These photos featured in the Australian Women’s Weekly in October 1939 accompanying an article entitled ‘Girls reared in a Great Tradition’.
According the to the author, Ms Janet Flanner, there were four classes of English women in 1939 –
- the Royals – a class of their own;
- the peerage – some who went to university and became professionals, but others to finishing school and marriage;
- the lower middle class – they mostly became clerical workers – stenographers and secretaries;
- the labouring and lower class – the factory workers and servants.
And what separated these classes? Not just birth, but speech, according to Miss Flanner. “For a cockney girl to climb into the upper class she would be obliged to learn a new language.” I think I’ve seen that movie! The war would soon change that idea.