Jan 012018

To mark the first day of every month in 2018, we will be looking at a range of illustrations which Land Girls themselves drew and sent in for The Land Girl magazine. Not only were Land Girls and Lumber Jills working hard on the land and in the forests, but some also found the time to put pen to paper and draw!

In 1942, the front page of The Land Girl contained the following about the rotation of illustrations for The Land Girl covers:

New Departures from the front page of the April 1942 edition of The Land Girl.

New Departures from the front page of the April 1942 edition of The Land Girl.

Not only are these illustrations interesting to look at, but they are are useful for considering how Land Girls came to represent their experiences – sometimes humorously, sometimes seriously. As you can see from the selection of images below, some were simple sketches such as the one used for January 1942. Others were more detailed, as seen with the effective use of shading by Audrey Wakeford and Anthea Shelmerdine for January 1946 and 1947 respectively. These illustrations portray Land Girls undertaking several jobs such as feeding lambs, milking cows, delivering milk, clearing, and picking potatoes.

The Land Girl Image January 1942

January 1942 by Miss Barbara Hey.

The Land Girl Image January 1943

January 1943, by Miss J Salisbury (72819), Warwickshire.

The Land Girl Image January 1944

January 1944 by Miss Audrey Wakeford (40839), Berkshire

The Land Girl Image January 1945

January 1945 by E.Wright (73902), who won first prize in a WLA Handicrafts Exhibition in West Suffolk.

The Land Girl Image January 1946

January 1946 by Audrey Wakeford (40839), Berkshire, whose work makes another appearance.

The Land Girl Image January 1947

January 1947 by Anthea Shelmerdine (36469), Salop


Oct 012017
Nights Out and Dancing Collage

A Night Out and Dancing Collage


From left to right, top to bottom:

  • Land Girls and Lumber Jills, some in uniform, some in mufti, dance with British soldiers at a dance in a large hall, near to their camp in Culford, Suffolk. The dance band plays and Union flags, and the flags of America and Russia decorate the walls above the musicians. A poster to the right of the stage advertises another event to be held at the Corn Exchange on Thursday 6 and Friday 7 May. Source: IWM D 14123
  • Land Army holiday camp, Cookham, 1942. Source: Mirrorpix

  • Lily Harrison, Barbara Wilson, and Mona Feather (l to r) from Milton Ernest WLA hostel in Bedfordshire ready for a ‘night out’ after a hard week’s work, c.1940s. Source: Stuart Antrobus

  • British Land Army girls and members of the Women’s Royal Air Force (WAAF) dance with men of the US Eighth Army Air Force in Suffolk during 1943. Source: Pinterest
Jul 202017
Angela Ottaway

Angela Ottaway, reading her poem at the Church of St Peter in Redisham near Beccles, Suffolk. Source: Netta Swallow

“Angela is now 92 years old.  She was first based in the Land Army at the farm on Romney marshes.  It was not a good experience as she was employed by a woman who ran the farm and was a bully and abusive towards Angela.  As an example of this, one night she locked Angela out and she had to sleep in the barn.  Angela became ill working here and eventually she got a transfer to horticulture which she enjoyed very much.  She is still a keen gardener today and involves herself in a handbell ringing group, the local museum team of volunteers and the local church.  Her mother was in the Timber Corps in WW1.

Angela read her poem at the Church of St Peter in Redisham near Beccles, Suffolk.  It was “War, which has brought to others fear” by Hebe Jerrold, Women’s Timber Corps. The event was organised as part of a series of walks with a creative theme under the umbrella of Waveney and Blyth Arts.  The walk started from Redisham Hall where an open day with teas coincided with the event.  On arrival at the church the audience heard tales of Land Girls and their poetry, the Bloomsbury Set and Adrian Bell and how there were links between them.  Oonagh Segrave-Daly read a very moving poem “Let there be light” by Francis Heneage Burkitt.  She was inspired to write the poem after having read an article about the plight of children in occupied Europe during WW2.  She also read “Hedge Cutting” by Land Girl Alice Coates, a thoughtful poem about her concern for the environment. Then back for tea at the beautiful grounds of Redisham Hall.”

Netta Swallow, Walk co-ordinator, Waveney and Blyth Arts Beccles representative

Jul 012017

Land Girls and Men in Uniform

From left to right, top to bottom:

  • Hope House Land Girls with soldiers. Source: Joan Birchall archive
  • British Land Girls with members of the Women’s Royal Air Force (WAAF) dancing with men of the US Eighth Army Air Force in Suffolk in 1943.
  • Wedding photo of Land Girl Peggy Albertson (nee Davis), Bedfordshire Land Girl and ‘Joe’. Source: Stuart Antrobus
  • Hope House Land Girl with a member of the Forces. Source: Joan Birchall archive
Jun 012017

Picnics and Fun Collage

From left to right, top to bottom:

May 012017


From left to right, top to bottom:

  • Land Girls entertaining the troops at Thundersley Hostel, Essex. Source: Lorna Cosgrove
  • A get together after a day’s training. Versatile Iris Joyce types, farms and also plays. Source: Northamptonshire Records Office
  • Women’s Land Army in Retford in 1949. Source: Catherine Procter
  • One Saturday afternoon Ipswich Hope House in 1943. Source: Kara Lynn
  • Lady Godiva played by Brenda Collinge, Hulcote Moors Hostel, Bedfordshire. Published in the Bedfordshire Times on 1st June 1945, p6. Source: Stuart Antrobus
Apr 012017

Meal Times Women's Land Army

From left to right, top to bottom:

  • Lumber Jills enjoying a meal in their hostel in Culford Camp in Suffolk. Source: Margaret Elizabeth Sutherland (nee Coldwell) photo collection.
  • Lumber Jills eagerly awaiting their meals at their hostel in Culford Camp in Suffolk. Source: Margaret Elizabeth Sutherland (nee Coldwell) photo collection.
  • Land Girls billeted at a hostel in Wye, taking a break. Phyllis Ridpath is the lady second from the left, and the two ladies on the right hand side are twin sisters Peggy C. Robinson (later Dalglish) and Joan A. Robinson (later Wilson). Source: Hastingleigh.com
  • Land Girls enjoy a hot cup of tea after a hard day of rat catching on a Sussex farm during 1942. Source: IWM
  • Land Girls sharing their lunch break with a spaniel during on a farm in Sevenoaks, Kent in 1942. Source: Pinterest
  • Three Women’s Land Army trainees enjoy a ‘mite’ of milk before their day of training begins at the Northampton Institute of Agriculture. It is 6 o’clock in the morning. Source: IWM
Sep 012016

This month we focus on the work of the Women’s Timber Corps, who are often forgotten in discussion of the Women’s Land Army. Women would have undertaken this work all year around, but it only seems appropriate to draw attention to the diversity of the work they undertook.

Women's TImber Corps

From left to right, top to bottom:

  • Lumber Jills measuring trees to be sent off for use as telgraph poles and pit props near Wareham, Dorset. Source: Geoff Shute
  • Felling at tree at Culford, Suffolk. Source: Catherine Procter
  • Rolling logs, near Wareham Dorset. Source: Geoff Shute
  • Peeling bark at Culford, Suffolk. Source: Anne Saunders
  • Lumber Jills enjoying tea in their break. Source: Anne Saunders

Farming activities included:

  • Preparation for gimmer and draft ewe sales
  • Wether lambs sold as they finish or as store lambs for further fattening
  • Wean lambs
  • Combine harvest cereals, bale and cart straw
  • Ploughing and general cultivations
  • Harvest potatoes
  • Drill winter wheat, oilseed rape and barley


Source: Farm Direct.co.uk