Some went for adventure and to see the world, some went because their friends were going, but all the women who joined the military, many during wartime, others during the peace brought about by the war, understood it was for a cause: for God, Queen, and country.
Every month, ex-servicewomen from Canada and Great Britain, from all three branches of the military, meet to talk, reminisce, and help with events like Remembrance Day.
They meet at Royal Canadian Legion Branch 88, where many are members.
During the Second World War, Nan Morrison wanted to have adventures and see the world - so she joined the army.
She and a friend were working in a factory in Vancouver, making army blankets, having recently moved from Saskatchewan to the West Coast.
Making blankets wasn't a pleasant job, and rumours circulated that the workers would be frozen in their jobs because the company had an army contract,
Morrison didn't want to be stuck in a factory for the entire war.
Morrison passed Hotel Vancouver, the headquarters for the Pacific Command, on her way to work every day.
So instead of making blankets for the war, Morrison joined the army, becoming a private on Sept. 16, 1942, in the Canadian Women's Army Corp.
"There was nothing heroic about it - it was an adventure," Morrison said of her service.
Morrison was trained as a plotter-telephonist in Victoria, and she learned about an operations room where all air and naval traffic travelling on the Pacific Coast was tracked.
The operations room was set up in the "bowels" of the hotel, a top-secret place with no daylight, which was tracking to see if any Japanese submarines were offshore.
Morrison planned to go to Quebec for officer training, but then a notice was posted that volunteers were needed in Holland and Germany.
And so Morrison ended up setting up and working at a canteen in Almelo, Holland. The canteen provided entertainment - for example, libraries - for the thousands of Canadian soldiers waiting to come home.
"It was rather ironic that we enlisted to relieve men to go overseas and ended up there while they were anxiously waiting to return to Canada," Morrison recounted.
While many wives were left behind when their husbands were off to war, Kay Wynn joined the war effort in October 1943. Both she and her husband resigned their teaching posts to join the military, but her husband was colour-blind and was sent back home.
Wynn had two brothers in the air force, so she decided to join, as well.
Before her posting, Wynn worked with the bugler, buffing buttons, and while it was a dirty job, it was better than kitchen patrol, she said.
She also worked in the central registry and distributed food rations to military personnel.
In the early 1940s, information that they received about the war was limited, Wynn said.
"In those days, you really had to wait [for information]," Wynn said. "It's not like now [whereby] you are influenced by so many methods of communication."
Wynn was posted to Prince Rupert and worked in flying control, typing in flight plans and talking to navigators by radio.
Later, she was transferred back to Vancouver, and then on compassionate grounds was discharged on Oct. 30, 1944.
She earned a Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and the 1939-1945 War Medal.
Women in Great Britain aged 20 and older who weren't married were expected to join the military service during Second World War, either enlisting or working in a munitions factory.
Peggy Gauthier and her brother were in England when war broke out, and she enlisted in 1943.
"You had to do something - it was compulsory," Gauthier said.
All the young men had gone off to war, so women had to fill many of the jobs that were left behind.
"We had teenagers and old men to go out with," Gauthier recalled of the war years.
The Germans were dropping bombs on England throughout the war, but Gauthier said she wasn't worried.
"So they bombed - so what?" she said.
But her mother worried, and the people she billeted with were concerned when she was out.
But for Beryl Cunningham, war was a stressful time, as she took on extra responsibilities as a teenager.
Cunningham, also a member of the ex-servicewomen's group, was 14 years old and the oldest of four siblings living in Newcastle-on-Tyne when Second World War broke out.
The war was a traumatic time for young people, Cunningham said.
"It was a terribly trying time," she said of the war years.
Like everyone else in Great Britain at the time, she participated in the war effort even as a teenager.
After graduating from school in 1942, at the age of 17 ½, she joined the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF).
She felt she wanted to do her part for the war.
After basic training, Cunningham trained to be a flight mechanic, and spent much of the war repairing airplanes.
It was a busy time for Cunningham while she was posted at Bedfordshire, servicing twin-engine fighters and fighter-bombers. Her work kept her occupied six days a week.
But, she said, she loved doing work she enjoyed and serving her country.
Later she was posted farther north where she worked on Spitfires.
Towards the end of the war, Cunningham was posted in southern England in West Sussex.
Cunningham was discharged in the fall of 1945 with three full years of service.
But even before she joined the service, she was doing what she could - as everyone did in Great Britain at the time.
"Everyone was involved - civilians, as well," Cunningham said.
School kids were taught first aid so that, if anything happened, they could administer it before other help came.
To help the troops in war, Cunningham knitted, as did many others: socks, gloves, mittens, berets, whatever the soldiers wanted and needed.
An important part of the wartime effort was the land army, Cunningham said.
While the able-bodied men were off at war, there were still crops to grow and animals to tend to, and many women were billeted at farms to do this work, wearing their farm uniforms.
Conditions during the war were austere in England - even the bathtubs were marked with black lines indicating how high one could draw a bath.
The austerity that the British had been living under continued even after the war.
Elizabeth Ince came from a family of four. For all of them, they received a ration of four eggs a week.
Ince joined the Women's Air Force in 1948, just three years after the war ended, and in the fall, she sailed to Singapore, where she was posted.
"It was so nice to get out of Britain," she said, adding that, in Singapore, food was plentiful, the climate was good, and it was a colourful place.
During the war years, there were no bananas in England, but there were in Singapore.
"When I went to Singapore, I went mad on bananas," Ince said.
Ince married while in Singapore, and then moved back to England.
Her son was born in 1953, and he still got a ration card.