In 2016, the United Kingdom’s Armed Forces announced that, by the end of that year, female personnel would be allowed to serve in all combat roles. Now, in 2017, the Armed Forces are marking the centenary of women’s official enlistment in roles beyond nursing – the Women’s Royal Army Corps, Women’s Royal Naval Service, and Women’s Royal Air Force were all founded around 100 years ago, during the First World War. Now, female personnel serve in integrated units and all combat roles; seemingly a major shift from that beginning.
However, the servicewomen who are now taking up full combat roles are not the first to do so; women have served, albeit not openly, in the British Armed Forces for centuries. One such example is that of Hannah Snell.