In February 1916 a meeting was held concerning women working the land. Over 100 people attended a lecture in the Hall regarding the employment by farmers of women to make up for the loss of the men who had gone to fight. The idea was not readily taken up by the farmers, and this meeting was mainly made up of women.
By June the Vicar was evidently concerned about the lack of response to this issue as he posted a letter from a soldier:- ‘I select one extract from a letter of Walter Samuels, 17th Lancers, as it refers to a very practical and pressing matter, viz., the employment of women in the fields. He says: “How are the women coming up for the working on the land round our way? I would like you to come here and see for yourself, as there’s old women about 85 and young girls, anything between 13 and 24, all of them getting at it with a will. There’s no such thing here as having meetings as to who will come forward or anything like that. These people know very well that all the men folk are gone, and it’s up to them (the women) to work the land, and I say they are doing it with a will.”
(Women of Wing, please copy.- Ed.)’
July 1916 again brought a fresh appeal for women to apply for land work, with Ascott leading the way using women and girls in the garden and farm. It also seemed that the idea of older boys working on the farms had also not caught on, despite the County Education Committee pressing for farmers to apply for them.