Special recognition for women's effort during war

FEDERAL Member for Wide Bay Warren Truss is encouraging former members of the Australian Women's Land Army to apply for special recognition for their contribution to the Australian war effort during the Second World War.

Mr Truss said a special commemorative brooch and certificate was available to surviving full-time and auxiliary members of the land army. The certificate is also available to the next of kin of deceased full-time and auxiliary members of the land army and a history booklet is also available.

"When Japan joined the Second World War in December 1941, Australia prioritised its need to strengthen the armed forces, and many farming men left their properties to serve in the war. This led to the creation of the land army, which stepped in to provide labour to Australian farms," Mr Truss said.

The land army was formed on July 27, 1942. Land army recruits were aged 18-50 and usually came from city areas.

The average working week was 48 hours, with pay starting at 30 shillings a week.

In January 1943, Cabinet endorsed the land army as an "official fourth service". The organisation was to be formally constituted under the National Security Regulations. However, a final draft of these regulations was not completed until 1945, and was not acted upon before the end of the war.

Consequently, members of the land army did not receive the same benefits as members of other women's services.

The land army was disbanded on December 31, 1945. In 1997, many members became eligible for the Civilian Service Medal, following a Committee of Inquiry recommendation in 1994.

Land army members eligible to receive the brooch include: surviving full-time and auxiliary members who received the Civilian Service Medal 1939-1945; and surviving full-time and auxiliary members who were enrolled during the period between July 27, 1942 and December 31, 1945.

The certificate is available to: surviving full-time and auxiliary members who received the Civilian Service Medal 1939-1945; surviving full-time and auxiliary members who were enrolled during the period between July 27, 1942, and December 31, 1945; and the next of kin of deceased full-time and auxiliary members who were enrolled during the period between July 27, 1942, and December 31, 1945.

Apply by phoning the Honours, Symbols and Territories Branch or email itsanhonour@pmc.gov.au.

Gympie Times

Topics:  land army, war, warren truss




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