Land Girls Cover

Scotland's Land Girls
Breeches, Bombers and Backaches
Edited by Elaine Edwards

Publisher: NMSE Publishing, with the European Ethnological Research Centre
ISBN 13: 978-1-905267-32-3
Pages:176
Illustrations: 25 black and white
Price: $14.95
Click thumbnails for a larger image.



In the West, the work of women was critical to the war efforts in two world wars. Much more is known about 'Rosie the Riveter', who symbolized American women’s hard factory work than about the toil of women farmers. During World War II a Women's Land Army was formed in the United States as part of the Emergency Farm Labor Service, lasting from 1943 to 1947, and various 'Women's Land Armies' were established in other countries, including Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

    The work women did in Great Britain was outstanding. This is the story of women's farm work in Scotland in a time when agriculture was the backbone of the economy. When men were called to military service during World War 1 the farms would have been left fallow if it were not for the 'land girls,' many who volunteered and came from the industrial cities. By 1918, there were 23,000 women milking cows, plowing fields and herding animals on Scottish farms. When the WLA was called into action again in World War II, the women not only farmed but also did the back-breaking jobs of cutting down trees and working in sawmills. By the time the 'army' was disbanded in the United Kingdom the WLA constituted a force of 100,000. Without the sacrifice of these women, Britain would have not have had enough food.

    The book includes rare photos from the National Museum of Scotland's Scottish Life Archive.



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