National Service – Women’s Land Army
This short clip consists of a romantic scene in which a noble woman runs a horse drawn plough across the field. It is taken from a recruiting film for more women to help in the war effort.
When the Great War started most people thought it would be a short war. It was soon clear that this was not the case. It would be a long industrial war. The ability to make guns, shells, ships and aircraft would be just as important as the tactics on the battlefield. Britain was soon in need of more workers to fill the gap. By the end of the war around 2 million women workers stepped in to carry out much needed work. They served as clerks, drivers and also worked in engineering and munitions.
Interesting or important points about the film
A modern audience would find it hard to understand the impact of a shot like this. Ploughing was incredibly hard and heavy work and was not generally seen as work for women (certainly not city women). Here we see the woman rising to the challenge, and probably reminding all the viewers of the need to do their duty just like this woman. Finally, ‘National Service’ mentioned in the title of the film means all voluntary non-military service on the home front.
Please note that this video is silent.