THE forgotten heroines of Britain’s war effort are to begiven formal recognition of their service on the home front. Thousands of Land Girls who helped keep Britain fed during World War Two by working on farms are to be allowed to wear a special insignia – 62 years after the war ended.
The Women’s Land Army (WLA), colloquially known as the Land Girls, was formed at the outbreak of World War II to work on the land, freeing the male workers to go to war. By 1943 there were some 80,000 young women working in every aspect of agriculture to feed the nation. With their uniform of green ties and jumpers and brown felt slouch hats, they worked from dawn to dusk each day, milking cows, digging ditches, sowing seeds and harvesting crops. The Women’s Timber Corps (WTC), also known as the ‘Lumber Jills’ worked tirelessly in the forests to provide timber for the war effort, felling trees, sawing timber and sharpening saws. With the outbreak of peace the WLA remained in existence doing vital jobs on the land until demobilisation was complete. The WLA was formally disbanded in 1950.
To celebrate the official recognition of the vital war work performed by the WLA, the local ‘land girls’ were entertained with a tea-party in the Mayor’s Parlour, organised by the Mayor’s Secretary Pat Dines. It was a wonderful opportunity for chats about old times and catching up with old friends.