From the summer of 1938, British women from all walks of life joined the Women's Voluntary Services (WVS). This disparate band of women came together for the common good - to help serve and protect their communities. By 1941 a million women had enrolled. These brave and dutiful women played a vital role in Britain's victory. The positive impact of the WVS on wartime society was universally acknowledged. They were instrumental in implementing the large-scale evacuation of children from bomb-targeted cities, in the care of the wounded, and in keeping those in war service fed.
Kathleen Hey spent the war years helping her sister and brother-in-law run a grocery shop in the Yorkshire town of Dewsbury. From July 1941 to July 1946, she kept a diary for the Mass Observation Project, recording the thoughts and concerns of the people who used the shop. Among the chorus of voices she brings us, Kathleen herself shines through as a strong and engaging woman who refuses to give in to doubts or misery and who maintains her keen sense of humour, even under the most trying conditions.