The Daily Graphic 29th January 1919
DEMOBILISATION OF AGRICULTURAL
LABOURERS TO BE SPEEDED UP
In consequence of the critical situation agriculture during the next few months, owing lately to the abnormal rainfall, it has been decided to give priority to agricultural labourers in demobilisation. .
For the same reason the Government intends to continue to employ the soldiers now in agricultural companies and the German prisoners on the land until there are a sufficient number of skilled civilians to take their places.
Unless the crops are put in within a few weeks the harvest of 1919 will be short. During the war, farmers in England and Wales have lost more than a third of their skilled men, the number before the war being 717,000, as compared with 431,000 at the present time.
The deficiency, however, has been reduced to the extent of 100,000 by the employment of soldiers and prisoners of war.
But in this connection it must be borne in mind that there are now 1,600,000 more acres under cultivation now than there were before the war
Pictures German POW's working on the land at Hainault, Essex circa 1917
Discharged WW1 soldiers working the land Cheshire
Woman land worker harrowing Cornwall with horses