Monday, 28 January 2008

Recognition for 'Land Girls' and 'Lumberjills'

At long last surviving members of the Women's Land Army (Land Girls) and Women's Timber Corps (Lumberjills) can apply for a badge in recognition of their valiant efforts in the World Wars. As so many young men went into the services a yawning gap was left to fill in respect of our labour intensive farming and timber cropping. Although the work to be done was physically demanding and conditions anything but comfortable many young women volunteered to help out. Now very many of these girls came from an urban background and really had no idea of the workings of a farm and found themselves on a very steep learning curve.

Thinking about land girls in the second world war for instance they had to get stuck in to such jobs as milking cows, sowing and harvesting crops and driving tractors. If you think the last mentioned was a cushy job remember that tractors of that time didn't have cabs so you were permanently exposed to the elements; also most if not all tractors of that era didn't have electric starters so hand cranking a starting handle was the way to get the recalcitrant machines going.

We certainly owe them a debt of gratitude.

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