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During both World Wars, many civilian women took up jobs in agriculture, replacing those men who went to war. The women who worked for the Women's Land Army (WLA) were commonly known as Land Girls. In forestry, Women's Timber Corps were known as Lumber Jills. At the height of the First World War the Land Army had a full-time membership of 23,000 members. The number exceeded 80,000 during the Second World War.

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World War 2 in pictures: Gathering the war-time harvest

A member of the Women's Land Army felling a young tree with an axe. 1941. by Fred Ramage

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Three members of the Womens Land Army do the Silo-Step as part of their training at the Northampton Institute of Agriculture. The silo is filled with layers of hay and molasses and then the Land Girls stamp around on it until it is reduced to one compact mass. The photograph is taken from inside the silo.

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Finding other ways to feel feminine in wartime

These British land girls have shown how to pull off looking feminine during wartime even in unflattering outfits. Their hair remains perfectly curled.

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"Keeps the farms going while the men are fighting" - Join the Women's Land Army. A healthy open-air life. -- WWII propaganda poster (Australia, UK), c. 1939-1945.

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A member of the Women's Land Army in uniform. Miss June Perry enrolled in the Women's Land Army 1943 to 1946-Photograph by Malby.

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The Women’s Land Army were the unsung heroines of World War II. With so many men overseas, women were brought in to work on farms, producing the vital food supplies needed to keep wartime Britain going. Inspired by real-life accounts left by members of the Land Army, five-part drama Land Girls follows four women sent to work the land on the rural Hoxley Estate.

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