In anticipation of the coming war, the WAAF was formed on 28 June 1939, merging a number of pre-existing women's units. WAAFs stayed on the ground, working in communications, radar, meteorology, operations planning, parachute packing and transport. By 1943, 180,000 WAAFs had enlisted.
Set up in 1907 as an all-women first aid unit linking the front line with field hospitals, the Yeomanry was so-called because its members were orginally on horseback. Later, FANYs drove ambulances and military vehicles, and provided technical support to other units.