This film is part of Free

British Women's Volunteer Army (Land Workers' Section)

Film stars Violet Hopson and Ivy Close lend their celebrity to the war effort – and they’re not afraid to get their hands dirty

Government sponsored film 1917 14 mins Silent


Screen stars Violet Hopson and Ivy Close leave their glamorous Kensington lifestyles behind to join the Women's Land Army - and they're not afraid to get their hands dirty. The film boasts high production values and the use of celebrity is a savvy marketing ploy. The actresses, who would have been instantly recognisable to contemporary audiences, would no doubt have inspired many a woman to follow in their footsteps.

A small section at the beginning of the film is sadly marred by decomposition, but look out for the innovative superimposed imagery of women agricultural workers towards the end of the film. The producers of the film, Broadwest Film Company, were better known for the clutch of feature films they made between 1915 and 1921, such as Missing the Tide (1918), in which both Violet Hopson and Ivy Close starred. The Women's Land Army was established in 1917, the year this film was made, to counter the effects of Germany’s food blockades. It proved vital to the Allies' victory and was re-established shortly before the outbreak of WWII.