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Women's Land Army

The Women’s Land Army was formed in 1939. It called for volunteers to take the place of thousands of young male farm workers who had gone off to fight in the war.

By 1944, there were around 80,000 ‘Land Girls’ contributing to the war effort. They were paid the equivalent of about £20 a week and were expected to work long hours – sometimes up to 56 hours per week.

On the farms they did lots of different jobs, such as:
  • looking after animals;
  • ploughing the fields;
  • harvesting the crops;
  • milking the cows;
  • mending machinery.
Fordson tractor with members of British Women's Land Army 1940s

Other volunteers worked in forestry and more than 1,000 were employed as rat-catchers, to stop the vermin nibbling away at the crops.

Timber corps

Members of the Women’s Land Army wore a uniform of: green jerseys, brown breeches and brown felt hats. They were also given Wellington boots and sometimes wore a head scarf to prevent their hair getting caught in any machines.

Market gardening land girls