The period 1912 to 1922 had many consequences for Waterford city and county. Waterford women served as nurses, others waited at home for news of male relatives who fought in the British army and others worked as usual. Support for John Redmond, M.P. and leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party who was from Ballytrent House, Kilrane, Co. Waterford was strong among the local community. Approximately 4,800 Waterford people fought in world war one. Approximately 1,100 died including five women. Some of these women are known about including Sr. Mary Walsh, a staff nurse with the Queen Alexadra Imperial Military Nursing Service, from Kilmacthomas parish and Elizabeth Phelan from Waterford city. Eileen O'Gorman from John's Hill in Waterford, was a nursing sister with the Territorial Force Nursing Service who died on 20 November 1914. Annie O'Callaghan is listed in the Conningbeg Memorial, Adelphi Quay, Waterford. She was a stewardess on the SS Formby which was torpedoed on 15 December 1917. Other women stayed at home in Waterford. Some worked in the Waterford Munitions Factory in Bilberry, the site of the old South Station terminus, which employed over 500 between 1917 and 1919 and most were women. More women worked making bandages, in the Irish war hospitals depots in the former model school in Waterford city, in Curraghmore House in Portlaw and Kingscourt in Tramore.

Women in Waterford city, east Waterford and west Waterford were heavily involved in the fight for independence.  P. J. Paul, Officer Commanding the East Waterford brigade, recalled in his witness statement located in the Bureau of Military History, that women played vital roles in city and county. Mrs P. O'Mahoney from the Post Office in Dungarvan and Miss Broderick from Abbeyside delivered a message to Sean Matthews in Waterford city announcing the postponement of the rising. Lizzie Foley was a key organiser of Cumann na mBan in west Waterford. Among the nationalist women was Rosamund Jacob from Newtown Road, Waterford.  According to Clara Cullen, up to 1919 Jacob devoted her time to nationalist activities, advocating women's rights, attending Irish language classes and participating, with her brother in Waterford's Sinn Fein club, and involvement in charitable activities on behalf o the Friends' Relief in Wateford at Newtown Road in Waterford. The playwright and writer, Teresa Deevey, returned to Waterford city in 1919 and was active in republican circles.