Women Dressed as Soldiers Photograph

This week’s photograph is rather a fun one depicting a group of young ladies dressing in male clothing, including some items of soldier’s uniform:

This sort of cross dressing was a frequent source of fun for young people at the turn of the twentieth century and photographs of men wearing their girl friends’ clothes and girls wearing that of their boyfriends were common sources of amusement. In this case we have one young lady who has put on a Scottish cutaway tunic and tam o shanter, complete with a paintbrush as a sporran:

Another wears standard service dress with a stiffened cap:

And a third has a cap only, with the stiffening removed to give a soft crown to it, unfortunately the cap badge is a little hard to make out, but I think it might be for the Royal Army Medical Corps:

The soft nature of this cap in combination with the stiffened cap suggests that this photograph was taken early in World War One whilst items of headwear were still in transition. This group of young ladies look to be having a lot of fun and the relaxed and informal nature of the photograph makes a great contrast to the more traditional, posed photographs of the era, with stiff, unsmiling subjects. It is good to remember that at all times in history, young people have enjoyed a laugh and pushing the boundaries of society slightly in a way their elders might not have approved of.

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