During this year, when the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War is being recognised and many people’s thoughts are turning to the sacrifices made by so many during wartime, it seems appropriate that a memorial to the land girls and lumber Jills who worked throughout the Second World War is finally to be erected.
The life size bronze sculpture, which will be similar in design to the iconic recruitment poster used during the Second World War, will be sited at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire.
The Women’s Land Army was first formed in 1917 to train women in agricultural skills and by 1943, 80,000 women were serving in it, helping to produce 70% of Britain’s food while many farmworkers were fighting in the war.
There were many land girls working on farms around the Vale and we have had visits over the years from ladies who want to look around our buildings and fields as they fondly reminisce about their days working here on our own farm.
The idea for a national memorial came from the Staffordshire branch of the Women’s Food and Farming Union, and they hope the sculpture will be in place by the autumn.
The National Memorial Arboretum is an incredible place that I have been lucky enough to visit.
It is spread across 150 acres with 50,000 trees and 200 dedicated memorials honouring those who serve and who continue to serve our nation.
The stunning circular centrepiece is the Armed Forces Memorial in memory of those killed on duty, and quite takes your breath away.