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THE WOMEN'S LAND ARMY

 

October 2015


At the October meeting of the Society Dr Ann Kneif gave an illustrated talk about the Women's Land Army, recalling that it was first formed in the closing years of the First World War, and disbanded after the war.

Preparations were begun in early 1939 to re-establish this army, should the anticipated war be announced, with Lady Denham offering her home as a headquarters for the service.

Women were initially asked to volunteer for the WLA. However, in December 1941 the government passed the National Service Act, which allowed the conscription of women into the armed forces or for vital war work.

At first only single women between 20 and 30, and widows without children, were called up, but later the age limit was expanded to include women between 17 and 45, but often much younger women enrolled. Dr Kneif spoke about the jobs the women were expected to do and their own thoughts on their work and recreation.

The Land Army was disbanded in 1950. We were fortunate to have in the audience Mary Dinnis a Shoreham resident, who was herself a land girl. Mary confirmed Dr Kneif's details were accurate and added a few additional recollections of her own.


At the meeting the Society's latest booklet was presented, Shoreham Village Remembers the Fallen based on the research undertaken by Lorna Robinson of the Royal British Legion.
Half the profits from the sale of this booklet will go to the Legion.


 

Shoreham And District
Historical Society
Affiliated to
The Shoreham Society
The Kent History Federation and
The Kent Archaeological Society

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Last Updated

March 24, 2016

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Shoreham And District Historical Society