Women's Fire Brigade Aka Firewomen 1916

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    Women fire fighters of Dartford Fire Brigade, Kent - World War One.

    Opens with two women in fire brigade uniforms rolling up a fire hose in a street in Dartford, moving toward camera. Several men and boys stand and watch; in background horses and buggies pass in street and we see shop called 'Chamberlain's Limited'.

    Next, rescue work: a woman lies on blanket in a park seemingly unconscious; the woman fire fighter crawls toward her, straightens out the body, lifts it up over her shoulder and carries her off. Then a moment of just the empty park scene with wall and bench; the fire fighter woman carries the 'injured' woman back and sets her on her feet, starts to lay her down again.

    Another rescue: a whole group of female fire fighters along with a couple firemen hold a net next to tall building; a body comes flying from high up out of the picture; landing safely in the net. Another 'victim'; a woman who has been standing in a second floor window, doesn't get a chance because the film is cut there.

    Home front; war work; emergency. (More on women's fire brigade on ON 032 G or ON 413 H.)

    American cataloguer notes "World War One made it necessary to have women workers in many places they'd never been, for example, on the Dartford Fire Brigade".


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    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    Media URN:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Film ID:
    Black & White
    Time in/Out:
    01:59:14:00 / 02:00:15:00
    ON 010 T
    Sort Number:
    ON 010 T
  • Appears in...

    Religion & Politics
    Twentieth Century London 1914-1918 Emmetts Alfriston Sissinghurst Quebec House ON 010 WW1 Life on the Home Front HFW1 14-18 HF
  • Stills

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  • This film does not show Dartford. I believe that it shows Norwich. The name of the shop in the background of the first scene has the unusual spelling of Chamberlin Ltd and I have located a store of this name, which had its own female fire brigade, in Norwich. The National Archives website has an entry for this shop and, at the bottom of the page, it mentions photographs of 'Chamberlins Ladies Fire Brigade': http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/A2A/records.aspx?cat=153-br025&cid=-1#-1.

    Mike Still 6th May 2014

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