Seventy-five years ago, on 8 May 1945 Britain celebrated Victory in Europe
As they had done during World War One, Northamptonshire’s shoe factories during the Second World War were dedicated to manufacturing military footwear on a grand scale and for a wide range of military situations.
The war was not just fought on land and at sea, but also in arctic and tropical conditions, beneath the sea and in the desert. Women were also conscripted into roles that included non-combative jobs in the military. From 1941, Northamptonshire factories made shoes and boots for the WRENS (Women’s Royal Naval Service) and ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service),
Princess Elizabeth joined the ATS in February 1945 at the age of nineteen and reached the rank of junior commander. Northampton Museum has a replica of the brown leather lace-up shoes made for her as a 2nd subaltern in the ATS by Dawn Shoes, Northampton