MILLIONS of women found work during the war, either in industry or in the auxiliary services. On the railways, they worked as porters and guards and in maintenance and workshop operations.

A couple of years ago, a book, Female Railway Workers in WW2, used archive interviews to illustrate their collective experience. In the book, written by Susan Major, the women discussed their difficulties in workplaces not designed for women (no toilets for them, to take just one example); they touched on the attitudes of their families, and what they thought about American G.I.s., and what it was like to work with troublesome colleagues.

In March 1943 Scotland got its latest experience of women workers on the railways.

The photograph shows Elizabeth Donaldson, of Parkhead, Glasgow, who was one of the first female guards on the London and North-Eastern Railway; she was pictured at Queen Street station.

The increasing number of women who were joining the railway service was commented upon favourably that same day by Mr R. Gardiner, superintendent of LNER’s Scottish area.

Speaking at a press conference in Edinburgh, he said that the women employed by LNER in Scotland included 100 passenger guards, 90 carriage cleaners, 50 signal-women, 25 ticket collectors, 400 goods porters, 150 loaders and 300 platform porters.

Read more: Herald Diary