“A British woman officer or non-commissioned officer can — and often does — give orders to a man private. The men obey smartly and know it is no shame. For British women have proven themselves in this way. They have stuck to their posts near burning ammunition dumps, delivered messages afoot after their motorcycles have been blasted from under them. They have pulled aviators from burning planes. They have died at gun posts and as they fell another girl has stepped directly into the position and “carried on.” There is not a single record in this war of any British woman in uniformed service quitting her post or failing to do her duty under fire.
“Now you understand why British soldiers respect the women in uniform. They have won the right to the utmost respect. When you see a girl in khaki or air-force blue with a bit of ribbon on her tunic — remember she didn’t get it for knitting more socks than anyone else in Ipswich.”
Instructions for American Servicemen in Britain 1942, issued by the United States War Department in 1942, published by the Bodelian Library, University of Oxford, in 2004 (ISBN 1-85124-085-3)
Posted in honor (honour?) of The Imitation Game by Leland Purvis and me…read it at Tor.com.