Women’s Land Army, Sugnall

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Date:1947 - 1949 (c.)

Description:This photograph was taken at Sugnall and shows Brenda Williams (on the left) who was in the Women’s Land Army from 1947 to 1949. In 1950 she married Robert Fulford and they lived in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire until around 1985 when she returned to live in the Stone area. Please contact us if you recognise anyone else in the picture.

The Women’s Land Army (WLA) was created in January 1917 during the First World War to help combat food shortages and fill the vacancies left by the men who had entered military service. The women who enrolled had the option of working in agriculture, timber cutting or foraging (animal feeds). They had to cope with the same work originally undertaken by the men; in agriculture this included muck spreading, hoeing, harvesting operating tractors and farm machinery.

The WLA was disbanded at the end of the First World War; however, it reformed in June 1939 under the threat of the Second World War.

During the Second World War many women joined the armed forces in non-combatant roles, that is, they did not see actual fighting. Some women went into the Royal Air Force or the Royal Navy. The women who chose to be in the WLA were given a uniform of moleskin breeches, a green pullover, shirt and tie. They were often known as ‘Land Girls’ and played a valuable role in agriculture, increasing the country’s food production, doing much of the heavy farm work, working long hours, mostly outdoors and in all weathers, whilst the men who would normally have been employed were in the armed forces. Many women came from large towns and had never experienced farm work at all.

Over 200,000 women worked in the WLA from June 1939 until it was finally disbanded in November 1950.

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Creators: Mr Ian Hazlehurst - Contributor

Donor ref:IH-155aa (192/42488)

Source: Mr Bob Metcalfe

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