“Our Excess Girls”: women after the First World War

After the First World War, the government, with strong support from the media, encouraged thousands of women to quit Britain for a new life in the colonies. Lucy Noakes explains why so many were deemed surplus to requirements

Hard labour: a woman tarring and flinting in Oxford Street, central London, 1919. (Getty Images) 

This article was first published in the March 2012 issue of BBC History Magazine 

Want to read more?

Become a BBC History Magazine subscriber today to unlock all premium articles in The Library

Unlock now