Mona McLeod worked in Kircubrightshire during the Second World War, providing the skilled labour needed on farms before mechanization. The girls were given heavy agricultural work in fields, with animals, carrying hundred weight sacks, sawing wood, felling trees, filling up rat holes. It was a tough way to grow up, but this illustrated memoir provides a valuable record of a time when women faced the rigorous physical challenges involved in winning the war at home.
‘The author dispels any notion that the Women’s Land Army operated in some sort of charming rural idyll. On the contrary, the land girls had literally to turn their hand to most aspects of agricultural work including laborious field work, care of livestock, forestry, and even blocking up of rat holes. They were often cold and hungry, and were paid risible wages. Despite facing immense challenges, their contribution in keeping the country fed and the home fires burning should never be underestimated.’
‘I can see the disgust on the face of one neighbour when Jack, the farmer, asked to lend a man, produced a land girl.’