renowned war photographer Robert Wilson's iconic image of currently serving women and veterans from the British military

women100

Celebrating 100 years of women in the armed forces

Join us in celebrating 100 years since women were legally permitted to serve in the British military.

This July marks the centenary of the formation of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC), the first time women were formally enrolled in the UK Armed Forces. Back then, women’s roles involved cooking, administration and mechanical work.  Today, one hundred years on they stand shoulder to shoulder with their male counterpart, with close combat roles in the Royal Marines, Royal Armoured Corps, infantry and Royal Air Force Regiment opening up to them last year.

To mark the anniversary and 100 years’ worth of contribution, SSAFA has commissioned renowned war photographer Robert Wilson to create an iconic image of currently serving women and veterans from the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force, including Olympic gold medallists Dame Kelly Holmes and Heather Stanning OBE.

Over the past 100 years, British females have served alongside men in almost 50 wars and conflicts, including World War One, World War Two, the Falkland’s War, the Gulf War, Afghanistan, Iraq and, most recently, the Libyan Civil War.

The twelve women photographed include the first woman to kill in combat, the highest-ranking woman in the British Army, the first transgender woman to serve, who began her career in the Royal Air Force as a man and a 95-year-old veteran who served in World War Two.

Meet our sisters in arms

Major General Susan Ridge

MAJOR GENERAL SUSAN RIDGE

THE ARMY’S HIGHEST-RANKING WOMAN

ROSE WATSON WW2 VETERAN

ROSE WATSON

WORLD WAR TWO VETERAN

SERGEANT DAME KELLY HOLMES, DBE: DOUBLE OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALLIST

DAME KELLY HOLMES

Former Army PTI and Olympian

SEARGEANT CHANTELLE TAYLOR: FIRST FEMALE TO KILL IN COMBAT

SGT CHANTELLE TAYLOR

First female to kill in combat

FLIGHT LIEUTENANT CAROLINE PAIGE: FIRST TRANSGENDER OFFICER TO OPENLY SERVE IN THE UK ARMED FORCES

FLT LT CAROLINE PAIGE

FIRST TRANSGENDER OFFICER TO OPENLY SERVE

heather Stanning

Heather Stanning

Veteran and Olympian

Petty Officer Natalie Corney

Natalie Corney

Royal Navy Reservist

ABLE RATE SARA JONES

ABLE RATE SARA JONES

Serving in the Royal Navy

WING COMMANDER KIRSTY BUSHELL: SSAFA, THE ARMED FORCES CHARITY VICE CHAIRMAN

WING COMMANDER KIRSTY BUSHELL

Veteran and SSAFA Trustee

Able Seaman Lynsey Hellier

ABLE SEAMAN LYNSEY HELLIER

Currently serving in the Royal Navy

Abbie Colvin Combat Medical Technician

Abbie Colvin

Combat Medical Technician

Flight Lieutenant Nosheen Chaudry

Flt Lt Nosheen Chaudry

Currently serving in the RAF