Memo regarding the selection of women for service in the Armed Forces - N.Z.W.W.S.A. (Army Home Service Division). Dated 5 February 1942.
WOMENS WAR SERVICE AUXILIARY.
87 The Terrace,
5th February, 1942
CIRCULAR MEMORANDUM NO. 39
For all District Committees and
SELECTION OF WOMEN FOR SERVICE IN THE ARMED FORCES.
N.Z. W.W.S.A. (ARMY HOME SERVICE DIVISION)
(1) I am directed by the Central Executive to advise that
arrangements have now been finalised for the employment of women
in the Armed Forces for Home Service in New Zealand.
(2) In order to be in a position to transfer women to the Army
and any other branches of the Armed Forces at short notice, it is
proposed to call for applications from [women] who are desirous of
entering the Forces for the duration of the war, and from these
applications establish a pool of available women who can be
drafted into the Forces as required.
(3) All women desiring to enlist in the Armed Forces must com-
plete a W.W.S.A. registration card, and form N.S.O.9 (i.e.
application form for service in the Armed Forces) supplies of
which have been forwarded under separate cover.
(4) District Committees are required to obtain applications and
forward same to the Central Executive. Recommendations
regarding applications are to be entered on the back of form
(5) It is to be understood that a general call for applications
is not to be made from any one particular organisation. Any
woman wishing to do war service may apply for enlistment in the
[Armed] Forces provided she conforms to the specified conditions.
(6) District Committees will require to contact not only those
organisations associated and allied with the W.W.S.A. but any
other organisations which are training girls for war work.
Applications may also be accepted from individual women desiring to
enter the Forces provided they register with the W.W.S.A.
(7) GENERAL CONDITIONS:
(1) Age: Women between the ages of 18 and 45 will be
eligible. (Any woman under 21 years of age must
forward her parents or Guardians consent in
writing with her application)
(2) Medical Standard: The Medical standard will be
the same as that laid down for Home Defence Troops.
(3) Duration of Service: Service will be for the duration
of the war and women enlisted into the Army on
this basis will be subject to
Defence Act 1909 and Amendments and Regulations
Defence Emergency Regulations.
Army orders issued from time to time.
The Army Act and Kings Regulations (as far as
they are applicable in N.Z.)
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(3) And for disciplinary purposes will be under the
command of the military officer under whom they
(8) The name of the Unit is to be the N.Z. W.W.S.A. (Army Home
Service Division). All applicants will be required to submit
birth certificates and two references, one of character and one
of general ability.
(9) As applications are received by District Committees they
are to be forwarded to the Central Executive. These applications
will be surveyed by the Central Executive and those who measure
up to the required conditions will be provisionally selected and
the District Committees notified accordingly.
(10) From the women so selected the Central Executive will compile
a register of the women selected for service in the Armed Forces
and after enlistment forms, birth certificates and references have
been noted by the Central Executive the forms will be returned
to the various districts who will hold them until the recruits are
called for service.
(11) In the meantime it is not proposed to have the women who
are provisionally selected for Home Service medically examined.
Examination will take place when the Army makes a request for
(12) In order to establish a close liaison with the Army Department
it has been arranged that Area Officers and sub-Area Officers
will, when women are required for service, contact the nearest
W.W.S.A. Committee and give particulars of the number of women
desired from time to time, and the duties for which they will
(13) The respective Committees, which are to all intents and
purposes liaison Committees with the Army, will thereupon notify
the Central Executive by the first available mail or by telegram,
if necessary, of the Army request.
(14) The Central Executive will thereupon advise District
Committees in the respective military area of the names of women
which each Committee should allocate from the district pool to
the Army. e.g. Area Staff Officer, No.5 Military Area,
Wellington, notifies the Wellington District Committee that 20
women are required for the service at Trentham. The Wellington
Committee notifies the Central Executive accordingly, and the
Central Executive allocates personnel from Committees in the
Wellington Military Area on the following basis:
Wellington Committee 10
Hutt Committee 6
Eastbourne Committee 2
Johnsonville Committee 2
Forms N.S.O.9, together with references, should be forwarded to
the Army Area Office so that medical examination of the women
may take place. The final selection of the personnel will be
left in the hands of the Army.
(15) As women are nominated to the Area Officer by the District
Committees the names of women concerned with full particulars
as to whether or not they have passed the medical test and the
Military Camp of office to which they have been drafted, is to
be furnished to the Central Executive for the purpose of keeping
up to date the Dominion Register.
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It is undesirable to recommend applications from women who
are engaged upon essential war work and are irreplaceable in that
industry. It is to be understood, however, that no application
is to be refused by District Committees but where the applicant
is engaged upon essential work full details of her employment
should be submitted.
(17) OVERSEAS SERVICE.
Consideration is also being given to the question of
establishing a pool from which to draw women for overseas service
from time to time. In completing N.S.O.9 question 23 asks whether
the applicant is willing to serve within and beyond New Zealand for
the [duration] of the war, etc. It should be pointed out to
applicants that if they desire to serve overseas they should
indicate accordingly on their form and consideration will then
be given to putting their names in the overseas pool as well.
Further details in respect of the overseas service will, however,
be forwarded at a later date.
(18) Applications must be forwarded to the Dominion Secretary
weekly, and not held in District Offices for a longer period.
This request must be strictly adhered to and refers to Home Service
applications as well as Overseas applications.