There were many reasons why women wanted to join the outdoor life of the Land Army. Women came from typically working or middle class backgrounds and so circumstances for joining up were unique to each individual woman. The government slogan for the time was ‘For a healthy, happy job, join the Women’s Land Army’. Many propaganda posters were used to entice women into the Land Army, such as the one to the right of this page.
Below are a list of the some of reasons which influenced women to join the Land Army, accounted by Mant:
- To avoid working in munitions which had a negative reputation
- It allowed girls to volunteer at the age of 17 ½, lower when 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 where in need of volunteers
- Failing the WAAF (Women’s Auxiliary Air force) medical test
- An alternative to joining the women’s fighting services
- Being portrayed as more ladylike
- It was the least regimented of the forces and the most different
- It suited girls’ individual character traits – some girls preferred 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
- Want to listen to an interview with a Land Girl on why she joined the Women’s Land Army? Click here to listen to Women’s Land Army historian, Stuart Antrobus, interviewing Joyce Ingle (nee Irving)
- Want to find out more about why women chose to join the Women’s Land Army ? Read ‘Going Back to the Land’: Rhetoric and Reality in Women’s Land Army memories by Alison Woodeson.