Women’s Land Army Collections

Recruitment poster for Women's Land Army

The Women’s Land Army (WLA) was created in 1917 to help farmers cope with the shortage of male labour as a result of the First World War. It was brought back into action for the Second World War, at first as voluntary service and then as a form of conscription. At its peak in 1943, it is estimated that there were about 80,000 Land Girls. Sceptics did not believe that women would be suited to the hard labour involved in farm work, but the Land Girls went on to produce the majority of Britain’s food by 1943 and happily proved the critics wrong.

The Women’s Land Army disbanded at the end of November 1950.

There are several archive collections relating to the Women’s Land Army, with the larger ones being listed below. Please also search the online database for more archive collections, photographs, and library material.

More Information

• See also the Women’s Farm and Garden Association collection
• See also the Women’s Institute collection
• See also photographs in the Farmer’s Weekly Photographic Collection and Farmer & Stockbreeder Photographic Collection
• See also the National Archive’s guide for searching for Women’s Land Army records
• See also the Women’s Land Army research website

Associated Collections

These collections were created by women who served in the Women’s Land Army between 1917 and 1950.

Doreen Thorp (D THORP)

This collection contains papers relating to the career of Miss Doreen Thorp in the Women’s Land Army. Miss Thorp was a member of the Women’s Land Army from 1939-1947. The object collection also contains items of clothing which form part of a WLA uniform.

A full description is available on our online database.

A handlist for the whole collection can be found here.

The objects are catalogued on the online database. Search using the phrase ‘Doreen Thorp’

Margaret Roberts (D DX1397)

This collection contains photographs and papers relating to the career of Mrs. Margaret Edmunds (née Roberts) in the Women’s Land Army.

A full description is available on our online database.

A handlist for the whole collection can be found here.

Miss P. Genever (D DX232)

The collection contains correspondence and papers relating to the career of Miss P. Genever in the Women’s Land Army. Miss Genever was a member of the Women’s Land Army from 1942-1950 and was based at Braunston, Oakham, Rutland.

A full description is available on our online database.

A handlist for the whole collection can be found here.

Barbara Anne Whitaker (D WHI)

This collection contains papers and photographs relating to the Women’s Land Army career of Barbara Anne Whitaker. Whitaker was a member of the Women’s Land Army from 1937-1947. She worked at Manor Farm, Southam, Gloucestershire.

A full description is available on our online database.

A handlist for the whole collection can be found here.

Alice Walpole (D DX2044)

This collection contains photographs of Alice in her Land Army days and one in later years, National Registration Identity Card, certificates, message of thanks from Queen Elizabeth II, and the order of service for Alice’s funeral in 1994. Walpole was a member of the Women’s Land Army from 1943-1950.

A full description is available on our online database.

Interviews with former members of the Women’s Land Army:

  • Looking for a specific item?

    We are regularly updating the collections that we publish on our website but if you are after something specific that you can't find online, then drop by for a visit or feel free to contact us and we will be happy to help you.