The Women's Land Army

Vita Sackville-West

The Women's Land Army

Vita Sackville-West

Distributed for Uniform Press

With a New Foreword by HRH The Countess of Wessex GCVO
172 pages | 30 halftones | 9 1/2 x 7 1/2 | © 2016
Cloth $22.95 ISBN: 9781910500187 Published August 2016 For Sale in USA and Canada Only
During World War II, English people of all backgrounds and abilities found unique ways to aid the war effort. For writer Vita Sackville-West, that was with her pen: during the war, she turned out a number of books analyzing and appreciating various aspects of English culture and the war effort that were explicitly designed to boost morale on the long-suffering homefront.
 
One of the most interesting of those volumes, especially when examined decades later, is The Women’s Land Army. In it, Sackville-West traces the history of the Women’s Land Army from its inception in 1939 through 1944, when the book was published, under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. Copiously illustrated with photographs depicting English women engaged in all forms of farm labor, work they were encouraged to take up in the absence of able-bodied men, the book is a potent reminder that winning the war required effort from everyone. Sackville-West’s account of the land army and its work manages to be both richly informative—the book carries an appendix full of tables of facts and statistics—and powerfully human, offering a close-up picture of the daily lives, labor, and aspirations of these women, showing how their work, and the contribution it made to the war effort, became an important part of their identity, with consequences for women’s rights and work that would be felt throughout the postwar years.
Contents
Foreword by HRH The Countess of Wessex
I Introductory
II The Formation of the WLA
III Headquarters at Balcombe
IV Organisation at the Headquarters
V Organisation in the Counties
VI The Work of the Representatives
VII The Land-girl
VIII Milking
IX General Farm-work, including Ploughing
X Hedging
XI Haymaking, Harvesting, Threshing, Thatching
XII Land-reclamation
XIII Orchards and Fruit
XIV Gardening
XV The Shepherdess
XVI Rats
XVII Trees
XVIII The WLA in Wales
XIX The WLA in Scotland
XX The WLA in the Isle of Man
XXI The WLA in Northern Ireland
XXII Royal Interest
XXIII Courageous Deeds – and Some Stories
XXIV The Future of the Land-girl
Appendices
1 Employment Figures
2 Local Representative’s Report
3 Relative Work-outputs of Women
4 The WLA in Scotland: Employment Figures
5 WLA Proficiency Tests
6 Correspondence Course: Agriculture
7 A Typical Forewoman’s Course
8 Suggested Post-war Careers for Women
9 Miscellaneous Items of Information
10 WLA Hostels
11 The Land Army Song

Picture Credits
 
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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