After three years of fundraising, the Staffordshire Women’s Food and Farming Union has finally unveiled a statue to honour the contribution the Land Girls made to the Second World War.
The National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire has more than 200 tributes to commemorate service personnel across the world wars, but none to recognise the work the Land Girls carried out – until now.
When British men were called up to join the armed forces, many practical jobs such as farming were left unmanned, so women were called upon to join the Land Army to take over their roles.
Elizabeth Husselbee was 28 when she signed up to the Land Army and served for four years in the fields, tending to the crops.
Elizabeth, who is now 100, said: “When I came home from my first day in the fields, I couldn’t hold my knife and fork at dinner because my hands were so sore.
“We were in the fields when they came over and told us girls the war was over.
“The memorial is beautiful, I’m very pleased. I was sad that we weren’t being remembered, but I’m so happy that we are now”.
Many have visited the monument to pay their respects to the Land Girls.
Patricia Parker said: “I was 17 when I joined the Timber Corps. I didn’t know what I was getting in to really, but it was a wonderful time and I’m so proud. I was only a young girl who was suddenly hauling 6ft logs onto the back of lorries. I think the statue is lovely”.
The National Memorial Arboretum’s head of marketing, Sarah Oakden, said: “It’s stunning. I’m so honoured to have been a part of the unveiling. It brought a tear to my eye”.
Additional reporting by Monica Rimmer