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Royal British Legion salutes Nottinghamshire women veterans

Seventeen women were among the officer cadets who graduated at the Sovereign’s Parade at Sandhurst this month. One of them, commissioned into the Royal Tank Regiment, became the first British Army officer to join a close combat unit.

The historic appointment came almost exactly one century after women first enrolled in Britain’s armed services. It was in July 1917 that the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) was founded and in the remaining months of the First World War some 57,000 climbed into khaki skirts hems a maximum 12in above the ground – to serve king and country both at home and overseas. They did so mainly as cooks, mess waitress, telephonists, mechanics and medical orderlies.

And although women would eventually graduate to mainstream Army units and in the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force into warships and warplanes it was not until 2016 that Prime Minister David Cameron gave the go-ahead for women soldiers to assume close-combat roles on the front line.


Read more: ‘Locally produced’ bacon came from Poland and Germany[1]


The 100th anniversary of the WAAC and a century of women’s military service will be commemorated on Friday, July 7, with a ceremony at the National Memorial Arboretum. It will be attended by veterans of all the women’s service branches as well as current service personnel. Although there are no surviving members of the WAAC, the gathering will include veterans of the Auxiliary Territorial Service, formed ahead of the Second World War, and the ATS’s successor, the Women’s Royal Army Corps (WRAC).

Royal British Legion Salutes Nottinghamshire Women Veterans

ATS veteran Barbara Kemp with the insignia of the Legion of Honour

That’s the generation of Barbara Kemp, 92, of Plungar, who had been brought up in care and volunteered with the ATS in order to pay the bills.

“The ATS was the first family I ever had,” she reflected on service which took her into France and Belgium. “Until I got married, it was the best thing I’d ever done.”


Read more: Meet the challengers for Notts Young Chef of the Year[2]


It was an era when the women’s role in the military effort was seen as essentially supportive. A wartime recruiting poster for the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force urged girls to “serve with the men who fly”. But that didn’t mean there was no danger. Before she was invalided home with illness, Barbara served at a barracks in Belgium which were shot up by a Luftwaffe fighter pilot.

Royal British Legion Salutes Nottinghamshire Women Veterans

Barbara Kemp as an ATS corporal during the Second World War

Mrs Kemp is not entirely convinced that women should be slugging it out, eyeball to eyeball, with the enemies of the Queen.

“We had to put up with dangers and we showed that we were just as good as men but sometimes equality is not such a good thing and I don’t think the front line is the right role for women,” she said. Mrs Kemp married wartime sailor Bill Kemp, who later practised as an architect in Nottingham. In 2015 a reminder of her service arrived in the post the insignia of the Legion of Honour, bestowed by President Francois Hollande on all who had helped liberate France in 1944.


Read more: Teen arrested after Long Eaton park vandalism patrols[3][4]


A later generation of women in uniform is represented by Donna Remzi of Bulwell, who has the Meritorious Service Medal and ten other medals to show for her 23 years of service. She was a driver, transferring from the WRAC when it was amalgamated into the Army in 1992 and then serving first in the Royal Corps of Transport and later the Royal Logistics Corps.

Donna served in Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Northern Ireland and the post-conflict Falklands and as a staff car specialist with close protection training she drove royalty, defence secretaries and generals.

“I loved the life and made a lot of friends,” said Donna, 48, who stays in touch with former colleagues via the WRAC Association. Now working in property development, she says: “Yes, I’d recommend it to girls looking at a career, but it’s important that they keep themselves fit.”

Royal British Legion Salutes Nottinghamshire Women Veterans

The National Memorial Arboretum, venue for the July commemoration

Women at War 100 is being organised by the Royal British Legion, whose director-general Charles Byrne said: “This is an opportunity to recognise the vital role of women in the UK armed forces.

“The roles of women in the services has changed beyond recognition over the last century but throughout that time their contribution has been critical to the UK’s military campaigns.”

Claire Rowcliffe, the Legion’s director of fundraising, urged women veterans from Nottinghamshire to join the party.

“We’d love to see the National Memorial Arboretum full of women who have served, or are still serving, with lots of stories to tell,” said Ms Rowcliffe, who was commissioned into the Royal Military Police in 1998 and whose service over four years included an operational tour of Kosovo.

Royal British Legion Salutes Nottinghamshire Women Veterans

Royal British Legion director of fundraising Claire Rowcliffe

“We already support many women who are the spouses or partners of servicemen, or perhaps daughters who are their carers,” she said. “Those numbers are likely to rise as more women take on more roles in the services.”

The ceremony on July 7 will also involve representatives of uniformed nursing services and survivors of the Land Army and the Special Operations Executive. For more information, click here[5].


A century of women in the British armed services

The Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps was formed in 1917 and in 1918 it was renamed the Queen Mary’s Army Auxiliary Corps. It was disbanded in 1921. In 1938 the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) was formed and in 1949 it was succeeded by the Women’s Royal Army Corps, which was in integrated into the British Army in 1992.

Also founded in 1917 was the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS). It was disbanded in 1919 but restored in 1939. In 1993 it was amalgamated into the Royal Navy.

The Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF) existed from 1918 to 1920, and the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force from 1939 to 1949, when it was absorbed into the re-formed WRAF. The WRAF was absorbed into the RAF in 1994, completing the assimilation of women’s units into the UK’s mainstream armed services.

References

  1. ^ ‘Locally produced’ bacon came from Poland and Germany (www.nottinghampost.com)
  2. ^ Meet the challengers for Notts Young Chef of the Year (www.nottinghampost.com)
  3. ^ Teen arrested after Long (www.nottinghampost.com)
  4. ^ Eaton park vandalism patrols (www.nottinghampost.com)
  5. ^ click here (www.britishlegion.org.uk)

Vandal Scrawls ‘Nazi Art’ on a Painting at the Met’s Education Center

A man allegedly vandalized a student painting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art[1] on April 19, writing Nazi Art across the work on view at the institution s education center. Ryan Watson, 33, scribbled on the painting at around 5pm, and although his motive for the vandalism is unclear, he shouted Go back to your country! at a security guard who confronted him, according to the New York Daily News[2]. The artwork was created by a New York City teenager, and is one of 600 works currently included in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards: New York City Regional Exhibition[3], on view March 24 May 29, 2017. Each participating artist won the highest honor, the Gold Key Award, in the 2017 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, organized by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers.

Vandal Scrawls 'Nazi Art' On A Painting At The Met's Education Center

This painting, Ghost Realm, by Amadi Rubie, grade 11, age 16, of Benjamin N. Cardozo High School, Oakland Gardens, New York, is one of the paintings in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards: New York City Regional Exhibition. A visitor to the museum vandalized another student work in the show. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Educator: Minwouk Rhee. The vandalism follows the March attack on a Met security guard[4] carried out by Brandon Aebersold, age 33. The assailant smashed a bottle over the employee s head when the guard suggested he tell the information desk about a crooked painting, rather than personally adjusting it. Following the latest incident, Watson was detained by museum guards, and then arrested by police. He has allegedly been charged with graffiti and criminal mischief, and was awaiting arraignment at Manhattan Criminal Court on Thursday evening.

The Met is reaching out to the student and will make every effort to restore the work of art, Met spokesperson Annie Bailis said in a statement. The Met is grateful for the quick and effective action taken by security officers and the NYPD on this unfortunate incident.

The targeted artwork was selected by 300 literary and visual arts professionals from nearly 11,000 written or artistic works submitted by almost 4,000 middle and high school students. Though the young artist victimized by Watson s crime may be an unknown today, Andy Warhol[5], Cy Twombly[6], Kay WalkingStick[7], and John Baldessari[8] were all Scholastic Art & Writing Award winners. The awards were established in 1923. The name of the affected work and student artist has not been released.

Follow artnet News[9] on Facebook.

References

  1. ^ Metropolitan Museum of Art (www.metmuseum.org)
  2. ^ New York Daily News (www.nydailynews.com)
  3. ^ Scholastic Art & Writing Awards: New York City Regional Exhibition (www.metmuseum.org)
  4. ^ March attack on a Met security guard (news.artnet.com)
  5. ^ Andy Warhol (www.artnet.com)
  6. ^ Cy Twombly (www.artnet.com)
  7. ^ Kay WalkingStick (www.artnet.com)
  8. ^ John Baldessari (www.artnet.com)
  9. ^ artnet News (facebook.com)

Man Scrawls ‘Nazi Art’ on Student Painting at the Met

A man allegedly vandalized a student painting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art[1] on April 19, writing Nazi Art across the work on view at the institution s education center. Ryan Watson, 33, scribbled on the painting at around 5pm, and although his motive for the vandalism is unclear, he shouted Go back to your country! at a security guard who confronted him, according to the New York Daily News[2]. The artwork was created by a New York City teenager, and is one of 600 works currently included in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards: New York City Regional Exhibition[3], on view March 24 May 29, 2017. Each participating artist won the highest honor, the Gold Key Award, in the 2017 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, organized by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers.

Man Scrawls 'Nazi Art' On Student Painting At The Met

This painting, Ghost Realm, by Amadi Rubie, grade 11, age 16, of Benjamin N. Cardozo High School, Oakland Gardens, New York, is one of the paintings in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards: New York City Regional Exhibition. A visitor to the museum vandalized another student work in the show. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Educator: Minwouk Rhee. The vandalism follows the March attack on a Met security guard[4] carried out by Brandon Aebersold, age 33. The assailant smashed a bottle over the employee s head when the guard suggested he tell the information desk about a crooked painting, rather than personally adjusting it. Following the latest incident, Watson was detained by museum guards, and then arrested by police. He has allegedly been charged with graffiti and criminal mischief, and was awaiting arraignment at Manhattan Criminal Court on Thursday evening.

The Met is reaching out to the student and will make every effort to restore the work of art, Met spokesperson Annie Bailis said in a statement. The Met is grateful for the quick and effective action taken by security officers and the NYPD on this unfortunate incident.

The targeted artwork was selected by 300 literary and visual arts professionals from nearly 11,000 written or artistic works submitted by almost 4,000 middle and high school students. Though the young artist victimized by Watson s crime may be an unknown today, Andy Warhol[5], Cy Twombly[6], Kay WalkingStick[7], and John Baldessari[8] were all Scholastic Art & Writing Award winners. The awards were established in 1923. The name of the affected work and student artist has not been released.

Follow artnet News[9] on Facebook.

References

  1. ^ Metropolitan Museum of Art (www.metmuseum.org)
  2. ^ New York Daily News (www.nydailynews.com)
  3. ^ Scholastic Art & Writing Awards: New York City Regional Exhibition (www.metmuseum.org)
  4. ^ March attack on a Met security guard (news.artnet.com)
  5. ^ Andy Warhol (www.artnet.com)
  6. ^ Cy Twombly (www.artnet.com)
  7. ^ Kay WalkingStick (www.artnet.com)
  8. ^ John Baldessari (www.artnet.com)
  9. ^ artnet News (facebook.com)
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