Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

A surfeit of socks? The impact of the First World War on women correspondents to daily newspapers.

Pedersen, Sarah



This article is based on such material and shows how the predominant subject matter for ladies’ letters during the war years was that of voluntary fundraising for the many charities and associations connected with the war. Such charities were often suggested to the women through personal or local ties - family members at the front; local regiments or Scottish connections. As we shall see, these women perceived their war work in localised or provincialised terms, and were led by the local elite, in both the city and the surrounding countryside. Whilst this approach did eventually lead to inequalities in provision for the men at the front, the hospitals and the prisoners of war, this voluntary approach was at first the only one which existed - and such an approach was part of the government’s own approach to the war until late 1915. After this time, and with the growing power of Lloyd George, the government and local authorities began to impose a more centralised and less personalised approach to the voluntary organisations. While this approach was at first resented by many of the charitable ladies affected, as can be seen in their letters to the newspapers, it was necessary in order to provide a more uniform approach to the provision of comforts and necessary medical items to the ever-increasing number of men and women in need.


PEDERSEN, S. 2002. A surfeit of socks? The impact of the First World War on women correspondents to daily newspapers. Journal of Scottish historical studies [online], 22(1), pages 50-72. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 1, 2002
Online Publication Date May 1, 2002
Publication Date May 1, 2002
Deposit Date Jan 20, 2009
Publicly Available Date Jan 20, 2009
Journal Journal of Scottish historical studies
Print ISSN 1748-538X
Electronic ISSN 1755-1749
Publisher Edinburgh University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 22
Issue 1
Pages 50-72
Keywords First World War; Daily newspapers; Women; Correspondents
Public URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations