Maiden's Day

Event date

1st June 1918


Entity info.

A 'Recruiting Campaign for Girls' was reported in the Luton News in May 1918 in an effort to help enrol 30,000 maidens to the land.

" We refer to the struggle to obtain food from the land"

The harvest had long been taken for granted but now due to the war,  the men that had worked the land were no longer able to do it & it was now up to the people on the home front to prepare & gather it.

The country appealed to all women & girls to come forward & join the Land Army. The work expected of them would be hard & not as well paid as other roles, but the health giving advantages & getting closer to nature would be beneficial. They were reminded of the fact that many men had given up good businesses to answer the call to arms, so this was now the women's opportunity to do their bit.

A committee was formed in Luton with the Mayor (Councillor C. Dillingham J.P) as Chairman & it included the Mayoress, Mrs Crawley & many farmers. They planned a grand march through the town of an army of girls from the land dressed in smocks, breeks & leggings to promote this drive for recruits "should be almost, if not quite, as much of a gala day as Tank Day"

Adverts were placed in the Luton News telling people of the public meeting to be held in front of the Town Hall on Saturday 1st June at 6 o'clock.

A report of the event was then written in the Luton News on 6th June, which described the event as 'very satisfactory'.

There was a strong desire to go one better than Bedford, who had had a demonstration the week before. A platform was built in front of the Town Hall where speakers were able to address the large audience. Lady Trustram Eve declared that it "largely depended on the women to win the war. The trenches were to be filled here as well as in France & every man who went should leave a women here to do his work as far as possible"

Miss Bedford, a land worker from the National Service Corps, made a strong appeal telling of how hard the work was & it was "not all honey" but that Luton would turn out the right kind of girl for the job.

After the march & meeting were over the recruits started to flow in 'them being lasses of excellent physique'. 60 women were enrolled & the day was regarded as 'satisfactory for a centre like Luton'.

Event Place

Author: KarenC

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