12th September 2020

War Worker Uniforms

Researching uniform buttons, it became apparent that there were a multitude of women’s war organisations during WW2. This possibly resulted in duplication of services and less efficiency. As the federal government and military did not initially support women being trained to serve in the armed forces these organisations were not taken seriously by the general public. However, they highlighted women’s fervent desire to contribute, to somehow help ‘the boys’. They had to pay for their own uniforms, with an average cost of over 3 pounds.

An article in The Sun (Sydney) on page 1 of the women’s section, 9th March 1941, focused on the uniforms for ‘War Workers’, as two parades were to be held for them. Unless indicated, the pictures below are from that article.

Note that “overalls” for women were a style of shirt-dresses, not pants with bibs and braces.

Part 1

Anzac Buffet Women’s Auxiliary

See https://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/blogs/sydneys-anzac-buffet






Australian Women’s Flying Club

Formed in 1938. The uniform consisted of blue dungarees, or a tunic.

Australian War Memorial image p01857.005

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney), 28th July 1940 page 2.



Girl Guide Movement

The Australasian (Melbourne), 24th May 1941 page 21.

Sunshine Coast Libraries. Girl Guides in 1941.


National Defence League Transport Unit

The Sun (Sydney(, 8th September 1940 page 21.Members of the VAL transport unit. They learnt map reading, mechanics, morse signalling, first aid and military transport drill.

St John Ambulance Brigade V. A. Detachment


Women’s Australian National Services (WANS)

The Australasian (Melbourne), 24th May 1941 page 21.