Spalding district women sought for Land Army in 1917

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Women were being recruited for National Service in The Land Army in 1917.

Thousands of women were needed to replace the men who were fighting, but it was pointed out that as they would be doing men’s work, “they must be of good constitution and vigorous”.

Female workers were needed as milkers, ploughwomen, carters, field workers, cow women and market gardeners.

The new recruits were being offered board and lodging during instruction, one free outfit (consisting of high boots, breeches, two overalls and a hat) and wages were to be 18s per week at least.

A thousand training centre had been established all over the country and it was said that in some cases the women or girls were to be lodged in large houses loaned by their owners, or they could be grouped in hostels or billeted in cottages with the farmer’s family.

In rural districts, a village registrar would put farmers in touch with part-time workers as he had need of them.

The report said: “Women know that the enemy is sinking transport ships which bring food to this country. Therefore they must realise that their help on the land is as vitally needed to hasten victory as is munition-making.

“It is one of the stiff jobs that has to be done. The Agricultural Scheme is now in force, and women are asked to come forward at once for work upon the land.”

The report also called for more “motor-plough schools” for women, and added: “It is hoped that all owners of motor-ploughs will look upon it as a patriotic duty to facilitate instruction for girls in this work.

“Any woman who can drive a motor can very quickly learn to use a motor-plough.”