Canadian Women's Army Corps

Canadian Women's Army Corps

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Canadian Women's Army Corps

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The Canadian Women's Army Corps was a non-combatant branch of the Canadian Army for women established during World War II to release men from those non-combatant roles in the Canadian armed forces as part of expanding Canada's war effort. Most women served in Canada but some served overseas, most in roles such as secretaries, mechanics, cooks and so on. The CWAC was finally abolished as a separate corps in 1964 when women were fully integrated into the Canadian armed forces. The headquarters of the CWAC was based in Goodwin House in Ottawa.

History of the CWACs

The Canadian Women's Army Corps (CWAC) was authorized on August 13, 1941, in response to a shortage of personnel caused by the increase in the size of Canada's navy, army and air force. At first the organisation was called the Canadian Women's Auxiliary Corps and was not an official part of the armed forces. On March 13, 1942 the women were inducted into the Canadian Army and became the Canadian Women's Army Corps. They wore a cap badge of three maple leaves, and collar badges of the goddess Athena.

A February 1943 CWAC advertisement in the Edmonton Journal noted that prospective recruits had to be in excellent health, at least five feet tall and 105 pounds (or within 10 pounds above or below the standard of weight laid down in medical tables for different heights), with no dependants, a minimum of Grade 8 education, aged 18 to 45, and a British subject, as Canadians were at that time. Since women were not allowed...
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