The Women’s Land Army (WLA) was created in 1917, by the Board of Agriculture. WLA members, or Land Girls as they were more popularly known, were employed to meet the shortfall in agricultural labour caused by conscription of men to fight at the Front.
After the First World War the WLA was disbanded but was re-founded in June 1939 as part of the government’s efforts to mobilise the nation for war. At its peak in 1944 it had 80,000 members.
The National Archives has a vast collection of documents about the Women’s Land Army, including administrative files, examples of propaganda and a wonderful collection of photographs.
Worn with pride
Land Girls wore a uniform including practical breeches, green jumpers and felt hats. This Board of Agriculture file (MAF 42/8) contains a sample, from the First World War, of an armlet issued to Land Girls. The file shows an order for 50,000 in June 1918 at a cost of £1,500.