We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781472282088

Price: £20

ON SALE: 4th November 2021

Genre: Humanities / History / Military History / Second World War

Disclosure: If you buy products using the retailer buttons above, we may earn a commission from the retailers you visit.

Army Girls is the intimate story of the final few women who served in World War II and are still alive to tell their tale. They were female soldiers in a war Britain wanted to fight without conscripting women. It was a vain hope, by December 1941 for the first time in British history women were called up and a generation of girls came of age in khaki, serving king and country. Barbara trained to drive army-style in giant trucks and Grace swapped her servant’s pinafore for battledress and a steel hat, Martha turned down officer status for action on a gun-site and Olivia won the Croix de Guerre in France.

Commemorating the 80th anniversary of conscription for women, Army Girls captures remarkable stories from the last surviving veterans who served in Britain’s female army and brings to life a pivotal moment in British history. Precious memories and letters are entwined in a rich narrative that travels back in time and sheds new light on being young, female and at war.

Uniquely this moving Second World War memoir is embedded in the present day. Written in the midst of a global pandemic, the parallels and paradoxes between two very different national crises are explored in a book that honours the women who fought on in extreme youth and now once more in great old age.

What's Inside

Read More Read Less


The thrilling, gripping and often painfully moving voices of those women who served alongside men in the Second World War - but were never called soldiers because they were women. Tessa Dunlop captures with verve, sensitivity and humour the indomitable spirit, the hardships and the emotion of these young women, many of them sheltered young girls, thrown overnight into the brutality of total war.
Professor Kate Williams
Wise, witty, compassionate and personal: Tessa Dunlop writes just the best kind of history about women.
Lucy Worlsey OBE
You'll feel the shock of finding these amazing characters are still among us - I was gripped from the first page.
Jeremy Vine
A fascinating and joyful read. It brushes aside simplistic myths about World War 2, uncovers the forgotten stories of women who served on the front line and makes us see British women's experience of war as it must really have been - messy, intense, sometimes absurd and very often heroic.
Jonathan Coe
It's been marvellous to read
Michael Portillo, The Times Radio
Army Girls... is an extraordinary insight into the women who served in the Second World War.
Claire O'Boyle, Daily Mirror
[a] moving account of 17 surviving veterans... Dunlop has brought the female military experience to life
Oliver Webb-Carter, 2021 Editor's Choice, Aspects of History
There were 290,000 women who supported the army in the ATS during the Second World War. Army Girls lets their voices shine through, and is the perfect tribute to the lives and achievements of these women.
Ella Beales, Aspects of History
A brilliant, moving and at times funny book.
Paul Ross, Talk Radio
very compelling... All of the interviewees seem to be speaking from the heart
Family Tree Magazine