Dec 012017

Celebrating Christmas WLA Collage December

From left to right, top to bottom:

  • The last but one Christmas party to be held at the WLA hostel, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, December 1948. The hostel closed in around September 1950. The two men in the photo were most likely to have been from Bedfordshire County Agricultural Committee who employed the mobile gangs from the hostels in the county and contracted them out to local farmers. Photo source: Mary Perkins nee Godfrey. Courtesy of Stuart Antrobus
  • WLA girls celebrating Christmas at the Swinehead Hostel. Source: Mrs Sellars, BBC
  • Christmas party time at the WLA hostel, Leighton Buzzard in December 1947. Photo source: Jean Carell. Courtesy of Stuart Antrobus
Oct 312017
Caption: Ann Brodrick (left) with British serviceman and Mary Codrington with an American serviceman at a Halloween party c.1943 in Milton Ernest WLA hutment hostel, Bedfordshire.

Caption: Land Girl Ann Brodrick (left) with British serviceman and Land Girl Mary Codrington with an American serviceman at a Halloween party c.1943 in Milton Ernest WLA hutment hostel, Bedfordshire.

Aug 012017
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
Mar 012017

Bicycles, which were often used as transport from the girls’ accommodation to the farms were vital, once they got to know their way around the country lanes. Having your own (or a WLA bicycle) gave you freedom of movement in a country area. There were no road signs, so as to not aid the enemy in attack. Dimmed bicycle lamps at night also made it extremely difficult for the girls to find their way around.

“Another time I was biking home for lunch when the cows were being taken for milking. Behind them were some troops from Grange Camp. Not wanting them to see a Land Army girl frightened of cows I rode through them when a tail flicked out and hit me in the face, knocking me off the bike. There I sat, my bike on top of me, a dirty face and the troops laughing.

Mrs. K.A. Scott. [Maiden name unknown]

Source: ‘Bedford on Sunday’ newspaper, 24 April 1977, p5. Courtesy of Stuart Antrobus

Land Girls and Lumber Jills on Bikes

From left to right, top to bottom:

  • Unknown land girl at a north Bedfordhsire hostel. Note the makeshift straw-bale garage for the hostel lorry which took land girls out to farms each day. Source: Stuart Antrobus.
  • Black and white copy negative of Jean Johnstone, a member of the Women’s Timber Corps, posing with her bicycle beside Loch Eddy, Peeblesshire, c. 1941 – 1946. Source: National Museums Scotland
  • Unknown Land Girl by her bike. Source: Caro-jon-son (Flickr)
  • Joan Birchall and her WLA colleagues arriving or leaving Hope House, Ipswich. Source: Kara Lynn


For more on the history of cycling, please click here to visit Sheila Hanlon’s excellent website.

Feb 012017

Thank you to all those that have shared photos for the monthly collages. We look forward to sharing them throughout the year. This month focuses on the snow, just one of many weathers which Land Girls and Lumber Jills had to work in!

Land Girls and Lumber Jills Snow Collage

From left to right, top to bottom:

  • Women land-workers enjoying snowfall in a farmyard (handwritten caption on rear reads, ‘Spring fashions and Spring weather’) near Basingstoke area, c.1917. Source: Hampshire Archives
  • A Land Girl in Sussex sitting on top of her Hitler snowman during the Second World War. 14th January 1942. Source: Getty Images
  • Land Girls clearing snow in 1947 near Woodford Halse. Source: Connie Tomalin
  • Josie [?] and Vicky Richards having fun in the snow at ‘Chimney Corner’ WLA hostel near Bedford (between Elstow and Houghton Conquest). Source: Stuart Antrobus
  • Grinding the axe for the day’s felling. Source: ‘Meet the Members’
  • 1. Joyce Barker Bradford, 2 Alice ? 3 betty Knight Huddersfield 4 Doris Harrisdence Halifax, 5 Elsie Thompson Hull, 6 Anne thompson Hull, 7 Eileen Gibson Hull enjoying the snow. Source: Joan Lynn (nee Birchall) photo collection.
Jan 012017

As a new initative for 2017, Stuart Antrobus and I will be replacing the ‘Farming Activity of the Month’ with ‘Land Girls and Lumber Jills At Play. We will try to reflect the range of ways Land Girls and Lumber Jills spent their leisure times at different times throughout the year.

Do you have photos of Land Girls and Lumber Jills in their free time? If you do, send them across, and we can include them in our monthly collages

Land Girls, Cars & Trucks

  • Land Girls taking refreshments from YWCA tea car, most likely in the Satterthwaite, Cumbria, England, 1941.
    Source: Satterthwaite Parish Community Website
  • Land girls from the nearby WLA hostel at Wrest Park Lodge, Silsoe, Bedfordshire, having a laugh in the snow-covered village. Camaraderie was the most important factor which hostel girls shared. THis helped them cope with the often harsh conditions in which they lived and worked in wartime agriculture. Isolated land girls billeted with farmers sometimes missed out on this.
    Source: Stuart Antrobus
  • Betty Dugdale in Land Army truck with her fellow Land Girl colleagues, either in Cumbria or Hertfordshire.
Dec 012016

One month did not seem to give appropriate recognition to the range of livestock which Land Girls tended as part of their work in the Women’s Land Army. Our final collage of farming activities therefore presents photographs of Land Girls tending a variety of animals. To see the collages of farming activities for the whole year, please click here.

December Monthly Image

From left to right, top to bottom:

  • Goat with kid being tended by Doris ‘Dorothy’ Hurren. Courtesy of Stuart Antrobus.
  • Ann Brodrick feeding a motherless lamb in Bedfordshire. Source: Stuart Antrobus
  • Dora Carlyle in milking work clothes with a pedigree Jersey cow. Courtesy of Stuart Antrobus.
  • Poultry farming in Bedfordshire by Florence Brasier. Courtesy of Stuart Antrobus.
  • Land girls feeding pigs. Unknown source
  • Winnie Bentley at work with the pitchfork tending to cattle in Bedfordshire. Courtesy of Stuart Antrobus.

Farming activities included:

  • Ploughing
  • Spray cereals
  • Feed livestock


Source: Farm