Memo regarding the relationship between the Emergency Precautions Service and the Women's War Service Auxiliary
NATIONAL SERVICE DEPARTMENT,
P.O. BOX 165, TE ARO,
21st January, 1942.
All Emergency Precautions Services,
Womens War Service Auxiliary District Committees &
EMERGENCY PRECAUTIONS SERVICE WOMENS WAR SERVICE
On the 29th May, 1941, a circular memorandum was sent to all
branches of the above organisations setting out the relationship
between the Womens War Service Auxiliary and the Emergency Precautions
A number of enquiries are still being received concerning the
position the W.W.S.A. occupies in relation to the allocation of women
for E.P.S. work, and it is proposed now to set out in more detail the
position as it stands to-day in relation to the two organisations.
In the first place it is necessary to bring before the notice of
all E.P.S organisations a recent decision whereby Government has
directed that the W.W.S.A. is to be the only official body for
co-ordinating and directing all womens war work in the Dominion, and
it is the only official organisation recognised by Government for
undertaking this work. It is, in fact, the channel of approach by
womens organisations to Government and the source from which Govern-
ments decisions will be conveyed to those organisations. Consequently,
all womens organisations throughout the Dominion who are undertaking
some form of war or emergency work will come under the direction of the
Auxiliary in respect of any voluntary war work required of them by other
When requests of this nature for assistance are received by the
Auxiliary, the Auxiliary will allocate the functions to the appropriate
bodies in accordance with the policy already laid down by Government
whereby old established and other appropriate organisations are to be
utilised for whatever service is most suited to their particular
training, and all bodies given a fair and equitable share in the
allocation of duties.
There is no compulsion at the present time for any woman to join
the W.W.S.A., neither is there any compulsion for any woman to join the
E.P.S. Similarly, there is no compulsion for women to join other
organisations undertaking some form of emergency or war work, but in
view of the policy already laid down by Government charging the
Auxiliary with the responsibility of co-ordinating and directing all
womens war work in the Dominion, other than E.P.S. which is carried
out by local authorities, all such other organisations will require to
have their members who wish to undertake war work sign an Auxiliary
enrolment form in order to bring them under the provisions of the
Emergency Reserve Corps Regulations.
The Auxiliary enrolment form has now been designed in a similar
manner to the E.P.S. enrolment form, and members of the W.W.S.A. will
in future sign a declaration of service in the same way as do members
of other branches of the Emergency Reserve Corps. By members signing
this declaration, they undertake to obey any appropriate instructions
given them for voluntary war or emergency work by authorised persons,
and at the same time they become eligible for insurance benefits in
respect of any injuries received whilst performing authorised service.
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There is, however, nothing to prevent women being members of
sewing guilds, Red Cross Society, St. John Ambulance Association, etc.,
without being under any obligation to join the Auxiliary, but as
members of such bodies these women will not be called upon to under-
take any war or emergency service, nor will they be able to claim
against the Government in respect of any injuries received whilst
performing any of their duties.
Where individual women prefer to enrol directly in the E.P.S.
they are quite at liberty to do so without joining the W.W.S.A. or
any other organisation, and once enrolled with the E.P.S. they are
entitled to the same insurance benefits as are members of the W.W.S.A.
Once a woman becomes a member of the E.P.S. either by directly
enrolling therein or by being seconded by the W.W.S.A. for duty, she
becomes for all E.P.S. work directly under the control of that Section
of the E.P.S. to which she has been allocated. (This does not
preclude a member of the W.W.S.A. seconded to the E.P.S. from also
continuing her activities with the W.W.S.A.). It is therefore
necessary that Emergency Precautions Services are supplied with
relative particulars concerning all E.P.S. personnel, and to do this
it is requested that when women are seconded from the W.W.S.A. for
duty with the E.P.S., the respective W.W.S.A. Committees complete,
from particulars supplied on the original W.W.S.A enrolment form,
an E.P.S enrolment form (without further reference to the registrant
and without the declaration being signed) and indicate on the E.P.S.
form that the declaration of service has, in fact, been signed. The
Auxiliary will at the same time mark their records Seconded to E.P.S.
and endorse the E.P.S. enrolment form seconded from W.W.S.A.
Should womens organisations or other groups of women desire to
place themselves at the disposal of the Emergency Precautions Service
as a body, particularly in the present state of emergency, it is
desirable that each woman in the group complete a W.W.S.A. enrolment
form and sign the declaration of service on the back of that form.
The W.W.S.A. will then take the appropriate action to have them
seconded to the E.P.S.
On the other hand, in respect of women who join the E.P.S and
are not associated with the Auxiliary or any other organisation, they
should sign the declaration of service on the E.P.S. form in the same
way as do other members of the E.P.S., but in view of the fact that
the Auxiliary is also undertaking to compile a register of woman-power
of the Dominion, it is requested that Emergency Precautions Services
notify the respective local branches of the Auxiliary of the names of women who have joined the E.P.S. direct.
It must be pointed out that it is of the utmost importance that
all womens organisations should arrange to have as many members as
are required seconded for duty to the E.P.S. It is the earnest desire
of Government that there should be complete co-ordination between all
womens organisations, and Emergency Precautions Services should
therefore arrange to draw as many women members as possible for E.P.S.
work through the local branch of the Auxiliary. The Auxiliary should
in turn allocate personnel to the E.P.S. form all appropriate organ-
isations on a fair and equitable basis.
Director of National Service.