A GROUP of military wives and girlfriends have joined forces for a Forties-style charity calendar in aid of a cause close to their hearts.

The Leeming Ladies, who live around Leeming and Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire, and who all have husbands or partners in the Army or RAF, spent a day at the Second World War museum, Eden Camp, in Malton, to create their period poses.

The group, which has more than 30 members, decided to make the calendar to raise awareness of the Army Widows Association (AWA) and the RAF Widows Association (RAFWA), which support the spouses and children of soldiers and airmen killed in action.

The group chose the Forties as a tribute to the women who took on extra work to keep the home front running during the Second World War and to remind people that military wives still have an important role to play today.

Photographer Sarah Riley, 25, whose husband Christopher is currently based in Italy following a tour of duty in Afghanistan, helped come up with the idea of the calendar and make it a reality.

She said: “We’re always doing little things to raise money for charity but we wanted to do something big to really help these charities who do amazing work.

“Although I would never say that Army and RAF wives are forgotten about, too often the focus is on the serviceman or woman who has died and not the families that have been left behind with their lives ripped to pieces.

“We batted a few ideas around for the theme of the calendar and eventually came up with the Forties because we wanted to show the work women do when their partners go off to war.

“These days, women who have husbands or boyfriends in the services just have to get on with it. We all have jobs and our own lives and our support is a bit more hidden, but the women in the Forties were far more visible in that they had to go out to work and keep the country running.”

Each calendar costs £10, with all proceeds to the two charities.

For information on how to buy a calendar visit facebook.com/#!/ theleemingladies