I have never forgotten studying the war poets like Wilfred Owen, who made a huge impression with their depictions of the horrors of the trenches in the Great War. But when I began writing ‘We That Are Left’ I knew it was going to be the story of the women and the civilians. As I researched, I learnt about the many extraordinary, courageous and indomitable women who worked for the war effort both at home, and on the front line where they set up field hospitals and drove ambulances and went out into no man’s land to find the dead and the dying.
Although many women went back to their conventional lives after the war, the lack of husbands led to others forging careers, finding self-fulfilment as individuals and becoming successful businesswomen in their own right. They were the pioneers of women leading independent and fulfilling lives as well as being wives and mothers.