Holding the Home Front: The Women's Land Army in The First World War

Holding the Home Front: The Women's Land Army in The First World War

by Caroline Scott


View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


In recent years the Second World War's land girl has caught the public imagination. We've seen her in films, television series and novels. We might be misremembering her, we might have distorted her image into one that suits a twenty-first century audience, but we haven't forgotten. Other things have been forgotten, though. One could be forgiven for supposing that the story of the Women's Land Army starts in 1939. But its a much older and more complicated history.

British agricultural policy during the First World War was held up as a success story; coming through a great national emergency, domestic food production was higher at the end of the war than at the start, the average calorific value of the British diet barely changed and bread never had to be rationed here. As the press reported starvation and food riots overseas, the 1918 harvest was held up as one of the great achievements of the War.

In 1917, at the darkest hour, when Britain's food security looked most precarious, it was said that, If it were not for the women agriculture would be absolutely at a standstill on many farms. Is that true? Were women really keeping the wheels turning? Using previously unpublished accounts and photographs, this book is an attempt to understand how the return of women to the fields and farmyards impacted agriculture - and, in turn, an examination of how that experience affected them.

This is the story of the First World War's forgotten land army.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781526781499
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Publication date: 08/19/2020
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 829,589
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

After completing her Ph.D in History at Durham, Caroline Scott joined an investment banks graduate training scheme and spent two years working in the City. Since then she has worked as a market analyst for a diamond trading company, in London, Belgium and latterly France. In her spare time she continues to enjoy historical research. She has transcribed battalion War Diaries and works as a transcription volunteer for the National Maritime Museum (1915 Crew List Index Project).

Table of Contents

Ilustrations vi

Introduction viii

Chapter 1 'Such Dirty Work' 1

Chapter 2 'The New Woman and the Old Acres' 11

Chapter 3 'Keeping Calm' 17

Chapter 4 'Lilac Sunbonnets' and the 'No-Corset Brigade' 26

Chapter 5 'From the White Hands of Strapping Girls' 48

Chapter 6 'Our Front is Where the Wheat Grows Fair' 94

Chapter 7 'Hold the Home Front' 156

Chapter 8 Legacy 172

Notes 183

Index 209

Customer Reviews