army have been lost to the unisex parade dress, DCPU cams, and the only thing different to the mess dress is women wear a skirt rather than tailored trousers.

A little history:

A.N.A.S:  (Australian Womens Army Service) performed such tasks as clerks, signallers, drivers, cooks, orderlies, typists, telephonists, mechanics and A.A. crews, these women released soldiers for active service. The A.W.A.S. was disbanded in 1946, the newly formed Women's Royal Australian Army Corps, or W.R.A.A.C., carrying on its splendid tradition.

The Women's Royal Australian Army Corps (WRAAC) was established in April 1951 to help overcome a manpower shortage. During the late 1970s female soldiers began to be integrated into the Army at large and in early 1985, the WRAAC was disbanded. The last Officers' Cadet School parade (6 December 1984) on the WRAAC School parade ground saw the Officer Cadets and the WRAAC Contingent marching to the strains of "Soldiers of the Queen". Prior to the formal closing of the gates the WRAAC School flag was ceremoniously lowered and slow marched "off", to be folded and handed over to the Chief Instructor of the WRAAC School for safe keeping. The gates, which had been repainted for the occasion, were then closed by Major Diane McVicker of the WRAAC School and Mrs Gwen Ellis - sister of Colonel Best.

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