Women in the Canadian Military

5 ACTIVITY #4 USING ORAL HISTORY AS A PRIMARY SOURCE 1. Split into groups of 5. Each group member will listen to or read one of the following interviews from the Memory Project Archive. Be sure each team member selects a different interview: • Madge Trull • Peggy Lee • Olive Peat • Carol Duffus • Kathleen Wyatt 2. Individually, list three things you learned from hearing them speak directly that you couldn’t have learned from a secondary source. 3. Imagine your selected veteran was in your classroom. Think about five questions you would want to ask them about their war experiences. 4. In your group, discuss the following: • What role did your selected speaker take on? What were some of the various roles women took on during the war? How might those experiences have contributed to their perspective? • What insights do the archive entries give you into some of the work women did during the war? • What stood out to you about their service experiences? What similarities did these women share? What was different about their experiences? • What skills do you think would have been important to do their jobs? • What challenges may these women have faced? How might that shape the stories they shared in their testimonies? ADDITIONAL RESOURCES Camp X Collection: Second World War Heritage Minute: Elsie MacGill RCAF Women’s Division Record of Service Podcast Episode 1: Codebreakers Veronica Foster ACTIVITY #5 WRENS AND THE SECOND WORLD WAR EXTENSION ACTIVITY Read the article Women in the Military on The Canadian Encyclopedia. During a class discussion, consider the following questions: • What were some of the different roles women took on? Compare and contrast the experiences of women on the home front and women in active service. • In what ways were both forms of service important to the war effort? • In what ways do you think women taking on jobs traditionally held by men challenged gender roles during the Second World War? • What challenges do you think service women might have faced above and beyond those faced by men? 1. As a class, watch the Record of Service: Second World War video for a short summary of the events explored in this activity. 2. Read the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service article on The Canadian Encyclopedia. 3. Watch Janet Watt’s video, taking notes as you go. Make sure to answer the following questions: • Who were the Wrens, and why were they important to the war effort? • Why did Mrs. Watt want to join? What did her parents think of her decision to join the WRCNS? • What aspect of serving did she find the most challenging? • What were some of the social activities Mrs. Watt engaged in while at HMCS Cornwallis (located in Deep Brook, Nova Scotia)? 4. Using Mrs. Watt’s testimony and your research, write a letter home or a script of a telephone conversation between her and one of her parents discussing her experience at HMCS Cornwallis. Consider what she might include in her correspondence or conversation and what she might omit. What were some things she was tasked with? How did she spend her free time? How did her work affect her daily life? Still from Record of Service: Janet Hester Watt (Historica Canada). ------------------------------------------------ -------------------------