During the tumultuous years of the First World War, women’s football in the United Kingdom experienced a remarkable surge in popularity and participation, marking a significant chapter in the sport’s history.

As men were called away to the battlefields, women stepped forward to fill the void, both in the workforce and on the football pitch. Among the notable teams of this era was Portsmouth Ladies FC, whose formation in 1916 exemplified the spirit of resilience and determination that characterised women’s football during the war years. With the country in the grips of war, traditional gender roles were challenged, leading to newfound opportunities for women in various aspects of society, including sports.

Football became a means of boosting morale and raising funds for the war effort, with women’s teams like Portsmouth Ladies FC organising matches to support charitable causes and entertain audiences on the home front.

The rise of munitionette teams, including Portsmouth Ladies FC, showcased the dedication and skill of women who worked in munitions factories, playing football during their leisure time as a form of recreation and camaraderie.

Despite the challenges and setbacks faced during and after the First World War, the legacy of women’s football endured, laying the groundwork for future generations of female footballers.