The Land Girls

The Women’s Land Army (WLA) was a British civilian organisation created in 1917 by the Board of Agriculture during the First World War to bring women into work in agriculture, replacing men called up to the military. Women who worked for the WLA were commonly known as Land Girls (Land Lassies). The Land Army placed women with farms that needed workers, the farmers being their employers. The women picked crops and did all the jobs that the men had done. Notable members include Joan Quennell, later a Member of Parliament, the archaeologist Lily Chitty, and the botanist Ethel Thomas.

It was disbanded in 1919 but revived in June 1939 under the same name to again organise women to replace workers called up to the military during the Second World War.

We have to thank those hard-working women for keeping the country supplied with food during two world wars. Similar organisations existed in other countries, but this post is only about the British women. The photos need no captions, and they are all from WW2. Taken between 1939-1945.

The Women’s Timber Corps was part of The Land Army.

40 thoughts on “The Land Girls

  1. (1) A woman hitting the sack long before bedtime.
    (2) Three women dreaming of a rakish man.
    (3) “I’m ready for a roll in the hay!”
    (4) When the village men had all gone off to war, it was the women who took up the pitchfork to go after Dr. Frankenstein’s monster.
    (5) How a girl would log on before the age of computers.
    (6) Farmer: “You see? I knew driving a tractor would attract her.”
    (7) Beaming on a tractor long before the invention of a tractor beam.
    (8) “Are we sexy in sepia?”
    (9) “I want to milk this horse, but I’m not sure where to look.”
    (10) “How can I be a hot tomato if I’m digging up cold potatoes?”
    (11) A shovel ready job?
    (12) “After the war, I’ve got to get me one of these!”
    (My favorite photo was the last one.)

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  2. The British women were as important as the men in both wars many played their part in the war effort .. it’s good to see them remembered I have some old photos of my mum’s sisters as they too played their part in the war effort x

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  3. They must have had a great sense of camaraderie and I imagine they were proud to help the country even though it must have been really tough at times. I’m sure it helped to change the view of women. My aunt was a WAAF, her sister a nurse. My mum kept a boarding house going in London through the war.

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  4. I like the name Land Lassies better than Land Girls. And you would think that if they had to wear ‘uniforms’ they could have had some better suited for hard labor and heat.
    Great group of patriots in both WWs’
    Here in the US during WWII, we allowed Mexican workers to tend to our crops while the women were busy in fields that men otherwise worked in.

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  5. And the lassies were taught what to do with a pitchfork too in case old blighty got invaded. They spent much time catching rats which was a plague in Britain. Although seen in many agricultural forms, they and mostly milked cows

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  6. I have read stories about the Land Girls. It was a wonderful organization and proved women could do the work of men. The sad thing was when the men returned from the war, the women were expected to return to making babies and cooking meals. But it planted the seeds for the women’s lib movement a few years later.

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