AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S LAND ARMY
SAMSONVALE TRAINING FARM
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WW2

 

The Australian Women's Land Army established an AWLA Training Farm at Samsonvale in September 1942 under the control of the Director General of Manpower (Qld) under the authority of the Commonwealth Government. Mr. Richard Winn of Glencoe donated over 250 acres of his land on the eastern side of "Glencoe" including the dairy to create the AWLA Training Farm. The Land Army relocated from the Women's Auxiliary Transport Service's original Long Pocket Training Farm to their new Training Farm at Samsonvale on 30 September 1942. The Women's Auxiliary Transport Service was the forerunner of the AWLA. This centre at Samsonvale became the State Headquarters for the AWLA in Queensland.

 


Plan:- NAA

Plan of the AWLA Training Farm at Samsonvale

 


Photo:- QImagery

The Samsonvale Australian Women's Land Army Training Farm on
28 June 1949. It is now mostly inundated by Lake Samsonvale

 

The Minutes of Allied Works Council Queensland Meeting No. 199 on 17 March 1943 contained the following item:-

Minute No. 5354. ACCOMMODATION FOR WOMEN'S LAND ARMY AT SAMSONVALE FARM:
                            (See Minute 5218 for previous)

A letter was received from the Director General of Man Power, Sydney, asking that provision be made for accommodation of Women's Land Army girls at Samsonvale, such provision to include hutment accommodation for twenty-five girls and facilities for cooking and washrooms etc. to meet possible expansion to fifty strength.

The Director General of Man Power asked that an estimate be submitted of the costs likely to be involved and asked that every endeavour be made to expedite matters.

It was decided that, if approval to the scheme is given by the Director General of Allied Works, the work will be carried out by the Department of the Interior by day labour. In the meantime, an estimate for the work required is to be submitted to the Director General of Man Power as a matter of urgency.

The Director General of Allied Works is also to be informed of the request to proceed with this work and asked for his approval that Civil Constructional Corps labour should be used on the project.

WORKS DIRECTOR: For action.

Members of the AWLA were enrolled for one year or the duration of the war and they were required to perform whatever land work they were reasonably required to perform. The Samsonvale AWLA Training Farm was utilised for the purpose of training recruits in dairy and general farm work. The Training Farm was 285 acres in area and an average of 40 cows were milked daily. The working staff consisted of a foreman and two or three experienced AWLA farm girls.

Recruits were allocated to the farm as trainees and they were each paid 1 Pound per week and provided accommodation and meals valued at 1 Pound per week during the training period which did not exceed 4 weeks. Once they had completed their training, if they were not allocated to another assignment, they were paid 1 Pound 10 Shillings per week and provided accommodation and meals.

The produce of the farm was mostly consumed by those on the farm, except cream, pigs and calves which were sold to various purchasers. Some of the cream was consumed on the farm.

Richard Winn's sons Jim and Russell both married Land Army girls who trained at the farm. The Land Army girls were also popular with the Americans based in the area. Apparently some enterprising USAAF pilots would fly low over the farm and drop messages to meet up with some of the girls.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank the Samford Museum, Russell Miller and Bob Livingstone for their assistance with this web page.

 

REFERENCES

"They're in the Land Army Now", The Telegraph (Brisbane) 28 October 1944

"When a Tree Falls"
by Ryle Winn

"Samsonvale"
by A.J. Gold

 

Can anyone help me with more information?

 

"Australia @ War" Research Products

I need your help

Copyright

 Peter Dunn 2015

Disclaimer

Please e-mail me
any information or photographs


"Australia @ War"
8GB USB Memory Stick

This page first produced 7 May 2018

This page last updated 10 May 2018