Food heroes of WW1 celebrated in film

By Michael Stones contact

- Last updated on GMT

More than 150,000 women tended the land to feed the nation during World War One
More than 150,000 women tended the land to feed the nation during World War One
Britain’s military and food heroes of World War One are commemorated in a new video tribute from the National Farmers Union (NFU).

One hundred years after the outbreak of “the war to end all wars”,  ​the short film (see below) commemorates both those who died in combat and those on the home front to who fed the nation, as German U-boats threatened food imports.

Produce food to support war effort

During the war 250,000 farmers enlisted with the British Army and 66,000 soldiers, 12,000 members of the Women’s Land Army and 148,000 women helped to tend the countryside to produce food to support the war effort.

NFU President Meurig Raymond, whose father and uncle both fought during the war, said: “As the nation continues its remembrance to those who gave so much during a time of conflict, the NFU wanted to pay its tribute, however small, to those who fought and died during the Great War.

“We also wanted to pay tribute to those who helped to feed the nation during the war – producing food to feed our nation was seen as a key supporting role in the ongoing conflict and we join everyone in remembering the sacrifices that took place many years ago – ones which are still felt around the world today.”

In both wars, agriculture was regarded as a reserved occupation, which often meant its workforce was exempt from compulsory military service. 

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