Heroic wartime women star in Land Girls and Lumber Jills at National Museum of Costume

By Culture24 Staff | 04 July 2011
A photo of a propaganda poster for women joining the army
© National Museums Scotland
Exhibition: Land Girls and Lumber Jills, National Museum of Costume, Edinburgh, until October 31 2011

In 1917, the Women’s Land Army and Women’s Timber Corps were formed in Scotland to feed the nation and provide timber.

These “Land Girls” and "Lumber Jills", as they were known, took on sowing, harvesting, calving and shearing, and coppicing. It is a mark of their brilliance that the surviving members were issued with medals and certificates of governmental thanks in 2008.

By 1941, swelled by conscription rules which meant all women under the age of 60 without young children could be enlisted, the energetic ranks were sustaining the manufacturing and energy industries with their timber travails and field work.

The physical demands of their careers are recalled through personal testimonies, recordings and film footage here, as well as uniforms and the tools of their trade.

Three women from the Land Army and one Lumber Jill look back on their lives, and the final section gives space to other female land armies among the allied countries, as well as the struggle for recognition by women who fought in Scotland’s fields and forests.

  • Open 10am-5pm. Admission £2-4.50 (free for under-5s, family ticket £11). Visit the exhibition online for more.
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