Crafting for Victory

WAACs and Wartime Crafts

The images in this resource refer to some of the hand made craft items that were created during the First World War. The photos here show members of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC*) wearing their uniform, including the hand-stitched arm bands they wore so people could recognise that they were members of the WAAC.

Unwanted or surplus items of uniform were often made into craft items such as this button bracelet pictured right.


Auxiliary - a person or group that gives help or support

Non-Combat Role - a job in the army that didn't involve fighting with the regular armed services

Surplus - more than what is needed; spare


The WAAC was set up in 1917 after the British Army had suffered heavy losses during the previous year.  In order to free up more male soldiers to fight on the Western Front, the WAACs were sent to work in non-combat roles, such as cooks, telephone operators, drivers, printers and bakers.  In 1918 the WAAC was renamed Queen Mary’s Army Auxiliary Corps in recognition of their contribution.

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