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