Homage To Women Veterans.

11 Nov

Block print with chine colle: WW2 W.R.E.N.


A couple of years ago, my dear friend and neighbout died. She was in her ’90’s and was a veteran of World War Two, leaving her quiet village in West Wales to enlist in the Women’s Royal Naval Service, the W.R.E.Ns. After a posting to the Isle of Man, she was stationed in Swansea where, as a despatch rider, she learned how to strip and reassemble a motorbike on her kitchen table and ride her bike through the potholed city enduring night after night of bombing throughout the Blitz. An injury became seriously infected and she nearly died, but returned to duty as soon as she was on her feet.

British women of that generation threw their collective weight into the war effort, joining the Forces, becoming farmers, riveters, engineers, factory workers. Leaving their previous domestic lives behind them, they not only helped to defeat the Third Reich, they forged a new world for their daughters and granddaughters. They were feminists before feminism and sometimes I wonder if we realise how much we owe them.

I developed this block print after my friend died, as an homage to her and her generation. It was developed from a photograph of her as a young W.R.E.N and cut into polycarbonate foamboard. I printed a small edition onto Zercoll 145gsm paper using black litho/relief ink. I used a red hand-made Indian paper as chine colle for the poppy .

I don’t advocate war, but sometimes people have to step up and act out of duty for a wider good and that’s what her generation did. It’s now over seventy years since the War began and most of the veterans are dead. I miss them, their stoicism, their duty and their committment to making the future a better place.

10 Responses to “Homage To Women Veterans.”

  1. nelemon November 12, 2011 at 17:02 #

    What an amazing woman…and group of women that generation was. We will never know real sacrifice like they did. No wonder they call them “the Greatest Generation.” (Well, that’s what they are called in the States, anyway.)
    I love this print. Well done! Happy late Veterans’ Day.

    • Rosie Scribblah November 12, 2011 at 20:27 #

      How lovely – ‘The Greatest Generation’. That’s wahat they deserve to be called. They did so much for us. I’m glad you like the print. 🙂

  2. Hansi November 12, 2011 at 14:51 #

    Very nice print 🙂

  3. artboy68 November 12, 2011 at 03:41 #


  4. Patricia McParlin November 11, 2011 at 22:56 #

    Thank you for this….and for the work you do!

    Best wishes

    Patricia (McParlin) x

  5. jhv57 November 11, 2011 at 21:51 #

    How beautiful! A great image of another strong woman. I really am enjoying your blog!

    My grandmother served in WWI–in the U.S. Navy as a yeoman. Then women were used at home–she was a secretary-freeing up a man to go to the front.

    I just posted on FB the story of my father’s WWII Bronze Star. He served in Europe.

    • Rosie Scribblah November 11, 2011 at 22:00 #

      Thank you 🙂 Your grandmother sounds amazing. I hope you blog your father’s story.

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