Pictures showing WWII Women’s Land Army who kept Britain fed while the men were away fighting Hitler

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Pictures showing WWII Women’s Land Army who kept Britain fed while the men were away fighting Hitler

Rarely seen photos have revealed the vital role the Women's Land Army played in defeating Adolf Hitler in a new book.The patriotic women stepped into

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Rarely seen photos have revealed the vital role the Women’s Land Army played in defeating Adolf Hitler in a new book.

The patriotic women stepped into the breach to replace men fighting on the front line and keep the nation’s agriculture going.

This enabled food production to carry on so Britons did not starve when the country’s shipping was blockaded by the Nazis during the Second World War.

The previously untold stories of some of the ‘land girls’ are revealed by farming journalist Emily Ashworth in her new book, The Land Army’s Lost Women.

Her grandmother Vera Ashworth was part of the Land Army and she wants to make sure their important contribution to the war effort is not forgotten.

Pictured, Emily Ashworth's grandmother Vera Howson who was the inspiration for her new book

Pictured, Emily Ashworth's grandmother Vera Howson who was the inspiration for her new book

Pictured, Emily Ashworth’s grandmother Vera Howson who was the inspiration for her new book

Pictured: Audrey Prickett and Betty Long put bait in a trap in a haystack as part of their training at a Sussex farm

Pictured: Audrey Prickett and Betty Long put bait in a trap in a haystack as part of their training at a Sussex farm

Pictured: Audrey Prickett and Betty Long put bait in a trap in a haystack as part of their training at a Sussex farm

Pictured: A lady moving cut timber in Welshpool. Women stepped in and performed the jobs previously done by men

Pictured: A lady moving cut timber in Welshpool. Women stepped in and performed the jobs previously done by men

Pictured: A lady moving cut timber in Welshpool. Women stepped in and performed the jobs previously done by men

Land Girls placing chickens into cages at Charing Cross underground station in London in 1942

Land Girls placing chickens into cages at Charing Cross underground station in London in 1942

Land Girls placing chickens into cages at Charing Cross underground station in London in 1942

Women's Land Army Forestry Training, Culford, Suffolk, 1943, Land Girls use a double saw to cut down a tree as part of their training at the WLA camp in Culford

Women's Land Army Forestry Training, Culford, Suffolk, 1943, Land Girls use a double saw to cut down a tree as part of their training at the WLA camp in Culford

Women’s Land Army Forestry Training, Culford, Suffolk, 1943, Land Girls use a double saw to cut down a tree as part of their training at the WLA camp in Culford

Land Girls in Devon, from left to right: Grace Foster, 21, Penny Arberry, 19, Ellen Howe, 18, (driving) and Jackie Crane, 18

Land Girls in Devon, from left to right: Grace Foster, 21, Penny Arberry, 19, Ellen Howe, 18, (driving) and Jackie Crane, 18

Land Girls in Devon, from left to right: Grace Foster, 21, Penny Arberry, 19, Ellen Howe, 18, (driving) and Jackie Crane, 18

Emily, 32, from Clitheroe, Lancs, said she hopes her book will address the ‘shocking lack of knowledge’ about them.

She said: ‘I wanted to collate a book of personal memoirs; a collection of stories from Land Girls that simply showed these women for what they were – young and brave, funny and smart, selfless and caring.

‘I found that their downfall was their image – farming does not call for glamour, yet I know my grandma was glamorous and I feel compelled to

create a different view of these women.

‘As welcoming as many were to the land girls, equally as many objected to women taking on what was considered male work.

‘There are quotes in the land girl voluntary manual that record farmers’ reactions to being landed with women on their farms, and their surprise at their ability.

Recruitment posters for the Women's Land Army. The patriotic women stepped into the breach to replace men fighting on the front line and keep the nation's agriculture going

Recruitment posters for the Women's Land Army. The patriotic women stepped into the breach to replace men fighting on the front line and keep the nation's agriculture going

Recruitment posters for the Women’s Land Army. The patriotic women stepped into the breach to replace men fighting on the front line and keep the nation’s agriculture going

A Land Girl collecting hay from the stack to feed cattle at the Women's Land Army training centre at Cannington in Somerset

A Land Girl collecting hay from the stack to feed cattle at the Women's Land Army training centre at Cannington in Somerset

A Land Girl collecting hay from the stack to feed cattle at the Women’s Land Army training centre at Cannington in Somerset

Audrey Willis in 1942 preparing rat poison as part of their training at a farm in Sussex

Audrey Willis in 1942 preparing rat poison as part of their training at a farm in Sussex

Audrey Willis in 1942 preparing rat poison as part of their training at a farm in Sussex

A Land Army poem from 1942: 

Back to the land, we must all lend a hand

To the farms and the fields we must go.

There’s a job to be done

Though we can’t fire a gun

We can still do our bit with a hoe.

When your muscles are strong

You will soon get along

And you’ll think that the country life’s grand;

We’re all needed now,

We must speed with the plough,

So come with us – back to the land

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‘There is a shocking lack of knowledge about this branch of the women’s forces during the war.

‘There is obviously an endless list of females to champion throughout history, but still, for some obscure reason, the Women’s Land Army are mostly left to champion their own efforts.

‘These were women who rose to the challenge – women who conquered the task despite oppressed adversity.

‘These were women who helped to win the war, yet they did not see themselves as doing anything special – they said they just wanted to do their bit for the cause.

‘This book is in honour of my two grandmothers, Vera and Margaret, who I was extremely close to and who lived into their 90s.

‘It is really about a generation who deserve to be remembered for what they did.’

The Women’s Land Army was originally formed during the First World War in 1917 and re-established in 1939 to prevent a national food shortage.

Food rationing began in Britain in 1940 and in May 1941 the government said all women aged 19 to 40 must volunteer for war work.

Conscription was introduced at the end of 1941 and women did farm tasks such as spreading manure and pulling sugar beet.

Women picking brussel sprouts as part of their training at Cannington Farm, Somerset in 1940

Women picking brussel sprouts as part of their training at Cannington Farm, Somerset in 1940

Women picking brussel sprouts as part of their training at Cannington Farm, Somerset in 1940

Pictured: Land Girls Ivy Reid, Alice Crook, Joy Godsall and a colleague digging an old bog oak out of a piece of reclaimed fen land in Cambridgeshire in 1942

Pictured: Land Girls Ivy Reid, Alice Crook, Joy Godsall and a colleague digging an old bog oak out of a piece of reclaimed fen land in Cambridgeshire in 1942

Pictured: Land Girls Ivy Reid, Alice Crook, Joy Godsall and a colleague digging an old bog oak out of a piece of reclaimed fen land in Cambridgeshire in 1942

Iris Joyce taking the bull by the nose in 1942. The previously untold stories of some of the 'land girls' are revealed by farming journalist Emily Ashworth in her new book

Iris Joyce taking the bull by the nose in 1942. The previously untold stories of some of the 'land girls' are revealed by farming journalist Emily Ashworth in her new book

Iris Joyce taking the bull by the nose in 1942. The previously untold stories of some of the ‘land girls’ are revealed by farming journalist Emily Ashworth in her new book

Pictured: Women voice their grievances in London demanding equal pay for equal work

Pictured: Women voice their grievances in London demanding equal pay for equal work

Pictured: Women voice their grievances in London demanding equal pay for equal work

Pictured: Landy Army girls Harvesting flax on a farm in Huntingdonshire during 1942

Pictured: Landy Army girls Harvesting flax on a farm in Huntingdonshire during 1942

Pictured: Landy Army girls Harvesting flax on a farm in Huntingdonshire during 1942

Over 200,000 women were part of the Land Army while others built aircraft, worked in munitions factories or chopped down trees in the timber corps.

The Women’s Land Army carried on after the war finished as so many male farmers perished during it.

The organisation was disbanded in 1950 but it was not until 2008 that they were officially recognised with a badge of honour by the government.

The Land Army’s Lost Women, by Emily Ashworth, is published by Pen & Sword and costs £20.

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

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