Thursday, August 07, 2008

Official Duplicity over War Awards

Twenty thousand surviving “Land Girls”, the women who toiled on the Home Front to provide food and timber for Britain in the Second World War, are to be honoured officially for the first time.
After a long campaign by the Women’s Land Army and Women’s Timber Corps, the Government announced yesterday that their wartime efforts would be recognised with the presentation of a special badge commemorating their service that can be worn on Remembrance Sunday and at other ceremonies.

At their peak in 1943, the Land Girls numbered about 80,000, and the Timber Corps, whose members were known as “Lumber Jills”, about 4,000.

Hilary Benn, the Environment Secretary, who made the announcement, said that the women “worked tirelessly for the benefit of their nation” and deserved to be recognised.

More than 60 years after the end of the Second World War, there is a growing call for a special campaign medal for Bomber Command: for the 30,000 pilots and aircrew - and more than that number of ground crew - who are still alive; together with the next of kin of those who were killed in action during the war, or have since died.

The scale of the achievement of these brave men was expressed, in 1945, by Winston Churchill, when he wrote to Sir Arthur Harris, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Bomber Command: "All your operations were planned with great care and skill. They were executed in the face of desperate opposition and appalling hazards, they made a decisive contribution to Germany's final defeat.

Harris was made a Marshal of the Royal Air Force. His 125,000 aircrew (Harris called them his "old lags") still await a campaign medal for outstanding bravery, where the chances of survival were about one in two.

Harris also wanted recognition for the untiring, 24-hour service by the ground crews, who kept the aircraft fit to fly in difficult and dangerous weather and operational conditions: among them, the airfield drivers, mechanics and armourers. The time has surely come for a campaign medal - and also for a monument in London to these brave men.


Mark said...

Nothing about land girls in the article you've linked to, Heretic.

Heretic said...

I referenced two articles Mark, one halfway along.

Mark said...

Oops. Mea culpa.

steve said...

so they basically want a medal for having to do some work.

next time, we'll let them go off to fight, and we'll just hang around picking potatos.

makes me sick this does, what a joke.

thing is, they dont even realise (or care) about the sacrifice men made to keep this country stable for them and their children.

if you ask women today, they will say "men? what have they ever done for us?".