Holding the Home Front

The Women's Land Army in The First World War

Caroline Scott

* Uses previously unpublished diaries and accounts. so that the women's voices take the lead in telling their story.

* Previously unpublished photographs and long-forgotten cartoons and poems, penned by the women themselves, giving an engaging immediacy and a real sense of who these women were.

* Lively narrative and very readable text ensures
Date Published :
July 2020
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781783831128
Pages : 224
Dimensions : 9.5 X 6.5 inches
Stock Status : In stock
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781526781499
Pages : 224
Dimensions : 9.25 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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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 Using previously unpublished accounts and photographs, this book is an attempt to understand how the return of women to the fields and farmyards impacted agriculture - and, in turn, an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.

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).


"When one thinks of the Land Girls, one almost certainly thinks of their contribution to the darkest days of the Second World War, whereas in fact, there was a women's land army in full flow during the first world war too. Caroline's wonderful book sets the record straight with beautiful illustrations and witting testimony from people who were there and saw how hard these wonderful women worked to keep Britain going during their darkest hours. Superb."

- Books Monthly

“This is a well-researched his-tory of the British Women’s Land Army in WW1 and how it paved the way for the success of the WLA in the Second World War.”

- World War One Illustrated, Summer 2018

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