Women of Steel

When war broke out, the young women of Sheffield had their carefree lives turned upside down. With their sweethearts being sent away to fight, they had no choice but to step into the men’s shoes and became the backbone of the city’s steel industry. Through hard toil and companionship in the gruelling world of factory work, they vowed to keep the foundry fires burning and ensured that soldiers had the weapons, planes and ships needed to secure victory over Hitler.

Women of Steel is the last chance to hear these unsung heroines’ voices, as they share first-hand how a group of plucky young women rallied together to win the war for Britain. When the men returned from the front in 1945, many of these women tragically found themselves discarded ‘like yesterday’s fish and chip wrappers’. But decades later, a grassroots campaign spearheaded by the elderly Women of Steel finally brought their remarkable story to light.

I spent two years researching this book, interviewing these incredible ladies and their very proud families.

It was nothing short of an absolute honour and privilege to collate their stories and write a book documenting their remarkable lives. When war broke out, the young women of Sheffield had their carefree lives turned upside down. With their sweethearts being sent away to fight, they had no choice but to step into the men’s shoes and became the backbone of the city’s steel industry. Through hard toil and companionship in the gruelling world of factory work, they vowed to keep the foundry fires burning and ensured that soldiers had the weapons, planes and ships needed to secure victory over Hitler.

 

I hope now, each one of these women, their colleagues and all those who sacrificed so many years of their lives, will now take their rightful place in the history books and never be forgotten.