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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 July, 2005, 16:28 GMT 17:28 UK
Memorial to war women unveiled
Queen unveils war memorial
The 1m monument honouring war women is unveiled by the Queen
The Queen has unveiled a 1m memorial in Whitehall to commemorate the role of women during World War II.

The 22ft-high bronze sculpture depicts the uniforms and working clothes worn by women during the war.

Former Speaker of the House of Commons Baroness Betty Boothroyd paid tribute to the contribution made by seven million women in the war.

Military helicopters flown by all-female crews flew past the memorial to mark the occasion.

Several women who won the George Medal, the second highest gallantry award that a civilian can be awarded, attended the unveiling of the monument that was designed in Braintree, Essex, by sculptor John Mills.

'Cause of freedom'

Speaking at the unveiling, Baroness Boothroyd said: "This monument is dedicated to all the women who served our country and the cause of freedom in uniform and on the home front.

Memorial to WWII heroines
The bronze sculpture depicts working women in the war

"It is not by its nature purely a military memorial. It depicts the uniforms of women in the forces alongside the working clothes of those who worked in the factories, the hospitals, the emergency services and the farms.

"I hope that future generations who pass this way down Whitehall will ask themselves what sort of women were they and look at history for the answer."

Baroness Boothroyd had raised 800,000 towards the cost of the monument by appearing on ITV's Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? quiz show in 2002.

Other funds were raised by the Memorial to the Women of World War II Fund, a charitable trust run by volunteers in York.

The event marks the 60th anniversary of the end of the war.

See the Queen unveiling the monument

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