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Land Army, girls & now.

(34 Posts)
Bridgeit Thu 08-Nov-18 11:04:52

Just watched (another ) fascinating programme about these wonderful ladies.
Do they ( and other ladies of that era) get enough recognition for what they did during the War years?
And how do we think young ladies of today would respond/ cope if put in a similar position today? (Apart from those who are already in the forces )

Smileless2012 Thu 08-Nov-18 11:31:52

I'd like to think that if God forbid we were ever at war, that the country would pull together now, just like it did then.

Luckygirl Thu 08-Nov-18 11:40:36

My Mum was in the Land Army and was at her absolute happiest then. Being a mother was a bit weedy after that - as we all realised!

I have enormous faith in the young of today - I am sure that is the need arose they would be brilliant.

Fennel Thu 08-Nov-18 12:12:30

One of my aunties was in the Land Army, and loved it. Another aunt was a Red Cross nurse - in this country.
And another in the NAAFI.
As already said, I think most young people would soon adapt. If you read about the Boot Camp system for troubled teens etc they enjoy in the end.

Willow500 Thu 08-Nov-18 12:14:28

My MIL was in the Land Army - she'd lived in the country so I think it was work she enjoyed.

Greyduster Thu 08-Nov-18 13:03:07

We formed a very strong friendship with an American Airforce Master Sergeant and his wife who met and subsequently settled in Norfolk. She was then in the Land Army and was immensely proud of her contribution to the war effort. She went to the palace with others to get her award when the Land Girls were finally officially recognised. Like the ‘Women of Steel’ in Sheffield, they were not afraid of what was grinding hard work. They did it for the country, and that was enough. Would young women do it now? Some would for certain, but society and it’s expectations has changed so much I often find myself thinking that if we found ourselves in peril again as a nation, and there was a call to arms, the response would be very different.

Greyduster Thu 08-Nov-18 13:05:18

I should clarify that she was in the Land Army when she met her husband, not when we met them!hmm.

Scribbles Thu 08-Nov-18 15:45:56

My mother and her sister both joined the WLA as teenagers and absolutely loved the life, once they became accustomed to the hours and the physical nature of the work. Both were city girls, born and raised in Birmingham, so it was an entirely new way of life for them. They were fortunate in being posted together to their first farm so could, at least,support each other when things went awry. In fact, the farmer and his wife were lovely people who became lifelong friends.

She loved working with animals; sticking an arm up a cow's nether regions held no horrors for her and nor did the notion of dagging sheep. It may have been due to her farm experience that she took such a practical line with her children's upbringing. We were encouraged not to be coy about physiological functions and to deal with everything in a straight forward, plain speaking manner.

In addition to working with animals, mom was a pretty competent tractor driver (she particularly enjoyed "crawlers") and mechanic.

Mom kept her "dress" uniform for many years: as a child, I was fascinated by the heavy, scratchy breeches. Somewhere, I have a photo of her, all togged up in uniform, ready for an evening out with my dad, who was then her fiancé. If I succeed in finding it, I'll post it on here.

Telly Thu 08-Nov-18 19:02:10

My mum worked night and day during the war - in a factory during the day and a dance hostess at night. I don't think she would have coped on a farm!

Blue45Sapphire Fri 09-Nov-18 08:17:38

My mother was also in the Land Army, must have been a bit of a shock for her coming from East London to a tiny remote village in Wiltshire! However, that's where she met my father, as she lodged with his brother and wife. She stayed in the area for the rest of her life until she died in 2011. My late DMil was in Lancashire and worked in munitions in Preston. DH always used to complain that no-one appreciated these women's war work.

4allweknow Fri 09-Nov-18 10:30:44

My mother worked on the railways in WW2. Had two children then, husband a miner on shifts yet she did her bit for the war effort. Loads of occupations undertaken by women and not well recognised.

Blinko Fri 09-Nov-18 10:42:04

My mother was in the WAAF, now the WRAF. She loved it!

quizqueen Fri 09-Nov-18 10:53:23

I fear that the young women of today would not fair well in the event of another war as they are too used to having a free and easy lifestyle. Women before the first world war didn't have very much independence so being able to work and socialise outside the house was a new thing for them and, although I'm sure it was hard work, it led to them having far more independence outside of the family home.

Nannytopsy Fri 09-Nov-18 10:58:04

My mum would have loved to join the Land Army but her Victorian parents said no. She was an ambulance driver instead.

knspol Fri 09-Nov-18 11:19:49

Lots of occupations not recognised. What about the women who had to go and work in munition factories and the like - I know which I would have preferred.

Aepgirl Fri 09-Nov-18 11:26:51

It seems to me that where there is war in other countries, their young men and their families escape to another country. Where would we have been in 1914-18 and again in 1939-43 if our young men had defected to another country,

sweetcakes Fri 09-Nov-18 11:50:03

I think that quite a lot of young women these days would head for the hills but not all. I would like to think my Dil's and D would pull their weight and as it's put keep the home fire's burning. But what concerns me is the young men, would they be up for war some don't seem to have the stamina these days.

Jane10 Fri 09-Nov-18 11:51:02

I suspect that our young people would be much less compliant and less likely to put up with the discipline that would be required. They'd be pursuing their rights to not do this and that etc etc.

Greyduster Fri 09-Nov-18 11:52:53

the young women of today would not fair well in the event of another war as they are too used to having a free and easy lifestyle. And they might break their nails!!

Jane10 Fri 09-Nov-18 12:03:14

My own son, when at school, was required to be in the army cadet corps. He defeated their Officer in charge by saying that he 'refused to be shouted at by these people'! He was discharged. I doubt if he'd be any more amenable to army style discipline today. DD on the other hand loved it and turned out to be a sharp shooter.

sarahellenwhitney Fri 09-Nov-18 12:33:38

Quizqueen Don't despair sadI am sure that in the face of adversity the UK will show what its made of. Inevitably and as before there will always be the few.

Saggi Fri 09-Nov-18 12:51:14

My mother was land army for a while...then joined the Army , she was in Anti-aircraft positions around the south coast as a plane spotter. She says being straffed by enemy aircraft was easier work than the Land army! She always admired those women who grew the food to feed this country . Heroic!

GrannyGravy13 Fri 09-Nov-18 13:02:00

I like to think that our young people today would step up and do their duty where needed.

Redrobin51 Fri 09-Nov-18 13:22:05

My mother joined the ATS before the war and was just about to come out when war was declared so did her duty as so many women did and stayed on. She worked at the war office, helped with the embarkation of troops going off to the front lines. Went to Africa and Egypt and their ship came under attack and was torpedoed but fortunately their aim wasn't good. I think her life afterwards was a major disappointment as she was expected to get married and produce children. I think she should have stayed in the forces. To her death at 84 she kept in contact with three other women who were inner division. She said the good thing about being posted abroad was she had good food. She was shocked when she went on leave to see how thinnher sisters were because of the rationing, they lived in an industrial town with no garden so no way of supplementing rations. My friends Mom worked as a code breaker. Neither of them would fill in any details about what happened during their time serving their country. Those in the munitions must have had a terrible time. They are definitely unsung heroines.

GrandmaMoira Fri 09-Nov-18 13:34:26

My mother was in the WAAF, which she chose so that she did not have to work in munitions factories. She worked in stores and often complained that women were not allowed to do men's jobs such as being pilots.
I wouldn't be here if women had not joined up in WW11 as my father was in the RAF and that was how my parents met .
My mother did say that, coming from a sheltered background, it was quite a shock meeting people from all walks of life.