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When the Last Post echoes out this Anzac Day, special tribute will be paid to the vital part wartime women played in the New Zealand war effort.
“Our wartime women were quiet heroes”, says Hamilton Mayor Bob Simcock. “whether knitting socks for the boys on the front, stretching rations or being ‘manpowered’ into essential industries – making do was their mantra”.
A large number of women were ‘manpowered’ into essential industries during World War II, one of which was ammunition production, specifically relocated to Hamilton to reduce the risk of coastal attack.
In Dey Street two new factories “Norton” and “Galloway” were purpose-built, employing 1200 local women who produced 74 million rounds a year. At peak there were two eight hour shifts, six days per week to keep up with demand. Other women helped out as recruiters on top of their home duties and efforts to raise morale for the boys overseas.
Hamilton’s official 2008 Commemorative Service will commence in Memorial Park at 10am Friday 25 April. The service will include an address from Hamilton Mayor Bob Simcock and musical pieces from The Rivertones.