Why join?

FOR A HEALTHY, HAPPY JOB - JOIN THE WOMEN'S LAND ARMY (Art.IWM PST 6078) image: a young woman, wearing the Land Army uniform, stands with a pitchfork in her left hand and holds her jacket in her right. She surveys a field of wheat. Copyright: � IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/36790
Women’s Land Army Recruitment poster, designed by Clive Uppton.
Source: (Art.IWM PST 6078)

The government slogan advertising the WLA was ‘For a healthy, happy job, join the Women’s Land Army’. But why did women join the WLA?

Below are a list of the some of reasons which influenced women to join the Land Army:

  • To avoid working in munitions
  • It allowed girls to volunteer at the age of 17 ½, a lower age compared to the other services
  • Parental influence that the Women’s Land Army was ‘better’ than the other services
  • Enrolling on impulse – wanting a spontaneous change from their daily life
  • Farms in the nearby area were in need of volunteers
  • Failing the WAAF (Women’s Auxiliary Air force) medical test
  • An alternative to joining the women’s fighting services
  • It was the least regimented of the other forms of women’s war work and the most different
  • It suited women’s individual character traits – some women preferred working, or the idea of working, in the outdoors
  • A sense of independence and escaping their current life and relationships
  • The uniform; yes, this is true, some joined because they liked the uniform so much. Unlike the other women’s services uniforms, women could wear breeches!

Despite being willing volunteers, some were apprehensive about leaving a stable and reliable job which there was no guarantee they could return to after the war.

In The Archives

'The Call Of The Land' - a recruitment poem written by Gordon Geddes, based at St Andrew's House in Scotland. Source: The Land Girl, April 1942
‘The Call Of The Land’ – a recruitment poem written by Gordon Geddes, based at St Andrew’s House in Scotland.
Source: ‘The Land Girl’, April 1942

Find out more


Mant, Joan. All Muck No Medals: Landgirls by Landgirls. Leicester: Book Guild Publishing Ltd, 1994.