Training

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
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

Training varied among Land Girls; some had 4 to 6 weeks or training, some had none at all. If women received trained, this could take place at an agricultural college or by working at a training farm before being posted on a farm.

Training was given on the day-to-day routines of planting potatoes, milking on ‘rubber udders’ and learning how to work with the animals, especially horses. The tiring hard work was a shock for the system for many; some women were sick every day. For good or bad, training broke women into the tough lifestyle of working in the WLA.

Hall recounts that she couldn’t even miss a day’s training to attend the wedding of a close relative, showing the importance which the WLA attached to training. Even after the training, many girls still had to return home because there were insufficient requests from local farmer. Especially at the beginning of the war, there was still a reluctance for farmers to employ women in agricultural work.

Training was ‘four weeks to learn the whole of the farming industry.

Enid roffey, cited in All Muck No Medals: Land Girls by Land Girls, 1994, p.78
A Land Girl looking after pigs as part of training, probably at Cannington Farm, England, 1940 Source: IWM D199
A Land Girl looking after pigs as part of training, probably at Cannington Farm, c.1940.
Source: IWM D199

References

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