From: Deborah Barber, WFGA Chairman, Gloucester Street, Cirencester, Gloucestershire.
I WRITE to you on behalf of The Women’s Farm & Garden Association which was founded in 1899 by women concerned about the lack of education and employment opportunities for women working on the land.
At the outbreak of the First World War, an off-shoot of the main organisation was formed, aiming to replace labour lost to enlistment and avoid disruption to food supplies: this was called The Women’s National Land Service Corps.
An appeal was made asking “for all young, strong, educated women... to come and take a short training course for work on the land...”
Such was the success of this call, that over 20,000 women registered with the organisation and it was later developed into the first Women’s Land Army.
A hundred years later, the original aspirations of these women continue to underpin the activities of our association – to network, unite and train those who work in agriculture and horticulture.
We are planning an event in November 2014 to mark the First World War centenary, and are particularly keen to hear from anyone with memories of these pioneering women. You can contact us at the above address or at firstname.lastname@example.org