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First Grandmother in the AWAS, 1942


The Australian Women’s Army Service was established on 13 August 1941 by the government to “release men from certain military duties for employment in fighting units” . The AWAS recruited women between the ages of 18 and 45 and they served in  a variety of roles including clerks, typists, cooks and drivers during the war years.

Anne Mitchell (nee Muter) Siggins was born 11th May 1896 in Edinburgh, Scotland.  She was 46 when she enlisted in the AWAS on 15 July 1942, and the first grandmother to do so.  Anne had married in 1916, and had four children with her husband, Gordon William Siggins (1894-1982).


This article from the Australian Women’s Weekly, 24 October 1942.   You can read more about Anne Siggins here.


About thewartimewoman

I love history, fashion, art and design, especially of the 1930s to the 1960s. I am also a mother, wife, interior decorator & a treasure hunter who wishes she could drive a 1933 Delage. I studied Architecture at Melbourne university, briefly, and completed a Diploma of Art in Interior Design at the Melbourne College of Decoration in 1991. I have worked on an off as a decorator ever since, in between stints as a florist, balloon artist, having my five children and helping my husband in his law firm. in my spare time I love researching history, blogging and gardening.

3 responses »

  1. How interesting! I’ll be taking a trip to Australia next year – maybe I can find something about these women in a museum there. Would also be fun to see their uniforms!


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