Jun 142018

My mother used to be a land army girl at Battina House, which I believe was in the Chichester or Brighton area. She passed away a couple of weeks ago.  I was wondering if you could put a request on your website for any information about Bettina House or who might have known my mother? Her name was Marie Louise Anne Estelle Holland. It might be of interest that she ran away and joined the land army and lied about her age.  When she was found out she was interviewed on the radio by Richard Dimbleby.

Chris Goymer, Marie’s son.

Land Girls at Battina House

Land Girls at Battina House

Land Girls at Battina House


Land Girls of Battina Hous, working in the fields.

Land Girls of Battina House, working in the fields.


Land Girls of Battina Hous, working in the fields.

Land Girls of Battina House, working in the fields.


Land Girls of Battina House, working in the forests.

Land Girls of Battina House in the forest.


Land Girl Marie Louise Anne Estelle Holland being interviewed by Richard Dimbleby.

Apr 152018
WLA Proficiency Certificate for B Cox, March 1945

WLA Proficiency Certificate for B Cox, marking her excellent work in milking and dairy work, March 1945


Photograph of B Cox, the recipient of the above Distinction certificate. This was taken in 1946 at Hogs-Wood, Foxwood, near Billinghurst, Sussex.

Source: Catherine Procter’s WLA Collection


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
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 012016
As a new initative for 2016, Stuart Antrobus and I will be replacing the ‘Cartoon of the Month’ with ‘Farming Activity of the Month’. We will try to reflect the farming tasks which would have been undertaken by Land Girls at different times throughout the year.
Do you have photos of Land Girls carrying out different farming tasks? If you do, send them across, and we can include them in our monthly collages.

January Milking Collage

From left to right, top to bottom:

  • Joyce Malpass busy with dairy work at Simkins’ Mount Pleasant Farm, Lower Stondon, Bedfordshire in the 1940s. Courtesy of Stuart Antrobus.
  • 29 year old Land Girl Rosalind Cox (left) carries milk pails in the dairy on Mr Tupper’s farm at Bignor in Sussex, as her colleague Helen Newmarch sits on a stool to milk ‘Cleopatra’. The cattle here are shorthorn cows. Helen was from Worthing and was a shorthand typist before joining the Land Army. Source: IWM D 18057
  • Land Girls were introduced to agricultural practice and ‘nature’ through the use of contemporary technology. Dunbar plays with the obvious visual humour of the surreal situation. At what point does the machine stop pretending to be a cow? The painting is also a comment on how technologically driven modern, urban life has now become the means of access to both agriculture and, by implication, the natural world. Source: IWM ART LD 766
  • A member of the Women’s Land Army milks a cow, probably at the WLA training centre at Cannington, Somerset, c 1940. Source: IWM D186
  • Ivy Archer (nee Lock) milking a cow with a fellow Land Girl in Exmoor. Source: Unforgotten Exmoor
Apr 252014

Sunset across fields. Land army girl, mobile milk maid, Daphne Perry riding bicycle through countryside. She gets off and pushes bike across muddy field. Several shots of Daphne milking cows by machinery. Daphne weighs milk in buckets and writes it down in a book. Girl driving cows through gate into field. Land girl walking out of farm and onto country road, she waves to a man on a bike.

Source: British Pathe

Read more about dairy farming during World War Two here.

Mar 202014

The East Grinstead Observer (17th June, 1916).

At St. Michael’s Parish Hall, Miss Bradley, agricultural organising officer for the Board of Trade, said that Sussex had been one of the best countries for recruiting for the army and navy, and she hoped that with the co-operation of the farmers it would occupy a similar position with regard to women working on the land and filling the places of the men who had gone to fight for their country. She knew that in Sussex there was a strong feeling against “foreigners”, and therefore it was all the more necessary that women of Sussex should help in this movement, so that it would not be necessary to import female labour from other counties. She believed that the home grown food supply would be a quarter below the average that year. Women generally had responded splendidly to this call for service. The same could not hardly be said of the farmers, but she realised that there were difficulties and prejudices were being gradually overcome and that when farmers realised that women could do useful work they would accept their service more and more readily. Women were proving in many directions that they could perform useful work – in offices, in munition works, and she had even seen them assisting in tarring and repairing roads. On farms, too, they could be of great assistance they could do valuable work with weeding. Three pence an hour was the minimum wage for untrained helpers.

Source: Spartacus Educational