16th November 1941

Cold and windy. Rain began about 1 o’clock, and I cycled over to Dedham in a heavy buffeting side-wind, which, as I had two stone of chicken meal on the carrier, made heavy going. (I got this for Mrs. B. with some unwanted ration coupons). I was late at the Belfields, but had a cup of tea, and got dried a bit. Penelope talked about going to work at the Brantham factory, as she feels she will be forced to work before long [as a result of the National Service regulations for women].

Went down to Sissons, and spent the evening mounting photographs, which are coming along very well. Back to Colchester at 11.30.

From the spring of 1941 all women had to register their occupation under the National Service regulations and single young women between the ages of 20 and 30 began to be directed into war work. By December 1941 the National Service Act (No 2) made the conscription of women legal for the first time and led to a huge increase in women workers of all ages being employed in the Women's Services or in essential war work.

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