On my trips to Birmingham I always make a stop at the Birmingham Hall Of Memory to pay tribute in particular to all those women who lost their lives during WW1 and WW2. I think about all those men who lost their lives to but in the grand scheme of things memorials for women are very rare. It’s as if women and their contributions to the war efforts during WW1 and WW2 have been forgotten or they weren’t deemed worthy of memory.
Besides the Hall Of Memory being a lovely and peaceful place to visit I believe it was the first tribute in the UK to remember both men and women who sacrificed their lives during both wars. It’s important to remember when the foundations of this building were laid most women in the UK were still not allowed to vote. Their lives still lay at the hands of men.
The Hall of Memory was originally built to commemorate the 12,320 Birmingham citizens who died and the 35,000 who were wounded in the First World War. More importantly the £60,000 to make this memorial happen were public donations from the people of Birmingham. More importantly the vast majority of people who worked on this building were also citizens of Birmingham. Even the statues that stand outside the building were made by a local artist.
Birmingham led the way in this tribute. To include women was almost a certainly a radical idea for the 1920’s but embraced by the people of Birmingham. Women made a lot of contributions to the war efforts by working the lands, working in ammunition factories to working on aircraft to nursing on the front line to name just a few things that women contributed to the war effort.
As I said the Hall of Memory is a lovely and peaceful place to go to. It’s also such a beautiful building to look at. Despite there being bad times in the 1920’s the people of Birmingham really did make an effort with this beautiful memorial.
So here I stand at one of the bronze statues that stand outside the Hall Of Memory. I love to pay my respects here and as a Gender Non-Conforming male it’s also important for me to remember women too.
The statue in the image is to represent the women’s service to war. How the statue represents women is to show they were not engaged in the fighting but were very responsive to it. If women hadn’t have been responsive to WW1 and WW2 we would have certainly lost both wars.
Women made a very important contribution to the war efforts and I for one am grateful to them. I for one wouldn’t be able to live my life as a feminine man under fascism!
I for one as a man would love to see more statues and memorials for women in the UK in regards WW1 and WW2. I would also love to see more statues and memorials dedicated to women in other aspects of life / history too! Lets face it lots of women have made important contributions to our society and like men they should be remembered too!