In The Plotting Shed

In The Plotting Shed
Click on The Plotting Shed to get your FREE book

Monday, 4 December 2017

The Women's Land Army in #WW2

Image result for pictures of land army girls

Today my research focus has shifted to the Women's Land Army (WLA). Woodbine and Ivy has three characters' points of view. One is in France, another in the WLA and a  third has yet to be decided.
I've seen lots of posters for the WLA with young women looking radiantly healthy and full of vim and vigour, pitchfork in hand, the sun shining on their smiling faces.
I've discovered, as did many of them, that the reality was a little more gritty. Unfortunate for many of those ladies, but great inspiration for a story!
I had assumed, incorrectly, that food on a farm would still be abundant during the second World War but the Ministry of Food and Agriculture placed strict restrictions even on farmers. Livestock was drastically reduced, which surprised me, in favour of arable production. A great many wildflower meadows were ploughed up to grow crops like barley and wheat. Hundreds of years of evolution gone.
The land girls worked long hours - 48 per week in the winter and 50 in the summer. They seemed to be a cheerful lot, despite the sceptism they were greeted with on arrival and the physical toll of the work. I read of one woman who had to weed an entire field of thistles - without gloves! Being a gardener myself, I can only imagine the blisters by the end of the day.
Beetroot sandwiches seem to be a staple diet with cheese only eaten once a week. Bread wasn't rationed during the war and neither were potatoes so these women ate lots of carbohydrates and little protein - the opposite of health advice today - but they must have burned all of it off doing jobs like mucking out pigsties, heaving wheat sheaves and carrying water. It's both inspiring and humbling to see what they went through, far from home, in pretty poor conditions.
Often they slept in barns or outhouses on rough beds made from wood nailed together in a hurry and some dubious mattresses. One woman said she had to shower after a bath as the bath water, never very warm or deep, would be full of hay lice after a day on the threshing machine during harvest. Ugh!
The uniforms seem to have met with general approval; however I was shocked to learn they had to be handed back - even darned socks - at the end of the war. The only item they were allowed to keep was the much-loved overcoat. They were issued with 10 clothing coupons as compensation.
Above is a picture of one Land Army girl in full regalia in one of those seductive posters with a picture of some women doing real work below!

Image result for pictures of land army girls

17 comments:

  1. Interesting post, Alex. Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, cool post. I’d like to write like this too – taking time and real hard work to make a great article… but I put things off too much and never seem to get started. Thanks though. Visitor may also like this website

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow. It is great to learn these cases. It is good to bookmark all and to share.
    Mike

    ReplyDelete
  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I like the valuable info you provide to your articles.
    I will bookmark your blog and take a look at again here frequently.
    I am reasonably sure I will be informed many new stuff proper right here! , Best of luck for the next!
    Kyle

    ReplyDelete
  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks a lot for sharing us about this update. Hope you will not get tired on making posts as informative as this. hemp seeds

    ReplyDelete
  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is a good post. This post gives truly quality information. I’m definitely going to look into it. Really very useful tips are provided here. Thank you so much. Keep up the good works. Militar

    ReplyDelete
  12. An fascinating discussion is value comment. I think that it is best to write extra on this matter, it won’t be a taboo topic however generally people are not enough to talk on such topics. To the next. Cheers russian women for marriage

    ReplyDelete
  13. I impressed by the quality of information on this website. There are a lot of good resources here. I am sure I will visit this place again soon.
    Women Health Tips

    ReplyDelete
  14. pretty fine make regarded. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to call that i have absolutely enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After altogether one ill be subscribing to your feed and that i goal you write anew quickly! poder naval brasileiro

    ReplyDelete
  15. Women's fashion, by and large is more sensitive to changes in style, and the trends are more pronounced in women fashion clothes.rhinestones

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you very much for this valuable contribution and informative. Walgreens Coupons February 2019

    ReplyDelete