Photo story

The Women's Land Army In Pictures

In Britain during the First World War, there was a shortage of farm labour as men were conscripted into the forces. There was also a need to grow more food due to the threat to supplies caused by German submarines. This led to the establishment of the Women’s Land Army in February 1917.

By 1918, there were over 113,000 women working on the land. Female labour alone was still not enough to meet the shortfall in agricultural labour. Prisoners of war were also sometimes used, often working alongside land girls.

As these images show, women were employed in a wide range of roles, from dairy work to hard manual labour such as ploughing, flax pulling and felling trees.

  • Join the women's land army

    Recruitment poster for the Women’s Land Army, 1917.
    Recruitment poster for the Women’s Land Army, 1917.
    Art.IWM PST 5996

    Recruitment poster for the Women’s Land Army, 1917.

  • Roles Include Caring for Animals

    A member of the Women's Land Army leads a horse from the stables on a farm during the First World War.
    A member of the Women's Land Army leads a horse from the stables on a farm during the First World War.
    Q 30652

    A member of the Women's Land Army leads a horse from the stables on a farm during the First World War.

  • Working in the Fields

    A member of the Women's Land Army operating a single-furrow plough on a British farm during the First World War.
    A member of the Women's Land Army operating a single-furrow plough on a British farm during the First World War.
    Q 54607

    A member of the Women's Land Army operating a single-furrow plough on a British farm during the First World War.

  • Milking cows

    A member of the Women’s Land Army milking a cow.
    A member of the Women’s Land Army milking a cow.
    Q 30680

    A member of the Women’s Land Army milking a cow.

  • Working with Prisoners of War

    The Women's Land Army and German Prisoners, 1918, by Randolph Schwabe.
    The Women's Land Army and German Prisoners, 1918, by Randolph Schwabe.
    Art.IWM ART 1179

    The Women's Land Army and German Prisoners, 1918, by Randolph Schwabe.

  • Feeding livestock

    Members of the Women's Land Army feeding pigs and calves in an orchard.
    Members of the Women's Land Army feeding pigs and calves in an orchard.
    Q 30662

    Members of the Women's Land Army feeding pigs and calves in an orchard.

  • Ploughing fields

    A Land Girl Ploughing, 1918, by Cecil Aldin.
    A Land Girl Ploughing, 1918, by Cecil Aldin.
    Art.IWM ART 2618

    A Land Girl Ploughing, 1918, by Cecil Aldin.

  • Felling trees

    Members of the Women's Land Army Forestry Corps.
    Members of the Women's Land Army Forestry Corps.
    Q 30694

    Members of the Women's Land Army Forestry Corps.

  • Shepherding sheep

    The Shepherdess, by Randolphe Schwabe.
    The Shepherdess, by Randolphe Schwabe.
    Art.IWM ART 1181

    The Shepherdess, by Randolphe Schwabe.

  • Interested? Enrol Today!

    Recruitment poster for the Women’s Land Army, 1918.
    Recruitment poster for the Women’s Land Army, 1918.
    Art.IWM PST 5489

    Recruitment poster for the Women’s Land Army, 1918.