Land girls honoured in top ceremony

Nearly 100 former Land Girls and Lumber Jills have attended a special event hosted by The Queen to celebrate their achievements.

The members of the Women’s Land Army and Timber Corps enjoyed a lunch at the Royal Opera House hosted by DEFRA secretary Hilary Benn, before visiting Buckingham Palace for tea with The Queen.

“I’m delighted to welcome the Land Girls and Lumber Jills to London as representatives of the thousands of women who provided food and timber for the nation during World War I and II,” said DEFRA secretary Hilary Benn.

“Over 34,000 members of the Women’s Land Army and Timber Corps have now received a commemorative badge which recognises their service and acknowledges the debt that we owe them. This is a fitting tribute to their great efforts when our country was at war.”

One of those who was pleased to attend was ex-Land Army girl Dorothy Etherington from Trimdon. She made the journey from Co Durham to the capital accompanied by her daughter-in-law Marie.

Events have also been held around the country over the last year to celebrate the work of the Women’s Land Army and Timber Corps, ranging from church and cathedral services to afternoon tea and have been organised by local councils and The Queen’s representatives (Lord Lieutenants) in each region.

Did you know

  • The Women’s Land Army and Timber Corps (also known as the Land Girls and Lumber Jills) worked on farms and timber mills to feed the nation and provide timber as the male workers went to war.
  • At its peak in 1943 there were 80,000 women working on the land, and 4,000 women in the Timber Corps. The Land Army was continued after the war, finally being disbanded in 1950.
  • Land Girls wore uniforms of green ties and jumpers and brown felt slouch hats and worked from dawn to dusk each day, milking cows, digging ditches, sowing seeds and harvesting crops and providing timber. They supplied the nation with food, supporting the war effort and avoiding food shortages.
  • The Women’s Timber Corps was part of the Women’s Land Army and played a vital role in providing timber for essential industries, such as mining and aircraft manufacture.
  • Commemorative badges were presented to 50 women by the Prime Minister at No 10 in 2008, with the remaining women sent their badges and certificates by post.

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