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“Brave Women Who Wait”

For the war effort to be successful, it was not only men who needed to be recruited. The women on the home front also had to show their commitment, so they were also the target of propaganda campaigns. Brave Women Who Wait reminds the general population that while the men may be dying on the battlefields, the women were also making sacrifices at home.

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“Brave Women Who Wait”

For the war effort to be successful, it was not only men who needed to be recruited. The women on the home front also had to show their commitment, so they were also the target of propaganda campaigns. Brave Women Who Wait reminds the general population that while the men may be dying on the battlefields, the women were also making sacrifices at home.


Year: 1914

Length: 02:58

Production Company: unknown

Credits: Written and composed by Worton David and Arthur Stroud / Vocalist: Ernest Pike

Source: National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

Catalogue Reference: NFSA title: 1216979


People: Worton David, Arthur Stroud, Ernest Pike

Location: Recorded in the United Kingdom

Tags: homefront, women, Australia, music, popular music, Worton David, Ernest Pike, Arthur Stroud

Subject: homefront, women


Image Title: Screenshot from NFSA title: 45988

Image Source: NFSA title: 45988


Brave Women Who Wait was recorded by Ernest Pike, an English tenor who became the ‘house vocalist’ for the HMV recording company. He recorded more than 500 records in a career that spanned over 20 years, and was known as ‘England’s most recorded tenor’. Like many singers of the day, Pike also recorded under numerous pseudonyms with other companies, in particular with Zonophone. 

For the war effort to be successful, it was not only men who needed to be recruited. The women on the home front also had to show their commitment, so they were also the target of propaganda campaigns. They were encouraged to farewell their husbands, sons, brothers and boyfriends off to war, but they also made to feel that they had a noble duty. Brave Women Who Wait aims to remind the general population that while the men may be dying on the battlefields, the women were also making sacrifices at home. This is brought home in the second verse of the song: 

For the men there’s the danger and peril of war 

A shot may soon settle their fate 

But what of the anguish and sorrow and care 

That come to the women who wait? 

However, the women on the home front were doing far more than ‘waiting’. The song fails to acknowledge that women filled many roles previously undertaken by men in agriculture and manufacturing, including the manufacture of armaments.