Along with the Home Guard there was another unit that became essential during the war years, and which also adopted a uniform. This was called the Women’s Land Army, but its members were better known by all as ‘Land Girls’.
Readers will have noticed that in the first group photo shown on the page relating to the home guard, there are two land girls (Doris Baker and Mavis Hemmings) sitting at each end of the front row of men. The two women are wearing their land army uniform, consisting of a green jumper, twilled jodhpurs, with a wide-brimmed felt hat that had a badge on it, as shown here.
Originally formed during WW1, women volunteered to work on the farms, helping to produce food, whilst the men were away fighting at the front. On the approach of WW2, the Government again wanted to make sure enough food was still being grown and supplied to the population. In June 1939 the call went out for volunteers to again join The Women’s Land Army, and it was supplemented in later years by conscription. By 1944 it had over 80,000 members. The Women’s Timber Corps (whose members were known as ‘Lumber Jills’ ) worked in the forestry industry and also wore a distinctive cap badge. There were many volunteers for both of these corps in this surrounding area, and we welcome any anecdotes from former members.
Both organisations were disbanded in October 1949