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Womens Land Army in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

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Womens Land Army





    If you can provide any additional information, especially on actions and locations at specific dates, please add it here.



    Those known to have served with

    Womens Land Army

    during the Second World War 1939-1945.

    The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List

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    Louisa "Lou" Jones

    I am looking for information about my mother who was known then as Louisa Jones (nickname 'Lou') during the was was she was working in the Womans Land Army. She worked on a farm near Akeley Woods, not far from RAF Bicester. Does anyone stationed at there during the war recall any land army girls visiting the base? She may have visited the base, perhaps for whatever reason, I do not know. She did visit a Canadian servicemans' hospital in the area, so it could be that maybe she visited RAF Bicester when they had social gatherings etc. Any information you could tell me would be greatly appreciated.

    Les Jones



    Evelyn Peace

    I am sending this message on behalf of Evelyn Peace No. 81742 enlisted July 1942 and discharged November 1950 she would like to hear from her friends especially Louise Carse may now be McGuire.

    Thank you.

    Bill



    B Brandon

    I joined the W.L.A. in September 1944, training at Ravensden, Beds., then to Wrest Park Lodge, Silsoe, Beds. There were about 30 girls at the hostel, 6 to a bedroom. We went out daily to various farms at 7.30 a.m. doing a variety of jobs, cleaning out cattle sheds, spreading fertilizer, fruit picking, vegetable picking, haymaking, working late in the summer months, also threshing which was back breaking and dirty work, then having to queue up for a bath when we returned to the hostel, no showers in those days.

    I learned to drive while being in the L.A. we had different size vehicles, from a small Hillman van to a large Bedford lorry. I was also in a pruning gang during the winter months, it was very hard work in all weathers, but I enjoyed my 2 years and made some very good friends. I left in June 1946 to get married

    Mrs B Brandon



    Joan Moore

    I was Joan Moore when I joined the Womans Land Army in 1940. I worked on a farm at Thirsk in Yorkshire for a short time. Then to a hostel at Dishforth. Thereafter, with six other girls I went to work for Mr Swires at Norton-le-Clay. We lived in a cottage called Bagwash and bagwashing was part of our general farm work duties. After a tractor accident and three months in hosptal I convalesced at Rest Break House, Torquay. I then became a forewoman at the Guisborough hostel and organised the work for 30 girls until the war ended. At Bagwash I rember Lily, Jean. Margaret and Beryl.

    I now live in Tasmania (since 1956) and have a large family. I would love to hear from anyone from those days.

    Joan Swain



    Eileen Holmes

    Eileen Holmes was stationed with the Land Army in Lincolnshire (Nr Sleaford) from March 1942 to October 1945 and would like to hear from anyone who remembers her.

    Hazel Crabb



    Kathleen Parfitt

    My mother was in the land army stationed at Redworth House, Totnes, South Devon till around 1949 Her name was Kathleen Parfitt. She would love to hear from anyone who was billeted their around that time especially Sally Marriot who she lost touch with some years ago all she can remember is Sally moved back to Matlock in Derbyshire were she married and seems to think she ran a post office.

    If you can help me find my mothers friend please email me, I would be so grateful to you as my mother is getting on in years and she would dearly like to know what became of Sally

    Carole Carr



    Pat Kemp

    Pat Kemp driving the tractor during haymaking

    When I got to the age of 18 I told my stepfather I wanted to join the WAAF but he said he didn't want me to so I mentioned joining The Women's Land Army and he agreed to that. I had to write to the Labour Officer to get permission to leave the garage. I had a reply which stated that I couldn't leave the garage because the manager would not release me. Every week I asked for my "cards" In the end they said it was only fair to let me go. I had to go to my doctor to see if I was fit enough. He didn't examine me he just said "Do you want to join up? I told him I did. He signed the paper I needed and off I went.

    I enlisted in The Women's Land Army in 1943 just before my eighteenth birthday. The lady who was interviewing told me I couldn't wear my earrings I just glared at her (Typical 18 year old) and she quickly went on to tell me where I would be stationed which was a house at Totteridge which we were told belonged to Bassett's Liquorice Allsorts. When they were giving us our uniforms I told them I would not wear the corduroy breeches because they were baggy and hung down around the knees so they gave me a nice pair of olive green gabardine breeches. I was given a pair of boots like men's so I wouldn't be wearing those either. But I would wear the Wellingtons. The rest of the uniform was nice. We were given a Cream Shirt, Beige Socks, a Green Pullover and Tie, Tan Shoes and a Mid Brown Overcoat and Hat and of course the Boots which I never wore. We had to buy everything else and pay for our keep. The wages were so low that there was very little left. Lady Denham asked Winston Churchill to pay us more money_but he refused. We were called the Cinderellas of the forces.

    After a few weeks we were sent from Totteridge to Oaklands Agriculture College at St, Albans Hertfordshire. We were told we would be there for four weeks but it was changed to five weeks because of a proposed visit by the Duchess of Gloucester. We were taught a lot about farming also how to groom a horse. I was given a chicken to hold one day and I could feel it's bones and it made me feel sick and dropped it. Another time I was told to help put some piglets on to a cart by lifting them up by the ear and tail and when I tried it squealed so loud I screamed and dropped that too. On the day of the Duchess visited there was a Ploughing Match. All the men were lined upon their tractors and I had to be the learner on a Caterpillar tractor. The time came for our departure. We climbed onto the lorry. It seemed that we had travelled for so long and getting further and further from London. I looked out the back of the lorry and said "We are in the wilds I don't think I want to stay here". Other girls looked out and moaned too. At last we arrived and when I saw Rowney Priory. I loved it. We were told it was once a Nunnery.

    Rowney Priory

    Rowney Priory, nr. Ware, Hertfordshire.


    We had Bunk beds but later they were replaced with single iron framed beds. We also had a small wardrobe each. Among the girls with me at Rowney were, Mary Doyle (Mrs Mary Doidge of Buntingford,) Margaret Callaghan (the late Mrs Margaret Aylott of Buntingford , Eileen Parker ( Mrs Eileen Gordge of Oxford, May Robinson ( Mrs May Odegaard of USA), Joan Tiddeman ( Mrs Joan Nichols) of London) Peggy Knott (Mrs Peggy Bull of London.) Sandy Hensher (Mrs Rackstraw of Acton) Elsie Bell (Mrs Elsie Bartlett of High Cross) who was my best friend for 52 years. Sadly she died just before we moved to Buntingford. There were about fifty girls at Rowney Priory.

    Land girls at rowney Priory

    Pat Kemp (2nd from right on middle row) and friends, outside Rowney Priory.


    Every night we were told by the forewoman which farm we were to go to next day. We had to get up early and get on the lorry and the forewoman would drive us and drop us off at various farms. She would also pick us up at the end of the day. In the Summer time we worked until 9 pm or 9.30 pm. Hay Making or Harvesting, so because all the girls were spread around the countryside it took a long time to pick them all up so it was quite late when we all got back to Rowney. It was a rush then to get to the bathrooms to get a bath if you were lucky. We were only alowed 4 Inches of water for a bath like everybody else. Then we would get something to eat and get to bed. At Harvest time we had to stand the sheaves up in groups of six to dry then we would load them on to the cart and then take them off the field where the girls would pass them to the men and they would build a stack. The dirtiest job was Threshing. It was such a dirty job we wore scarves around our heads and across our faces. The dust would get in our eyes and ears and up our noses. When we were on the thresher feeding the wheat into the drum after a while it would draw you towards it so we took it in turns. Although it was very hard work and long hours I liked Haymaking and Harvest time very much but I used to get so mad if I couldn't get a bath right away when we got back "home" I was working with some new girls and we decided to go to a village pub at lunch time but we had to go across a field to get there. In the field were some cattle and the girls asked me if they were bulls. I said they were and to get across the field they would have to climb over the fence and run for their lives. I watched them running like mad then I walked leisurely across and they realised I had lied to them. They were not bulls they were cows. They swore at me but later saw the funny side of it. One of them said "It will give my mum a laugh when I write and tell her about it".

    One day I was going potato picking and when I got off the lorry I looked to see who was with me and I was shocked to see they were new girls. I felt very sorry for them as it was a very hard job to have on your first day. We had a strip each and we had to pick up all the potatoes before the digger came around again. After I had picked up all of mine I looked up to see the girls holding their backs in agony and I thought I would have to help them or their strips wouldn't be finished by the time the digger came around again and the farmer would be no doubt be angry. For the rest of the day I picked up the potatoes on my strip and then went and helped them to finish theirs. I was getting ready to go back to Rowney when the farmer came to me and said "I have been watching you and you have been working very hard" I grinned at him thinking to myself he must have been hiding somewhere because I hadn't seen him. He gave me some money which was very nice of him. He then asked me if I would work for him all the time. I said "Doing what" He said" Milking "And I laughed and told him I didn't want to milk cows and I didn't know how to. He said I will teach you, just give it a try. I said I would as I knew I could leave if I didn't like it. I got on alright, I got to like the lovely Friesian cows.

    There was an Italian prisoner of war working at the farm. I cycled to and from the farm, it wasn't very far. It was winter so very dark in the evenings so the farmer told the Italian to cycle back to Rowney with me every night. The trouble was the Italian resented me working at the farm. He moaned at me saying I should not be working there as the job was for men not for women. This continued day after day and one day I yelled at him to stop it. The farmer appeared and said "That's right girl stand up for your self. The Italian was quiet for a while but we were cleaning out the cowshed one day when he started being nasty to me again. He went on and on and he was working just behind me and I got so angry I swung around and punched him in the mouth which began to bleed. He lifted his shovel to hit me, I was scared but I glared at him and said "You dare" He threw his shovel down and walked out. I thought I would have to cycle back to Rowney on my own that night but as I got to the gate the Italian shouted to me to wait for him. Then I began to think he might hit me or kill me in one of the dark lanes. It was pouring with rain so I rode as fast as I could. By the time we arrived we were soaked. I was "home" but he had to cycle back to the farm.

    I had three small calves to look after and I was weaning them by getting a bucket of milk and putting my hand in it and then the calf would learn to drink by sucking my finger. I went on leave for two weeks and when I returned to the farm the farmer asked me if I was going to see to my calves. When I got to the shed I saw three big cows. I went back to them and with a look of disdain I said "Where are they then? The farmer was laughing and said to the Italian "I told you she would know they weren't her calves. He told me where they really were I just looked at the Italian with disgust.

    At another farm I worked with Mary Doyle. The farmer was very good to us. At harvest time at 5 pm he would bring us tea and sandwiches and every week he would give us a tip. We were there a long time because he had more than one farm and we worked on all of them. I had to go ploughing with one of the men and the plough was to be drawn by a horse. It was a young horse which had not done any work before. I was told I would have to hold him back or he would tear away. It was very hard trying to hold him back as the horse was very strong. He was pulling so hard and his eyes were wild and bulging he was foaming at the mouth. I was so exhausted and relieved when the day was over. My hands were sore and my legs ached so much. Mary became a Ganger which meant if there were 4 girls or more going to Work at a farm she would have to go and work with them and be in charge.

    We were hoeing on a farm there were German prisoners of war were hoeing on the other side of the field. It began raining and when it started pouring down hard we rain into the woods at the top of the field and so did the Germans but they ran to where we were. The girls wanted me to say the German words I knew which was only "Ich lebadich mien lielbing" Which someone had told me it me it meant "Kiss me my darling" I said no but they kept on to me so I said it and a German said "Yes please" He then took a book from his pocket and said "Come and sit here with me and I will teach you German" but I wouldn't. I was not going to make friends with any Germans. We should not have spoken to them at all as we had been told not to fraternizse. A long time after we could speak to them as we were working with them. We were threshing one day and there was a German and an Italian. I went to lift a bale of straw but the German stopped me and said "No don't lift anything. We will do it" I was pleased about that as the bales were very heavy.

    There were a lot of Americans stationed in the area and we were often invited to the dances at their camps. The dances were held in a hanger and they would put some chalky stuff on the floor and so as we danced it flew all over the place. They would send a lorry for us and would bring us back. When it was time to leave the camp the lorry was stopped at the gate and the military guards would shine their torches and ask if there were any GI's on board and we everybody chorused "No" and when we were out of the gates the GI's would come out from under the seats. There was so much food at the camp and when the women came in form the village to take some of it the GI's would help them pack the food in their carrier bags.

    There were some GI's in Hertford and we invited them to Rowney. On the day of the dance they telephoned to ask if someone could go to Hertford and show them the way to Rowney. The girls asked me to go but I said I would not go on my own so Joan Tiddiman said she would come with me. Joan sat with the driver in the Command Car and I sat with the officer in the back and there was a lorry full of GI's following. As we got to Ware crossing we were stopped by a Dewdrop (U.S Military Police) and he told the Officer that they were not allowed to have civilians in a Command Car. The officer told him we were not civilians but he didn't believe him so the officer told him he could ride along with us. The Dewdrop after much bickering let us go. A few weeks later the same Dewdrop came into Ware Drill Hall where the dances were held every Saturday night and asked me for a date. I went out with him for a while and he asked me to write a letter to his mother. I received a reply from her and she said her daughter would like to me to write to her too. That was too close for me. I didn't want to go out with him anymore. I went out with several Americans but I didn't want to get serious with anyone. About eight of us met some Americans and we went out with them most nights. We used to go to a pub named The Green Man at Dane End and we had many good times with them and they always got us back to Rowney by 10.30. They were waiting to go abroad but they didn't know when or where so when they didn't arrive on time one night we thought they had gone and we were very quiet and sad. We got our bikes out to go to the pub and just as we started off we heard the lorry, they had arrived. A few weeks later however they didn't arrive at all. That night there we were very sad and there were tears .We felt so sorry for them and scared fort them. It was D day. The American Military Police were called Dewdrops because their helmets were white.

    When the war ended we all put on our uniforms and decided to go to London and celebrate with everybody else but we had to wait for permission. We went and stayed all night singing and dancing. It was such a relief it was great. We went back to Rowney and next day went to work as usual but with a more relaxed feeling.

    I had a telephone call from head office asking me to go on a Forewoman's Course. I told them I didn't want to be a Forewoman. The woman talked me into it by telling me I would be paid more money and I would work in the mornings but there were lectures in the afternoon. There were six of us there and we had a great time. I must say though, at the lectures I used to nod off while being told about the rotation of crops and so forth. I went from there to Reed nr Royston. I had to tell the girls which farms they were going to and do the Time Sheets every week and keep everything in check. An elderly man was the lorry driver. I met a few nice chaps there and had some nice times but I didn't want anyone too serious. I had a telephone from Head Office asking me if I would go to a bigger house at Ayot St. Lawrence. I declined and I told them I wanted to go back to Rowney. They said "If you go back there you will be an ordinary land girl again" I told them I didn't care about that and I didn't want to be a Forewoman in the first place. To my delight they told me I could go back to Rowney. It was great to be back.

    My eldest sister was married to an American and she wrote to me to tell me they would be home on leave and they had arranged for me to go back with them to the American Zone in Germany for a month but my leave was only for two weeks. I didn't think they would give me two weeks extra but then I was asked to be Forewoman at Rowney. I didn't want to but I said I would if I could have a month's leave. They said yes I could.

    My sister, her husband, their little girl and I went across the channel on a cargo boat. They also had the car so we drove through France to Germany. It was very eerie as it was very quiet and dark as we drove all night and I was a bit scared in case we saw any ghosts of soldiers who had been killed in the fields we were passing in the countryside. The Americans had a club there and one day two of the German girls who worked at the club said they were going to Stuttgart and would I like to go with them. I was devastated by what I saw. It had been crushed to the ground. What I saw next shocked me. I saw two soldiers with only stubs left of their legs and they were on pieces of wood and were sort of rowing themselves along. I know our men suffered too but this was the first time I had seen anybody so damaged.

    It was time for me to return to England and to Rowney Priory. As we got into the car to go to the station my sister told me all the soldiers in the American club would be on the steps there to wave me Goodbye. I laughed but she said "You wait and see." As we got near the club she told me to stand up with my head through the Sunroof so I did and there they were waving and shouting "Have a good journey Pat and give our love to little old London" My sister told me to get off the train at Paris and go to the bank in the station to get my money changed and then go to another station and get on another train. I got on the train and there were two American girls in the compartment also an English Officer in Tropical uniform. We were chatting and he told me he was going to Turkey. I told him my mother was Turkish. (My father had met my mother in Turkey in the first world war.) When we arrived in Paris he said "Come with me and he took me to the bank in the station and he spoke to them in French and then told me that they didn't change money there. He told me to wait there with the luggage (his and mine) and he would go and fetch his car. When he returned he took me to the other station and I waited in his car while he changed my money. When he came back he said "I have changed your money and booked you a seat on the train so let us go and have some breakfast" We sat outside the cafe and I ate the roll but I didn't know what the thing on the table that looked like one cup on top of another and I just kept on looking at it and feeling embarrassed. He realised I didn't know what to do so he did it for me. I felt so silly but I had never seen anything like it before. After a while he said it was time to go to the station. When we got there we stood on the station platform and I thanked him for all he had done for me and I didn't know what I would have done without him. He put his arms around me and kissed me. We said goodbye and I didn't know his name and nor he mine. I have never forgotten him. He was a gentleman.

    I returned to Rowney and as I was to be a forewoman again I had to learn how to drive the lorry. I would have to take the girls to and from work every day. The time came when I thought I had better leave and get a job and somewhere to live as the houses would be closing and I didn't want to go home. Anything would do for a start. I worked in the Feathers Inn for a while. One of the girls boyfriend's was the son of the owner and told me to go there so that I would have somewhere to live too until something else came along. Later on I got a job as a Dental Nurse. I didn't know anything about Dentistry but the Dentist said he would teach me. After a while I was quite pleased when he told me I had learned everything in three months what it took girls two years to learn at the hospital. If I had to do in for an exam though I would never pass as I get too nervous. Once a week we had to go to a Farm where there were "First Offenders" and each time we arrived there they would whistle at me. I always had to wear my "Nurses Uniform" The headmaster would shout at them to help carry the implements that were needed and they scared me sometimes when they would rush to help me.

    I had been in the Women's Land Army for 6 years. Although it was very hard work we had lots of laughs and I still have my arm bands also release certificate and the personal message from the Queen signed Elizabeth R. I also still have my Ration Book and Identity Card.

    There are families living at Rowney now and I'm sure they must love it there as much as we did.

    Pat Kemp



    June Olive Gorey

    My Mother Jone Gory, joined the Land Army after finishing the factory work she did during the war making plane parts, she was based at a place called Totteridge and she remembers a farmer called Mr Shuttleworth the girls she worked with where Doreen, Joan, Lily, Barbara, Kitty and Joyce . She told how they has to do all the farm duties like picking the crops and ploughing the fields, she is now 82 and still full of life, sadly she loss her husband, my Dad in 2006 which came has a shock. I hope the people might remember her. She left late 1949/1950 due to injury to her ankle.

    Jane Jones



    Grace Murphy

    I read the name Kathleen Hull, among the list of those that served in the WLA. I would much like to make contact with her if she served at Moretonhampstead in 1947 when I was there. If she did then I would love to hear from her.

    Grace Murphy



    Patricia Edgar

    I would like to make contact with the other girls, I met during my 22 months service, with the Womens Land Army Our base was Westcombe Hostel Dyke Road Brighton Sussex. I stayed there roughly two years, till the end of the war. I do remember Doris Baker from London, Edna Muggridge and Jean Ellis It would be lovely to meet up and chat about old times.

    Patricia Edgar, nee Berry



    Joan Smith

    I served in the Women's Land Army from 1942 to 1945 and despite searching the Internet have been unable to find an active group of ex Land Girls for my area of service in Hertfordshire.

    At almost 82 years old and partially sighted now I suppose we are a dwindling number. A fellow tiller of the soil whom I met during those years at our first posting, also 82 now, became my best friend, and is to this day.

    We braved rats in potato clamps, climbed ladders to pick fruit, rescued birds trapped in fruit nets (much to our foreman's annoyance), picked and dug vegetables with frozen hands and feet and sowed, thinned and hoed miles of root crops. Those were just a few of our duties, but for myself it was the best job I ever had and I have been a country girl at heart ever since

    . We Land Girls had no 35 hour week, summer hours were 6am till dusk and in winter we were allowed to begin an hour later at 7am. I remember being nervous cycling to work across a common in the dark. My starting basic salary was two pounds five shillings a week, and even back then that was not a great sum.

    Over the years I have unfortunately lost track of my badge, armband with the red felt triangles which were issued for each six months of service and my Service Certificate. My number however needs no physical proof. That, like my late husband's army number is I think burned into my brain.

    Like Mrs.K.O'Dell of Suffolk I do remember such glorious summers, and yes, the lovely tan gained as a result of shortened dungarees. Our Area lady did not approve.

    Writing this has evoked so many memories, I almost feel 19 years old again

    Mrs Joan Smith



    Agnes Connie

    Agnes Connie

    Miss Agnes Connie, my Grandmother's Cousin was in the Womens Land Army, later in life she was a Cub Scout Commissioner, she passed away recently at the age of 81.

    Sheila Andre



    Gladys Florence "Laddie" Citron

    My Mother was a member of this very important task force and I would like to contact anyone who might have known her during this time.

    Her name was Gladys Florence Citron, known as 'Laddie'. She also had a particular friend, also in the Land Army, called 'Laddie' too. My Mother was a Londoner, had a sister called Beatrice Emily Citron. I do not think her sister was in this organisation. During her time in the Land Army she was based at Swift's, a very large farm in Much Hadham in Herts. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

    Lesley Citron-Ross



    Joyce Watts

    I lied about my age when I signed up to join the land army at the age of 15.

    I did my training in Whimple, Devon. I was then drafted to a farm at Lapford.

    I had to get up at 4.30 in the morning to milk the cows. In the winter my hands got chapped and very painful when I milked the cows. It was all so primitive to me on the farm. I came from London and our house had all the modern convieniances. On this farm I had a candle for a light in my bedroom, the loo was outside and water was obtained from a pump. Despite all this, I must say, I had plenty to eat and the farmers wife was a good cook.

    One day the superviser came to visit and I guess she realised how young I was because she arranged for me to go to a hostel near Plymouth. I was sorry to leave in one way as I loved to work with the horses. I could write a lots more about other good things on the farm. At the hostel I made friends with lots of girls. One girl, Olga, became a very good friend. We remainded friends and communicated untill her death in 1999.

    The Land army days were some of the best years of my life. Olga and I went back and stayed on a farm that we had worked on.

    That farmer and his wife have since passed away. Maybe the reason I have out lived them is because I was so young when I was working there.

    I guess time is marching on but we still have our memories of the good times that we had.

    Joyce Blair



    Margaret Chadwick

    During 1949/1950, my Mum, Margaret Chadwick, worked with the WLA in Surrey. On her National Registration card ( OTEH/137 3 - class code B312) she stayed on Brooklands Road, Weybridge, and at a SAEC Hostel, Coombe End, Woking.

    She really enjoyed her days with the WLA, and talked of them fondly. It was our wish to take her on a trip to Surrey so that she could see some of the 'old' places. Sadly, it's too late now. However, I would like to know if it is possible to seek out a couple of her good friends from those days ( Olive & Eve - don't have their surnames), or more information relating to 49/50

    Chris McGowan



    Norma Winnifred Ludlow

    I stumbled across this website whilst researching my family tree and although have yet to find my grandmother reading the stories have made me feel I know just a little bit more. My grandmother was called Norma Winnifred Ludlow and was born in 1927. I have heard tales that she was in the Land Amy and this is how she met my Grandfather who was in the RAF. Sadly she passed away and I never got to ask her about it all. If anyone out there knew her I would be so grateful to hear from you. She originally came from Frome in Somerset and settled in Norfolk/Suffolk.

    Zoe Foster



    Norrie Hunphreys

    My mother the late Norrie Harrington nee Hunphreys was in the Land Army based at Bulwark Chepstow. To date I have not been able to glean any information in respect of this. Norrie was from Ebbw Vale, and was single when in the Land Army. I am trying to build up a picture of my parents family history and would appreciate any assistance.

    Jan Wilkins



    Margaret Blower

    My sister in law Margaret Mogford nee Blower served in the land army during ww2. She likes talking of her bit she did as a land army girl.

    John W Tyson



    Mary Kathleen Courtney

    My Mother, Mary Kathleen Courtney married after war, and became Mary Casey she lived in Weedon and Daventry and Kettering as a Land Girl. I am trying to get in touch with anybody who can: Give me contact addresses, web sites, email addresses in order to find out where my mother was and details of her enlistment or tell me about my mother

    Judith Casey



    Eileen Agnes Gasson

    We are trying to track down a lady named Eileen Agnes Gasson who was a member of the Women's Land Army in Tonbridge, Kent in 1945. The reason for this search is that this lady would be the biological mother of my father who was given up for adoption at only six weeks old. My father is going to be 60 this year and any information you may have will be greatly appreciated.

    Penny Robinson



    Florence "Pat" Price

    My mum Florence (but called Pat) Price was in the Land Army. She was at a Chivers Farm. Ely, Cambridgeshire. She is now 82 and would love to make contact with friends Hilder Pybus (from Yorkshire). Also others she is unsure of their surnames Molly and Kattline. I realise this is a great long shot but l promised to do what I could. Many thanks

    Julie Tester



    Joan Verrall

    My name is Joan Hollins (nee Verrall) I served in the Land Army in the Kent villages of Headcorn and Smarden. I would like to hear from anyone who served in either of these villages betwween 1942 until 1945

    Joan Hollins



    Lilian O'Hara

    My mother-in-law, Lilian O'Hara, died last year, and amongst her posessions were two badges - one which I think is a Land Army hat badge and the other looks like the Olympic rings. We also found a photo of her with the Olympics ring badge fastening her shirt at the collar. Please can anyone tell me if the Olympics badge is something to do with the Land Army? We would love to know.

    Alison O'Hara



    Betty "Tony" Price

    Worked on the fields at Dunston, Spud picking

    Thomas Patrick Gee



    Iris Matthews

    My mother served as a land army girl she died 4 years ago but would love a badge to remember her by, and for her grandchildren, she was born 1917, in Wales, I have no knowledge of her rank or number

    Brian Matthews



    Dorothy Mary "Doff" McPhee

    hi i would like to find out if i could get my moms badage Ihave alot of pics of her in the land army thanks James Mcphee

    James Mcphee



    Ivy Parkinson

    My aunty, Ivy Parkinson, served in the Land Army in St. David's in Wales. She often talks about her time there with fond memories. She says they had good food and were given fresh eggs to take home when on leave.

    Delise Jones



    Ida Joyce Beeson

    My mother was in the land army and she had very fond memories of her time in the land army which she shared with myself and my sister. Unfortunately my mother passed away in 1995 and I have no other further details.

    Janet Wicksey



    Jenny Swan "Etta" Turner

    I am writing on behalf of my Gran who served in the land army during WW2, she will be 90 years in May. I am getting in touch after seeing on the news about women from the land army being recognised and felt I had to do this for her as it was at the time a great passion in her life and one she recalled to us as children, I feel it is the least we can do for her. Her name was Jenny Swan Turner at the time residing at Victoria Crescent, Clarkston, Glasgow

    Nicola Andrew



    Vera Jones

    My mother Vera Jones of Burnage, manchester was stationed on a farm near Ludlow with abouit 12 other women. I would like to find more about where the farm was and would like to hear from anyone who knew her. She was due to marry Capt Harry Tranter RASC on his return from abroad which she did. I am her elder daughter Carolyn.

    Carolyn Tranter



    Mary Pauline Bromley

    At the time my name was Mary Pauline Savage. My date of birth is 15 February 1926 so as you can see I will soon be 82. I lived in Sheffield and joined the Land Arm in 1944 not long after I turned 18. They sent me to Worcester for training. The training involved general farm work, but also learning specialist skills in handling poisons and pest control which stood me in good stead in later life. I was stationed in Alvechurch, Malvern and Evesham but later I was able to transfer to Otley. Being back in Yorkshire I was able to go home more and there I met my future husband, Tom Bromley, who was a pilot in the RAF. We were married on 15th August 1947. My husband reckons that all that rat catching helped me to catch him!!! We were blessed with 2 sons and a daughter, and together we celebrated our Diamond Wedding Anniversary last year. At the beginning of this year we were presented with our first great grandchild, a daughter. My husband also has a few stories to tell about him being still really being only a boy when he had to learn how to fly aeroplanes to North Africa and the near-misses he had. If anyone is interested we would be delighted to try and recollect our experiences of our time during the war.

    Caroline Bromley



    Mary Theresa Dillon

    Joined August 1943 and left to get married June 1945

    John Conroy



    Patricia Lily Harris

    My mother served in the Land Army during the war. Sadly she now suffers from Alzheimers Disease and her memories although detailed and colourful are unreliable. Sadly the farm she worked on in Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire,is now unrecognisable and the people she remembers haved died or moved on. I know she would still recognise and value the recognition that has recently been promised.

    Sherwood Elcock



    Jessie Lilian Selena Dupey

    We as a family are trying to trace any body who served with our Mum. She married Frederick Hutton in March 1945. My mother has now got altzeimers so is unable to give us much information ,but always talks about the time she served in the land army. she talks about a friend called Nora ,we know she was on a farm in somerset,as thats where she met my Dad, but he died 12 years ago. It would be lovely if some one can recall Jessie, she was 19 when she married my Dad, we know she faked her age to enlist. Mum grew up in London, but when married stayed in somerset

    Mrs Pat Jefferis



    Dorothy Stewart

    My mother served with the Land Army. Unfortunately she has died and we are trying to trace anything about our family that we can. Her name was Dorothy Stewart and she lived on Hillgate {not sure of the exact address}. She was born on 10th March 1928. We are led to believe she actually said she was old enough to join, but was in fact too young. The address was in Stockport, Cheshire. I vaguely remember her saying she stayed somewhere near Crewe Wybumberry or something like that. Could you please tell me if there is any way that I can find details about her life in the land army? I would be grateful for any help you could give me.

    Karyn Bourke



    Margaret Hudson

    I'm trying to find out more about the lady in this photo.

    I believe she was then called Margaret Hudson. She worked at Glebe Farm, Sarsden, near Churchill and Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire and was definitely there in 1944, some time between February and July. Any help much appreciated.

    Ian Shankland



    Phyllis Rutherford



    After reading the article in the current Practical Family History Magazine, I connected to your site. I feverishly read all the contributions from former Land Girls but was disappointed to find no names or places to link them to me. I am 85 and it is perhaps too late to hope to find any of my colleagues, who included Sylvia Farrow, Pat Strange, June Hetherington, Madge, Kath, Vera, but my story may be of interest. I was trained in Stithians, Cornwall and spent the next three years in Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire. I seem to have missed out on any distribution of certificates in recognition of my service but I have always said they were the best years of my life.

    In 1942 I lied to my mother that to avoid direction into factory work I would have to join the Women's Land Army. I attended an interview in Oxford Street and when questioned on suitability I had to admit to none, except that I had read a lot about the countryside and it appealed to me. "What books have you read?" the lady asked. Er, that stumped me and I mumbled something about, "Man and his furry friends". In spite of that I was accepted and in due course dispatched to a farmer in Cornwall. I was a nuisance to my farmer straight away, as I had brought my bicycle and he had to arrange for it to be collected the next day. I found I was one of four or five Londoners off that train and we were all green as grass. As we walked into the farm buildings one of the girls said, "Oh what a dirty yard." The farmer glared at her and said, "Yes my girl, and your first job will be to clean it." Before the end of the month's training I helped to concrete that yard.

    Somehow, the farmhands, with the support of a wonderful Head Girl, managed to teach us the rudiments of milking, hoeing, digging ditches, and there was one horror day when I held the squealing piglets for castration. I know one girl didn't last long and the farmer muttered angrily that these city girls couldn't stand being so far from Woolworths.

    But I loved the life, though I didn't get on with the farmer. I was first sent to after training. I think it started when he complained about my having one hand in my pocket while turning the handle of the separator. It reached the stage where I wanted my mum and I left in a hurry, the local taxi proprietor lending me the train fare to London, me leaving my bicycle as security. Years later, while on holiday, I visited this farmer and over a cup of tea apologised for the trouble I had caused him, offering the excuse that if I had beeen a little older I might have been able to cope better. The Women's Land Army was very cross with me but I was transferred to Hertfordshire, where I settled happily for the next three years, being able to go home on my days off.

    It was a dairy farm, there were eight other land girls, a delightful village, and it was really the best time of my life. We had rosters, so no job became monotonous. I liked best the early morning milk-run, first catching the reluctant pony, then making sure I had my bottle of cream off the top of the Jersey milk churn-no wonder I got fat.

    The gentle meander through the village and down the lanes on a snowy morning, not another soul about, was sheer magic, in spite of having to leave the pony at the foot of a too-steep and slippery hill, and carry a heavy crate of bottles to the top. I got into the habit of buying the pony a currant bun on our return through the village, but it caused a problem on Sundays when the bakery was closed. Spot would stop, drag the float across the pavement and plant his feet on the shop step. I can't remember how this problem was solved, but I know some of the other girls were not pleased when it was their turn for the milk-run, especially if they were hurrying for their half-day off and Spot wouldn't budge from the bakery.

    We were billeted out to homes in the village and I was with a dear old couple, the husband still working as a gardener. He came home on the train and his wife dare not miss hearing it, as he expected to see his meal on the table while he was taking off his boots and gaiters, so that it would be cooling to the right degree. There was no bathroom so I had to wash in my bedroom. One day I carried up a kettle of hot water and jug of cold, poured half of each into the basin and started with the dirtiest bits. I poured the rest of the hot into the cold, then had to empty the basin to start again. It wasn't until my landlady called up the stairs for the kettle to make the tea that I realised with horror that it was now filled with my dirty soapsuds. She was furious!

    Another memorable day was my 21st birthday. I went into the cowshed and found a golden key tied to Buttercup's tail with a satin ribbon, and I moved the key from tail to tail as the milking progressed. While I was weighing the milk from my last cow someone let out the whole shed and my key went up into the meadow on Marigold's tail. I looked for it many times but it was never seen again. A highlight was the annual Harvest Home when the farmer treated his staff to a feast and dance in the barn. The farm secretary wrote little sketches for us girls to perform; I once had to wear a frilly apron and cap, knock on the door and say, "If you please ma'am, there's Miss Thurlow to see you." Just that, but it took hours of practice to get it right. Needless to say, after appearing day after day in our dungarees, we dressed to kill on these occasions, and one young man went through the whole affair in his best suit, heavy boots and bicycle clips.

    There was an interlude when I went into a hostel and we were driven out by lorry every day to wherever needed, but I found no joy in picking up potatoes day after day, or brussels sprouts in the freezing early hours. I soon returned to my beloved cows and stayed with them until we were no longer needed. I went back a few years ago, and whilst the village was much as I remembered it, the farm, sadly was now a housing estate.

    Phyllis Greed



    Nellie Plumb

    My Great Aunt, Mrs. Nellie O'Dea served in the Women's Land Army and loves to tell her stories. I think she served around the Hertford Heath area and would love to hear from anyone who worked with her. Her maiden name was Nellie Plumb.

    Carol Knibbs



    Janet Sproat Johnstone

    During WW2 my mum, Janet Sproat Johnstone and my aunt were both in the Land Army. At the time Janet was working in Patersons, (the grain merchants) taking the orders for the various grain feedstuff over the phone in the office. As the men were called up to go into the services, she then graduated to going out with a small lorry taking and delivering the orders to various farms.

    She was called up into the Land Army and was sent to the farm where she’d been born (one of the farm cottages at South Woodhill Farm near Kilmaurs). Once she was there she helped with the milking, the planting of potatoes and corn etc, and stacking the corn after it was cut by a scythe at harvest time. She them took the corn back to the farm by horse and cart for it to go through the threshing machine, which at the time was still driven by steam traction engine. She also worked at the hay and various other chores around the farm and as the season’s work progressed, the ploughing and harrowing with a team of horses.

    On one occasion she was going back to the farm after visiting her parents at Stirling Avenue, Bonnyton, Kilmarnock, and had started to walk back up to Fardalehill road towards the farm of the same name. As she walked up she was met by the farm manager whom we later called Uncle Quint. He had come across the grass park from the farm to meet her coming back from the town. He did this because of the mandatory blackout which meant there were no lights for fear of attracting any German pilot’s coming over on a bombing raid.

    One day as they met on the road, they both heard the loud of an approaching plane coming overhead. Quickly my mum and Uncle Quint dived into the ditch beside the hedge and took cover. “Quick Jinty, get yersel doon in here…the plane’s nae one of oors, it’s a bloody German!” After waiting for a while till the noise of the engines died away they got up from their hiding place and duly made their way back to the farm. Whereupon my Aunt Jenny made my mum have a restorative drink before packing her off to bed. That particular plane later crashed somewhere between Kilmaurs and Stewarton.

    My Aunt Bessie drove a milk float to collect the milk from the farms to the dairy for bottling, bringing in the full milk churns and returning the empties. Sometimes when she was driving back along the Ayr road, she gave the soldiers a lift to the road that led to the Dundonald Camp, not meaning to, but sometimes they would sneak onto the back of the float as she made her way between the town and the various farms.

    My Aunt Grace on the other hand was sent to work at a market garden.

    My uncle Bill (my mum’s brother) & uncle George (Bessie’s husband) were both in the RAF and my uncle Reynold (my dad’s younger brother) was in the army and over in France. My father, Johnnie Johnstone was in a reserved occupation as he worked as a grain compounder with Patersons. However, he was also on firewatch looking out for incenderies on the roofs of the various town buildings.

    Grace Halbert



    Renee Katz

    My mother was born and brought up in the East End of London, one of a family of five sisters, one brother and a father. Her mother, my maternal grandmother, had died when they were small children. They lived lives of poverty and deprivation, many children had rickets and every large family had one or two baby siblings in the cemetery.

    The sons and daughters of working class families of their generation usually stayed near their parental home and continued to live for most of their lives close to where they were born. That is until the war disrupted the pattern of life for these communities.

    My mother and her two sisters (the three youngest of the family) were called up. One opted for munitions factory work, but my mother and her youngest sister chose to join the Land Army.

    This was a marvellous opportunity for young women who had little opportunity to travel, especially town girls who had no experience of country life. My mother had been a dressmaker; she now found herself living in rural Cambridgeshire, working as a farmer, picking fruit and vegetables. The farms in this part of the world were small-holdings - market gardens mainly.

    When she speaks of her time on the land my mum's eyes light up. She loved the work, loved the fresh air and the friendship. Twenty or so girls lived in a village called Willingham in a supervised hostel. They were allocated to local farms and, by and large, cycled to work. Not every girl was happy, but my mother speaks with affection about the farming family who owned, or more likely leased, the farm on which she worked.

    She remembers picking tomatoes in greenhouses with rain pounding on the glass roof. She was a town girl who made an effortless transition to country life, susceptible to the beauties of nature and the seasons. What a change for a dressmaker who had spent her working life in slum sweatshops!

    There was a good social life as well. My mum was in her mid-twenties and still single and my aunt a little younger. They would cycle into Cambridge on their days off to go dancing at Dorothy's in the centre of Cambridge. (This is now a multiplex cinema). American and British troops stationed nearby outnumbered the girls, so there was no lack of attention. My mum and my aunt first tasted peanut butter and bananas at a dance on the American Service base.

    The success of the Yanks did not make them popular with the British boys, who couldn't offer such luxuries. Some of the girls went on to new lives in the USA with American husbands. Imagine the shock and excitement of arriving in America after spending life in, say, domestic service in rural England, or doing factory work in urban slums.

    Cycling was the best way to travel. Although there was a curfew for the girls at the hostel, I have gained the impression that they had considerable freedom, or at least managed to escape the overseeing eye of the hostel warden. But it seems that, despite the ample opportunities for fraternising with men, most of the girls abided by the social rules of the day and cycled back to the hostel after an evening out, obedient to the curfew.

    Those who went into Cambridge by bus often lodged with families in town if they missed the last bus back to the village. In a war society, being invited to sleep overnight with strangers was the way things happened. The hospitality was provided out of sheer generosity of spirit, and accepted by the girls in innocence. My mum never spoke of unplanned pregnancies, though I imagine they occurred. The war spirit affected everyone. Lifts were given to any soldier and, of course, to Land Girls. Trucks carrying troops would readily stop for the girls, their bicycles hoisted on board, and friendships struck. Romance readily followed.

    A prisoner of war camp was sited a few miles out of Cambridge. The Italian troops held there were sent to work on the farms and learned a little English. Their lukewarm commitment to fighting is what my mother remembers most clearly. They had surrendered readily and were biding their time in relatively benign captivity. It is perhaps a tribute to the civilised nature of British society then, that they made no complaints about their treatment. Although my mum can't personally recall any liaisons between Italian prisoners and English girls, they must have happened.

    My mother married before the end of the war. Her photograph shows her dressed in a rather splendid smart, short, tailored dress, a lovely violet colour she tells me. The tailored, slightly masculine style, perhaps reflecting the war's demand that women do men's work, was rather flattering. Of course, my mum made the dress herself with whatever materials she could lay her hands on. She left the Land Army before the war ended, when she fell pregnant with my older sister.

    Naomi Lederman



    Ida Keyes

    I was living at Thorpe End near Norwich during the war, on my parents’ farm. On one occasion I had a head-on collision with an American army truck which ran into me in the fog in Salhouse. The American army had bought a field off Sir Edward Stracey who lived in the Hall, and they turned it into an airfield. They had done the same with many landowners. On the occasion of the collision the Americans were travelling on the wrong side of the road. I was taken to the American’s hospital and seen by an American doctor. In the evening the local policeman came round to see me. My vehicle was condemned, but I recovered in a few days. Afterwards I would wake up at night and think about the accident.

    I used to collect three German Prisoners of War each day and bring them to my parents’ home to work on the farm. They worked well. When it was time for them to go back one of them cried. I used to take them for breakfast in the morning and mother gave them a jug of tea and lunch. There was a Captain Richardson in charge of them, and he used to book them in and out each day. There is now a church on the site where the Prisoner of War camp used to be – on the West side of the Heartsease Estate near Mousehold.

    After a raid I used to drive into Norwich in the blackout to see if my grandparents were alright. They lived on the Plumstead Road near the prison in a bungalow they had had built for them – it was about three miles from where I lived in Thorpe End. We had a C license to run a vehicle and used to get petrol coupons from Cambridge. We had to apply to Cambridge every month for the license. We could hear it in Thorpe End when they were bombing Norwich. Carter the builder built out dug-out for us. There were steps that went down into it, and we had real beds in there, so we thought we were safe. They killed a family on the Salhouse Road when their house got a direct hit. They were a wealthy family of bankers.

    Ida Keyes



    Marion Gardner

    Marion Gardner on the left

    I joined the Womens Land Army in May 1940 and in January 1944 I was sent to work on an 18 acre small holding at Ewell. In the early summer, as it was so hot, we decided to start work at 5.30am so that we could cut the cabbages from the fields, weigh them and bag them ready for market before the sun was too hot to spoil them.

    We used to count the RAF planes going over in formation wo Europe, when they returned we counted them again, to see how many were missing. On a glorious June morning, with blue skies and sunshine, wave after wave of planes went over. We counted them as usual and guessed that something important was happening. Hours later we heard them returning, some planes were "limping" home with damaged engines and some were missing. We thought of the lost brave men. Were they killed or injured or prisoners and we stood in silence with our thoughts. It was June 6th 1944 and we learned that it was D-Day - the invasion of Europe.

    Soon after the flying bombs started they were nicknamed "Doodlebugs" (an American flying beetle). They were terrifying and we would hear the roar of the engine and see flames coming from the back of the plane as it came over us, then silence as the engine stopped and down it came and exploded. We were issued with tin hats and instructions to this lying down!!! which was all we could do having no sort of shelter in open fields.

    The flying bombs came over from June till September night and day. Then the V2 rockets started. There was no warning sign, only a dreadful explosion as the rocket propelled bomb hit the ground. During this time we were harvesting a neighbours wheat, the machine cut and tied the bundles of corn. My friend and I "stooked" it was standing four sheaves together to be threshed next day, removing the corn from the stalks. We had lovely straight rows of stooks down the field, until a doodlebug came over. Then we fell down flat and got up a bit shaky so the line wavered. At that time we had "double summer time" so it was light enough to work till 11pm while getting the harvest in.

    Marion Knocks



    Audrey M Manning

    After working in an office for two years, I joined the Women's Land Army in 1942. I was sent to a small general farm near Staplehurst for four weeks' training, after which time I felt as if I had been working on a farm all my life, ready to tackle any job. Some of the old hands doubted whether we'd stick it. I heard such scathing comments, like "What have they sent you for?" or "This ain't no work for you young gals, you won't be able to 'ave no babies!" Then I was sent to a market garden farm at Offham with another Land Girl, Peggy. Along with the local women, we packed lettuces twenty four to a box, pulled radishes and washed and tied them into bundles, packed rhubarb into boxes and spent days at a time picking peas off the bines, which had previously been pulled and left in huge piles. One especially nice job was picking strawberries early in the morning before the sun was hot. We were paid piecework rates for this, so there was only time to eat an occasional strawberry. There was also the onion field, where we spent weeks toiling away at some task or other, crawling along the rows hand hoeing, with sacking tied round our knees, then pressing the onion tops down. Later, we were pulling them and laying them out for drying off, until they were ready for bagging up. It was while we were working in this onion field that we saw the cows, in single file, going into the cowshed for milking. We were told that each cow had a name and made her own way to her stall. We thought this sounded daft, not believing cows could be so intelligent, so the next day we stood just inside the cowshed to see for ourselves. There was pandemonium; two cows came in and on seeing us charged out again and the whole herd went berserk. Needless to say, the cowman was very cross with us! With the coming of winter, there were jobs of a different nature to do. Hedging and ditching were part of this, even in the pouring rain, but we were issued with an oilskin and sturdy gumboots. Brussel sprouts covered in snow had to be picked and when the weather was too bad, we mended boxes under cover. The local women on that farm were not too friendly towards us; I think they thought we were going to take their jobs from them. Towards the end of 1942, I went to a farm near Maidstone with other Land Army girls, to demonstrate our recently acquired skills. This was organised by the Kent Agricultural Committee and among the guests were Lord and Lady Woolton, Lord Woolton being the wartime Minister of Food, also Lady Denman who was the head of the Women's Land Army. I was very proud to win certificates for grooming horses, planting cabbages and lifting and topping swedes. I enjoyed working on the farm at Offham, but after a year or two Peggy and I thought we'd like to widen our farming skills. We were transferred to a mixed farm at Frittenden, where we lived in the farmhouse. There was no electricity on that farm and we even had to pump the water from a well before we could have a wash in the morning. The primitive outside toilet consisted of a board with a hole in the middle! We learnt how to milk a cow by hand as well as by machine. We were a bit slow at first, but with practice we got faster. When all the cows had been milked and fed, we went indoors for our breakfast, a really big breakfast, porridge with molasses treacle, then bacon, egg and sausages. Cholesterol-free diets were unheard of in those days. After breakfast, we returned to the cowshed to muck out. Then came the great day; I learnt to drive a tractor. After ten minutes' tuition I was alone on the Fordson, harrowing and rolling as if I had been doing it for years. That night, I remember dreamimg I was driving round and round the field and woke up sitting on the side of the bed, shouting "I can't stop, I can't stop". We had double summer time in the War years, so this meant we could work until past ten o'clock at night, harvesting. Combine harvesters were new then and only big farmers could afford one. Harvsting meant cutting the corn into sheaves, then picking up a sheaf under each arm and placing them into stooks to dry. This wasn't a very pleasant job as the straw made the inside of my arms very sore. Later, the sheaves were all piled into the wagon and carried off to the barn ready for threshing in the winter, which was a very dusty job. At the end of a day's harvesting, we would all gather in the barn for some home brewed cider and bread and cheese. The farmer was somewhat economical with the sugar, so it was really strong stuff! If we were working with animals, this meant a six-day week, but regardless of the number of hours we worked, we received a weekly wage of Ł2.00, out of which Ł1.00 had to be given to our landlady. Nobody grumbled, for we thoroughly enjoyed the life. Working in the open air gave us huge appetites and it was quite a headache for landladies to devise meals on wartime rations. Our only extra allowance was twelve ounces of cheese per week. By exerting considerable will-power I got used to drinking unsweetened tea, thus enabling our landlady to save sugar for jam-making and cakes for tea breaks. Oddly enough, we were never short of energy or a few coppers for evening entertainment; local Army units would invite groups of Land Girls to dances, often transporting us in the back of a lorry. Most of us were mobile, on two wheels not four; we were able to reach the nearest town and spend an evening at the pictures. I also belonged to the local Young Farmers' Club, acting as Press Secretary and I gained second prize at the annual Y.F.C. Public Speaking Contest for a speech on 'Tomato Growing'. Looking back at my years in the Women's Land Army, I can honestly say they were very happy years. When I went home at weekends, I felt really proud walking along my home town Rochester's High Street, wearing my uniform. It was a great honour to have served in the W.L.A.

    Audrey Manning



    K O'Dell

    I was a Land Army girl and one memory I have was when my friend and I had a job to do collecting brussels sprout stalks with a horse and cart and filling in bomb craters. The idea was to back the horse and cart to the crater, put the back down and release the sprout stalks. Being such conscientious girls we pushed the horse as well as the cart down into the crater - and my friend went down, too. You can imagine the pandemonium. I yelled for help and eventually some farm men came running over and. One had to unharness the horse and another saw to my badly shaken friend while a tractor pulled out the cart. The dear old horse, Deba, was none the worse for wear and we carried on with our work, feeling quite sheepish about the whole affair.

    The friend,Vera, still lives in America. She married a GI and moved there after the War. It was a great life on the land - hard, hard work, often in the icy cold and wet, but we did have some lovely summers. We worked till late at night, cutting corn, stacking sheaves, thrashing, but the worst for all of us was collecting the ghastly barley chaff with its dirt and prickles in your clothes in the sweltering heat.

    Can any ex-Land Girl remember the lovely harvest teas we had brought out to us by the farmers' wives? Do they remember cutting the legs off our dungarees in the summer to get a lovely tan?

    Mrs K O'Dell



    Doris Paterson

    When the war broke out I was 18, and a year later I joined the Land Army in 1940. I loved the open air, and so decided to go into the Women's Land Army rather than the forces or factory work. I was based at Buckhold, which had a huge garden and we supplied St Andrew's School with food. We grew mainly fruit and vegetables, but we were allowed to keep a couple of pigs as well, which were fed the remains of the meals from the school.

    I didn't have any particular job, we did everything from sawing down trees, to picking brussel sprouts that had ice on them in the winter! One of the hardest jobs was helping the farmers when they harvested the corn. We would be out 'threshing' the corn, and we get covered in dust and the roughage. We were constantly hungary because we were always on rations, and we couldn't get a decent bath either. I worked with one other girl, called Kathleen and we became very good friends (I recently tracked her down after 53 years!) I also worked with a gardener called Mr Brooker and a couple of other lads.

    Buckhold was surround by American forces in Pangbourne, Caversham, Aldermast and Greenham Common. Whenever I went to a dance there were always lots of American soliders! The American Red Cross wanted volunteers to help with the breakfasts for the troops in the early morning. Kathleen and I both volunteered as it meant that we got free passes to the dances! We must have been mad, because after being up late the night before, we would have to get up early to help clear tables at the old St. Lawrences Hall in Reading! But we were young and had no ties and we were very lucky really, as all the gentlemen were very nice.

    I worked at Buckhold for about three years, and although there were times when I felt that the rationing was harsh, I couldn't even afford a dress for the dances, because I didn't have enough coupons left after buying pyjamas! It was time of great freedom and it was wonderful to be able to walk freely and accept lifts from people because there was a great deal of goodwill and trust as we were all in the same boat.

    Doris Paterson



    Mabel Irene Thomas

    MabelThomas

    On 3 September 1939, war was declared by Great Britain and France on Germany, and so World War 2 started. These were very frightening times. I was 20 years old at the time, and too old to be evacuated from my home in the ship-building town of Barrow-in-Furness in North West England, on the edge of the English Lake District. My father, being a Royal Naval reservist and a coppersmith by trade, was called up immediately into the Royal Navy, holding the rank of Chief Petty Officer.

    Early in 1940, German aircraft dropped their first bombs on Barrow. These were incendiaries which landed very close to our home, but the Fire Brigade quickly dealt with them. We were issued with gas masks, which we had to carry everywhere with us in case of gas warfare.

    Every home was provided with an Air Raid Shelter, ours was an Anderson and dug well into the ground in the garden. We spent many nights sitting there, well wrapped up, listening to the German planes flying overhead and wondering if the next high explosive bomb would land on us. After heavy rain our shelter, which we called 'Jerry View', would become flooded which meant that we would have to sit there without light or heat, fully clothed and with Wellingtons on, listening to the planes flying overhead, their target being the local shipyards.

    Every night we packed a suitcase with our valuable documents and everything else of importance, including a first aid box and flasks filled with hot drinks, and took them into the shelter. My father came home on leave on one occasion, saw the shelter flooded and remarked that we would probably die of pneumonia first than from the effects of the bombing. During daytime raids we would be directed by an Air Raid Warden to the nearest surface shelter, which were usually brick built.

    In May 1941, when the bombing was at its height, our home became damaged from the effects of bombs falling on a neighbouring housing estate and became uninhabitable. We were fortunately unhurt, and my mother found rented accommodation in the neighbouring town of Dalton-in-Furness.

    During the same year, young women were being drafted into war work, and as a preference to working in a munitions factory, I decided to join the Women's Land Army (WLA) as it seemed to offer the healthy outdoor life which appealed to me. The WLA enabled men folk working on the land to be called up for military service.

    I joined on 10 June 1941. Members of the WLA were part of the Ministry of Agriculture and were employed on the basis of a guaranteed weekly wage as laid down by the Agricultural Wages Board, covering a working week of not more than 48 hours in winter and not more than 50 hours in summer. I received a cash weekly wage of 22s.6d. (about £1.12p) after a deduction to cover board and lodging provided by my employer. I was paid for all public holidays and also for my annual holiday of six days, when I was given a free return rail warrant to my home. Members of the WLA were employed in horticulture, general farm work, ploughing, hedging, milking, land reclamation, pest extermination, harvesting, threshing and some even became shepherdesses. On joining I was posted, along with about 30 other Land Girls, to a WLA hostel in Letterston, in Pembrokeshire, a very long way from my home in Barrow.

    We had a housekeeper looking after us, and were taken daily by lorry in all kinds of weather, complete with our beetroot sandwiches (which I came to loathe), to work on different arable farms in the area - potato picking, hedge trimming and corn threshing in its season, which was very dirty and horribly uncomfortable work.

    Some days, as a change, we had cheese sandwiches, and these also I loathed. Over the days I became very unhappy, leading a life far removed from that depicted on the recruiting posters. Seeing that I was so miserable, Mrs Betty Ladd, the WLA representative in charge, suggested to me that I apply to fill a vacancy for a Land Girl at Pentre Mansion at Boncath, also in Pembrokeshire. This I successfully did, moving at the same time as Mrs Ladd, who was returning there. Initially Mrs Ladd and I had board and lodging in a neighbouring village, cycling to and from our work, but on approaching the tenant of Pentre Home Farm he gave us permission to convert one of the empty farm buildings, and we made ourselves a very comfortable billet. The days of beetroot or cheese sandwiches were now a thing of the past.

    I was employed in the horticultural section of the WLA, my work being mainly in the greenhouses, thinning the grapes on the vines, pollinating the peaches and nectarines with a rabbit's foot and making sure that everything was well watered. I also picked the soft fruit, climbed the apple trees in the orchard, packing the surplus fruit ready to take to the shops in Cardigan for sale. The head gardener, together with four other gardeners, was involved in keeping the estate in good order with the digging of the gardens, mowing the lawns, etc, although I did a lot of the planting out.

    During the war, Pentre Mansion, owned by the Saunders-Davies family, was commandeered by the Military Authorities to be used as an Auxiliary Hospital and Convalescence Home for sick and wounded servicemen. They occupied one half while the family lived in the other.

    The mansion was a beautiful place, with its glittering chandeliers hanging from the ceilings and oil paintings of the family and their ancestors hanging on the walls of each room. The rooms had colourful names - the blue room or pink room, for example - and in them stood suits of armour which had been worn by the family ancestors during previous campaigns. The staff had all been retained - the cook, the maids, Lloyd the chauffeur who would convey the servicemen to and from the local railway station in the family limousine when they were going on or returning from leave. The service personnel were cared for by Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) nurses under the command of Matron, with an Army Medical Officer attending weekly. Sunday morning service was held in the chapel attached to the mansion, with one of the nurses playing the organ and the local vicar conducting the service.

    The service personnel in their dress of vivid blue suit, white shirt, red tie and forage cap or beret were not allowed to walk into the gardens, but were allowed in the grounds in the front of the mansion, their discipline being maintained under an Army Sergeant Major.

    Miss Barbara Saunders-Davies, the daughter of the family and about ten years older than me, bred beautiful Palomino horses. These were a lovely golden colour with cream mane and tail, and after work I spent many pleasant hours being taught horse riding by her.

    Having been at Pentre since early 1942 I had met very many of the patients, socially and through my work, but none had really gained my affections until June 1945, when Royal Marine Stanley Ogilvie came to Pentre as a patient to recuperate from war wounds and attacks of malaria. I realised when I saw him that this was to be my future. Good looking, six feet tall, dark and handsome and resplendent in his dress uniform, and when we became better acquainted, I appreciated his sincerity and intelligence and we got on well together. We became engaged after a while, Stan leaving Pentre in August 1945 returning to his base at Plymouth, before being medically discharged.

    World War 2 was now at an end. It had been at a tremendous cost, with enormous loss of life and a great deal of suffering to many more.

    I was granted a willing release from the Land Army in January 1947, and it was with mixed feelings that I left Pentre, returning to my home in Barrow, which by then had been repaired and had become habitable once again. Stan came to live in Barrow and was successful in obtaining employment in the General Offices of the Barrow Haematite Steel Co Ltd.

    We married on 16 August 1947, spending our honeymoon at Douglas in the Isle of Man, and then setting up home on Walney Island near Barrow. In 1950 our identical twin daughters, Dilys and Glenys were born. In 1965 Stan was offered a post in the Civil Service in Swansea. We moved there and it is where we still live. I am now an 85-year-old great-grandmother, and looking back over my life, I believe that it is the taking part during the growing up of the family which has given me most satisfaction, with us both helping our daughters to get on in life and to become good citizens, just the same as we were taught by our parents. The tendency to reminisce about the past is not just looking back, it's more like living one's youth and life all over again.

    My tale has been about Past Times

    The Present is with us

    The Future is yet to come

    Let us endeavour to make the most of it,

    To the benefit of those we love and cherish

    To the benefit of our fellow human beings as well as

    To the benefit of ourselves.




    Margaret Anna "Peggy" Finney

    My mum, Peggy (Margaret)Finney, later Buss, of Camberwell, London, servied in the Land Army during the later years of the war before becoming a WREN. She sadly passed away in 1992, but was always proud of her service to her country, as we were proud of her. I'm very glad to see that the contribution of women during WWII is starting to be more widely recognised. I'd be glad to hear from anyone who remebers my mum.

    Lee Buss



    Kathleen Godden

    i was in the land army and worked for mr stickels who had a farm in ash near canterbury kent,i would love to hear from anyone who also was a land girl working in that area in 1940 1941.

    Kathleen Taylor [nee] Godden



    Mabel Hawthorn Macaluso

    My Mom, Mabel Hawthorn Macaluso, who is now 81 years old, was in the Land Army - it was during that time that she met my dad while he was serving in the US Army Aircorp. Mom used to deliver milk to the American base from the farm she worked on in Long Marston. Mom and dad have been married for nearly 65 years - my brother was born during the War. After the War, mom and my brother came over to the states, via New York, along with hundreds of other war brides. Mom and dad have gone back to England many many times over the years and every time they go back they always take a side trip to where they courted during the War and for many years Mom kept in contact with owners and the children of the owners of the farm she worked at. My Mom will be so excited to read all the articles on your website and I will encourage her write down her memories of this special time in her life. Although I am 55 yers old, my mom is still my hero and I love her deeply and love hearing her stories of her childhood and growing up during the War.

    Carol Macaluso Bostic



    Edna Drake

    I joined the Land Army in 1943, I was 16 years old & could not wait until I was 17 so I put my age up & hoped nobody would find out. I was sent first to Strensall near York, I was in a hostel with other new recruits who were all friendly. I remember my first job was feeding turkeys & general farm work. I was a city girl with no experience of country life but I soon became used to it, I never enjoyed the early mornings though.

    Later on I was transferred to Stogumber in Somerset,oh dear cycling up those long hills at the end of a long tiring day. The hostel had been a lovely old house with a large garden, a pleasant place to be. A group of us always went somewhere on the train at weekends,often to Minehead to enjoy the sea air, sometimes to Taunton if we had any money to spare for shopping. There was not much in the shops of course & all clothing was on coupons, sometimes my Mum would send me some of her coupons, what a treat that was.

    I left Somerset & was sent to Sandown on the I.O.W. again to be billeted in a lovely old house taken over by the Govt to house Land Girls. It was a happy time there, my sister was living in Shanklin which was great, I could visit her,just a short bus ride away. I decided to try milking & dairy work & gained a proficiency certificate for that in due course. I dont remember any air raids there on the Island,we were lucky to be free from all that. I met my future husband in Sandown, he had just returned from Burma & was demobbed from the R.A.F. & having a holiday . David lived in Southampton,we did a lot of travelling on the ferry from Ryde to Portsmouth! I spent the last part of my service in East Meon,or was it West Meon? I lived on a dairy farm with the farmer & his family,that was a very pretty part of Hampshire.

    I suppose memory retains the good things, I know there were winter mornings in Yorkshire with heavy frosts & hedging & ditching was hard going. I wish I could remember the names of some of the girls I met during those years, I stayed on in the Land Army until 1947 & was married in 1948. I have no regrets & counted myself lucky to have such a healthy life which I feel sure has helped to keep me fit & well into my 82nd year.

    Edna Hardman



    Celia Hughes

    I was born and brought up in Meanwood, I was evacuated from Notre Dame school in 1939 then signed up for the WLA in 1942. I was so innocent at the time, not even 18. I left Leeds at the age of 17 to serve for three years with the WLA. I was a rat catcher and really enjoyed it, although we didn't have the choice to be scared of them. First I was sent to the countryside, picking potatoes in Wales and then to Cornwall to catch rats. I was given a van to drive in a team of four. They didn't have driving tests or traffic lights in those days. I have lots of happy memories. I met my husband Fred, who was in the Royal Artillery Corps in Penzance. and we returned to Leeds in 1945 to marry.

    The Land Army Girls were not very well recognised at the time for our service, so it is nice to be finally given a badge for our contribution. Sadly most of my pals from those days have died now, so they will never know.

    Mrs C Hughes



    Isa Barker

    This is such a great site! I am proud that my mother, Isa Barker, served in the Scottish Women's Land Army. I know from her stories what a very hard life it was, and for the contribution that so many women made during that time to have gone unrecognised for so long is a disgrace. I am delighted that this is now changing and these wonderful women are to be acknowledged at last.

    Barbara Hegarty



    Audrey Marshall

    I started work at 14 years old at the Co-operative Boot and Shoe factory in Education Road, off Meanwood Road, Leeds. I am now aged 83.

    When war started we were doing army boots, but when I was 17-and-a-half, although I was exempt, I volunteered for the Women's Land Army to do my bit for my country, also because my five brothers and one brother-in-law were serving soldiers. Myself and another girl were sent to a private farm, Portobella Farm, Croft-on-Tees, Darlington. We did men's work: milking, feeding animals, harvesting, digging, etc.

    I met my husband, who was a private in the Royal Tank Regiment station at Barnard Castle, Durham, and married on 8 December, 1945 (sadly he is no longer with us). For three-and-a-half years we worked hard from 5.30am to sometimes 9.30pm. It was very hard for a town girl to adjust to life on a farm but we did.

    We looked forward to Saturday nights when we went to the village hall for dancing. It was a little village called North Cowton. Nearby was a soldiers' camp and they also enjoyed a bit of recreation, some were Americans and Australians. Most of them had left wives, children and parents behind.

    I have some lovely, happy memories. It would be nice to have a badge to prove that we did do our bit and something that my family would have to be proud of me.

    Audrey Harris



    Ethal Lilian Ellis

    I am looking to contact people who served with my Auntie, Ethal Ellis at Flintham between Bingham and Newark. Or people who just served at Flintham. I am trying to build up a bigger picture of my Auntie's life in WLA.

    Sarah Thornley



    Frances Ellen Gathercole

    My Grandmother Mrs Frances Ellen Rutterford (nee Gathercole) was one of the land army girls, working on farms in the area of Burnt Fen, a small hamlet Nr Mildenhall Suffolk. Unfortunately she passed away in 2007 aged 86. It wasn't until the family was going through old photos etc. after her death that we found her enrolment certificate, her leaving certificate and a letter from the late Queen mother thanking her for all her hard work. She had never told any one about receiving the letter, so it was a complete shock and honour to find.

    I am in correspondence to see if it would be at all possible for my dad to collect her land arm recognition badge in her honour but I am being told no. This is a matter that I feel very strongly about, after all the girls kept the nations going while our men were fighting. If a soldier got killed at war their families are allowed to accept their medals in their honour so why shouldn't we be able to do the same. I would love to know if anyone else out there feels the same. We also have her uniform, an arm band and her medals from the time. Receiving the new recognition badge in the honour of ladies who did their best to keep everything going in our men's absence and succeeded is all we are asking for.

    Samantha Orton



    Joyce Elkington

    My Mom, Joyce Elkington would love to see her name on the list of Land Girls because she worked so hard and loved the Land Army so much.

    Debbie Pilozzi



    Marjorie Eagle

    I am writing on behalf of my mother, Marjorie Envall. She was in the Womens Land Army in the England during the second world war. Her name at that time was Marjorie Eagle and she lived in Northampton. She believes she joined in 1941. Her memory is not as good as it was and she is a little confused about her dates of service. She has many fond memories of that time and is so proud of having been a Land Army Girl. She keeps her land army pictures displayed on her living room wall. I think it would be wonderful if she was to receive a badge to acknowledge her contribution to the war effort. It would be nice if she could be included on your list and perhaps a possibility of contact with someone she worked alongside in what she describes as, " some of the best years of my life". She now resides in Canada, where we have lived since 1957.

    Rosalind Eagle



    Doris Ellen Webster

    My mother Doris Ellen Chaffey (nee Webster) was in the WLA, she was at Culford Forestry Camp, Bury St.Edmonds, she has told me some funny stories of how they used to sleep on "3 biscuits"" which were 3 square straw filled pads, and eventheir pillow was straw. She said it was hard work felling trees for telegraph poles and pit props. lots of blisters she even remembers the name of the hook that took the leaves off, a Bill hook. My mother is now 87, and would love to hear from anyone who was at the Culford Forestry Camp. We live on the Sunshine Coast, in Queensland Australia.

    Linda Holland



    Catherine Speirs

    My mother Catherine Speirs served in the Scottish Land Army in WW2. She was a teenager when the war started and spent the war years working in Ayrshire. I know she had many happy times and formed many friendships but found the physical farm work hard as she was a city girl and quite tiny.

    She will be delighted when she hears about the medal presentation as recognition for the great effort of the Land Army girls during the war for the Nation.

    Lorraine Levien



    Joan Parker

    Is there any one out there that remembers my Auntie, Joan Parker who served with the WLA? She worked at Williamsons Farm at Keythorpe Lodge in Leicestershire.

    Melanie Parker Smith



    Doris Feltham

    My mum was in the WLA in Hertfordshire on Watkins farm at Watton at Stone and also worked in Pooley's market garden Crawley Sussex. Her name then was Doris Feltham she is now Doris Evans and lives with my Dad in Horsham. It would be good if her efforts could be recognised.

    Margaret Elder



    Edna May Woolford

    My Mother-in-law was in the land army her name was Edna May Woolford she was posted at a farm called Elms Farm in Nuneaton Warwickshire.

    Diane Shenton



    Irene "Bobbie" Heath

    I joined the land army in April 1942 and went to Loxton in Somerset with 16 other girls we stayed in a purpose built hostel. I was placed on a farm Chiston Court where I did General farming until 1945.I never went back to London.I trained as a milk analyst and worked for a local dairy until I married I must admit my time in the land army was the best ever although the hours were long and the work hard I was 17yrs old when I joined I can't see the young girls of today coping with the work unless of course they are farmers daughters.

    Irene Webster



    Elsie Doyle

    My mother served in the Land Army but cannot remember much as she is 88 years old. She was born 1920 in Bakewell Derbyshire so if any one has any memories of my mother could you please email

    Denise Goodall



    Alice May Priest

    I am writing in a bid to search for anyone who might remember serving in the Land Army with my Nanna, Alice May Priest in the Second World War. Sadly my Nana passed away recently but being part of the Land Army was something she was always intensely proud of.

    Unfortunately, we have no details of where Nanna was based but she was living in Hull when the war began and would have been 20 years of age. I can remember as a child hearing her stories – many of which included stories of the American soldiers!!! If there is anyone who can remember anything it would be greatly appreciated if you could contact me. Thanks

    Melanie Stokes



    Isobel Waddon

    My Grandmother, Isobel Waddon, died without disclosing much information about her time she spent in the land army. I would love to here from someone who served with her. I would like to hear their stories or see any photos they may have. She came from West Lulworth.

    Heather Black



    Molly Gunn

    I served in the Land Army in Devon.

    Molly Gunn



    Maggie Baldry

    It was avery healthy life in the open air, I can remember I was always hungry. It is so long ago, and as I was only 16 and a half in 1945 when I joined, I didnt keep any records. I was in a hostel near Woodbridge,on field work.

    Maggie Baldry



    Anne Phyllis Hopley

    I found this wonderful site whilst searching for information regarding the announcement that the WLA girls are to be awarded a commemorative badge. My mum Anne Phyllis Hopley who served in the Land Army in the North West will be 90 soon and i cant think of a more fitting birthday present for such a wonderful fiesty lady.

    Pamela Telfer



    Marjorie Benham

    Marjorie Benham  at the front right-hand side, the lady to her left in the white shirt/blouse was Helen Clixby

    This is a picture of my aunt Marjie (was Marjorie Benham, now Macdonald). She is the one at the front right-hand side of the attached picture. The lady to her left in the white shirt/blouse was Helen Clixby. She would love to make contact with anyone who remembers her from those days in Devon. She now lives in Essex.

    Anyone wishing to make contact can do so by contacting me first and I will pass on their details so she can make contact with them direct. She is not on the Internet herself.

    I have given her the 0800 phone number to call with regards to the WLA commemorative badges. Thanks,

    Anne Avann



    Edna Davies

    My mum Edna Davies from Liverpool joined the Women's Land Army in 1944 and was initially based at Sileth in Cumbria. She is thrilled that the contribution she and many other women made during and after WW2 is at last going to be recognised. She would also love to hear from anyone that knew her then, especially Thelma Kennedy also of Liverpool. My mum enjoys good health and lives a very active life in Northern Ireland where she settled after her marriage. I'm only doing this because she not become a silver surfer - yet!

    Hopefully, there will be some form of event that she can attend to meet up with comrades when she receives her badge? And many thanks for your site

    Vivien Harvey



    Maud Atchison

    Does any one have any information on or photos of my Grandmother, Maude Atchison who served with the womens land army in Glasgow such as Galston or New Mill farms in Ayrshire, as she has lost all her photos and letters.

    Sean O'Neill



    Hilda Richards

    My Mum was recently asked to recount her memories of her Land Army days which she did and jotted them down. I typed them up and she is happy for them now to be passed on to you. She was Hilda Richards then and joined in the spring of 1943 working on the land of Richard Dennis on the Haverholme Estate near Sleaford, Lincolnshire until November 1946. She had moved from Nottingham where she had worked in Roughton's drapery shop before the change of life style...which - as with other ladies who have related their memories, was obviously a time of great camaraderie and satisfaction!

    Congratulations to all the 'girls' that they will at last receive their recognition and I'm sure,wear their badges with pride!

    During the war, boys were called up for duty at 17 years and three months - and quite a lot of girls were too! Some were sent to the ATS, WAFFS and WRENS but mostly girls were sent to work in munitions. My two older sisters had joined the Land Army and I followed suit when I was old enough.

    Quite a lot of the girls had been shop assistants or office workers and were much happier to work in the country than be shut up in a factory. I was sent to Ewerby, near Sleaford in Lincolnshire and it was the first time I had been away from home in my life!

    There was no bus into the village so I was met to continue the three miles or so and I imagined that another land army girl would meet me but I was in for a surprise. A real country chappie with horse and dray helped me up onto one side of the dray and off we went. As we passed the field the gang working on the threshing machine all waved and shouted “hello”…everyone seemed so friendly.

    Ewerby was a pretty village and the big manor house was where one of the foremen lived with his wife and his son in one half of the building and the six land army girls lived in the other half. All the girls shared an extra large bedroom which housed six camp beds and three chests of drawers for all to share. The foreman’s wife cleaned and cooked for us and would shout for us when the evening meal was ready. We had the big room beneath for meals and relaxation. My first cooked meal I couldn’t finish half of it, it was such a plate full but the next day was a different story. After working hard all the day – well, I ate everything that was served!

    My first job was with the thresher that I had seen coming in. Men were forking the bales up, some men on top to catch them and then another putting them into the machine. The corn went into boxes and when full was changed for more empty ones and stacked up. The chaff was collected on big sheets under the thresher and carted off…these were the girls’ jobs.

    There were three of us called to take a horse and cart each and deliver and collect stuff. I had never been with a horse before but it was taken for granted that we knew how to go on. I soon got used to the way of things although nearly took a gate post off the first time out!!

    From then on everything was to do with potatoes, setting, picking and riddling. For the setting, two girls worked together facing each other a ‘chitting’ box between them filled with spuds. One hand on the box handle and one hand taking a spud out. You took a step and slid the box as you set one spud in the groove and you if you had a good partner as I did, it was ‘one, two, one , two’ down to the end straighten up then fill your box again and down the next groove…cor my back!

    When all setting was done we went on to the graves of old potatoes the men had done from the year before. These had to be riddled – two sizes of riddle, small beneath and larger on top. The potatoes that stayed in the bigger riddle were flicked into a hopper on the scales (sack bag fitted onto a hopper) and smaller spuds would drop into the bottom riddle and went into another bag for pig potatoes.

    One girl would work on the shovel putting potatoes in the riddles (two girls on the riddles) and one girl taking the bag off the machine. When the weight was right, sewing the top of the bags and then putting in piles with three, two and one on the top. Later two girls lifted these onto lorries putting a strong stick under the bag so that we could throw them up. Is there any wonder that we became strong and big muscled girls?

    When the picking season came on, it was very back-breaking. The tractor came and spun the spuds out and you had a round basket called a molly between your feet and grabbed potatoes with both hands as fast as you could; emptied into a hopper and ran across the other side to do the same. You each had your own stint and if you didn’t hurry, the tractor would be behind you waiting to do the next row. We all found this job the most tiring.

    Mr Richard Dennis who was our boss (Dickie to us when he couldn’t hear us) was known to be the biggest potato grower ever. Much less time was spent gathering hay, singling beet, hoeing etc. I did manage to get a lovely job now and then with the horse and dray delivering the chitting boxes to different fields.

    The way we had to learn things though was often by our own mistakes. A prime example was when I first yoked the horse up after being shown how to put the collar on upside down first, then turn it…only thing was as I reached up the horse nodded his head and the collar fell over my head instead. The first time I had to turn a horse and cart at the end of a field, I turned the horse towards me “Ouch! Ouch!” he trod on my foot so I learned - NEVER turn a horse towards you …always AWAY!! I was always delighted to work with horses especially Perky …we became the best of friends.

    Land Army days were happy and hard working and it was wonderful the friends I made amongst the girls and the hardworking Irish lads who worked alongside us - one of whom became more than a friend, in fact a loving husband for 48 happy years until he sadly died in 1993.

    It’s done my heart good recalling these old times.

    Eirene Andrews



    Emily Frances "Fran" Neale

    I am trying to obtain a copy of a photograph of my late mother who served in the Women's Land Army in Kent. For many years she had a photograph of a group of Land Army Girls in uniform marching over Maidstone Bridge, but sadly this went missing during a house move. Her name was Emily Frances Neale and lived around the Maidstone area. One of most favourite memories was of delivering milk by horse and cart in the Gillingham area. If anyone has any memories of my mum or can help me obtain a copy of the photograph I would be so pleased to hear from you Many thanks Maureen Barwick

    Maureen Barwick



    Elizabeth "Bessie" Bowman

    Bessie married after the war to a Polish solder. They emigrated to the states where her sister, Millie, who had married a Dutch solder had already emigrated. Bessie and Stan had two children, Michael and Cathy. Over the years Bessie has suffered from ill health and has been confined within her home in Conneticut. Tragically she lost her daughter to cancer and in turn her son-in-law also died. They left an only daughter Jennifer. I am trying to gather memories of anyone who may have known her grandmother during her time as a land girl. I am also trying to find out more details such has her service number so i can apply for the new medal of recognition the Land Girls have now received for their service so i can put it together with any stories and present it to her granddaughter. Please can anyone out there offer information or advice?

    Carol Ross



    Iris Winnifred Robinson

    This is my Mum and she was billeted at Woodrington House Hostel,Romsey in 1945/46.She was with girls named Rita & Pat,unfortunately she is not able to remember their other names but if anyone remembers her she would be happy to hear from them.

    Paula Hatton



    Jean Margaret Goodall

    My grandmother Mrs Jean Margaret Phillips, nee Goodall served in the land army as a young girl and has fond recollections of her time serving. She has told me of a time when she climbed on the wheel of a cart horse and slipped and fell, getting her leg caught in the wheel, she was saved by a "charming" german soldier who she states saved her from losing her leg! We are very proud of the work she did and have applied for her commemorative badge on her behalf.

    Lyndsey Nelson



    Patricia "Patsy" Robinson

    My mother, Patricia Robinson, worked in the Ministry of Aircraft Production early in the Second War, but her mother thought it too dangerous for a young girl(she was 17 when war broke out)to work in London and told her to look for a safer job. Mum joined the Women's Land Army and used to tell us of her exploits driving Fordson Tractors and ditching, hedging and ploughing. Unfortunately she now suffers from Alzheimers and now cannot recall much about where she was posted and who were her workmates or friends at the time. She used to recall that there were Italian prisoners of war on the farm as well. If anyone remembers Patricia Robinson in her Land Army days we would love to hear from you. She is now Patricia Blake and lives in a nursing home in Brisbane, Australia.

    Keith Blake



    Olive Rhoda Russell

    I was 15 years old at the time however I lied my age to join the Land Army and said I was 17. My first job was picking potatoes. We also would sort the potatoes. (good ones from bad ones) We were all taken in the morning by truck to different farms and brought back at night. At one point I was stationed at Lakenheath (spelling?) and I was surprised by my older sister who came and stayed with me for the weekend. I remember cleaning a lot of dishes through the winter. We did it all, never staying at the same place. I worked in greenhouses, on many different farms. I remember staying at one time with a Mrs. Veck. Her son was in the Navy and she had a daughter who worked on the farm but was not in the Land Army. We didn't have time to make too may friends. We slept in barracks and were sent on different jobs each day.

    Olive Guzelf (Russell)



    May Easdale

    My Mum May Easdale (married name Otterson), served in the Women's Land Army at Rozelle Estate in Ayrshire. she died aged 49 in 1972. We would love to hear of anyone who knew her or has stories of their time in Ayrshire's Land Army

    Elaine Dhouieb



    Gendoline Prior Hook, Hampshire

    My name is Martin Sullivan-Royall and i am searching for my Granmother this is very sensitive to me and the story is as follows i only have limted information My Granmothers name was/or is Gwendoline Prior / she served in the WLA and was based at a hostel near Hook hampshire either Hook Southhampton or Hook near basingstoke. My Mother who's name is Barbara Christine Westlake ( adopted name ) her birth name that Gwendoline named her was Valerie Ann Prior Gwendoline gave birth to Valerie on the 12th Febuary 1946 my mother is 62 and from my investigations i would presume that Gwendoline would now be between 76 and 85 any help or details about where she may of served or any other Women who may of known her at that time would be a great help i am trying to find my Mums real Mum as she has never had a sense of belonging both her adopted parents are both deceased she had no records of her adoption or birth or mothers details until her employer had to do a CRB she was called into the mangagers office and shown her adoption papers which she had never seen i have taken upon myself to try and find out as much as i can as, Gwendoline may have had other children and more family is out there for us to find best regards Martin

    Martin Sullivan-Royall



    Margaret "Peggy" Etherington

    Margaret Organ, deceased March 1, 2008, served in the Land Army. No other details known, however we have many pictures if you're interested in receiving them.

    Lynne Normandeau



    Irene Langley

    I am submitting this on behalf of my mother Irene Langley who is celebrating her 85th year in a few days. She writes:- My sister and I, joined the Land Army in 1942. Myself Irene Langley being the oldest at 19, left our home a Robinsons Pub called the Printers Arms in Stockport which has since been demolished to be joined a few weeks later by my sister Kathleen Langley who was only 17 years old. We were stationed together at a National Service Hostel - Totty's Hall in Crewe near Nantwich, Cheshire. There were only 4 Land Army Girls as the National Service Hostel, housed the Rolls Royce workers who had been sent from all over Ireland, Scotland and Wales to work in the Rolls Royce Factory. The other two Land Army girls were from Liverpool Connie Oldfield from Birkenhead and Olive Rowlands whose parents kept The Half Way House on Scotland Road in Liverpool. We all got on very well together and did our bit for the war effort by growing vegetables etc., that fed Rolls Royce Workers and ourselves for the two and half years that we were in Crewe. We met many nice people and enjoyed every minute we were there. The old man who was in charge of us was called Bill Hyam who came from Lytham, he was a great story teller. The Lady who was also in charge of us and all the Hostel Staff came from Oxford her name was Miss Mather, she was a wonderful person to work for and really took good care of us while we were in her care. I am 85 years old in March and my Sister 83 in February. We are still very close sisters and although we tend to forget what happened yesterday, we will never forget the Happy Days we Spent in the Land Army at Totty's Hall, National Service Hostel in Crew. We are Two old Ladies with lots of Memories most of them Happy of our days in the Land Army.

    D.Ward



    Evelyn Horne

    I would love to find out some information and share stories with anyone who worked or knew my grandmother, Evelyn Horne. She served in the Women's land army at Penningham in Newton Stewart, Wigtownshire in the 1940s. She was originally from Northern Ireland.

    Amanda Geraghty



    Elsie Honeywill Lincolnshire

    My friend Elsie Honeywill who served in Lincolnshire for 4 and a half years. She would be interested to get in touch with other Land Girls. Elsie now lives in London. Thank you.

    Martin Rayment



    Maureen Norris

    I served in the Land Army 1943-1945 in Corby ,Lincolnshire, we rode bicycles 7 miles there and 7 miles back to work on the farns eveyday, pulled sugar beat in the snow, climbed haystacks to feed the thrashing machines untill amost dark, cut logs with crossaws, drove tracters to harrow , walked behind a horse and plough, many more farming jobs. We all would look forward to the evenings when we would walk down to the Pub the "Wheatsheaf" or the "Fighting Cocks" and drink a shandy (beer and pop). I married a American and now live in the U S A, I think hard work never hurt us, we were healthy then.

    Maureen Lea



    Catherine Elizabeth Felton Wales

    My Grandmother Catherine Felton, served in the Land Army in Wales, I would love to know where she served and hear from anyone who knew her.

    David Griffiths



    Vera Fletcher

    My mother, Vera Ensor, maiden name Fletcher, was a land army girl, and was very proud of it.

    Linda Jones



    Mary Elma Guthrie Smith

    I have found several photographs of women who served in the Land Army with my Mother. Their names, as far as I can gather are, B MacMurray (1941), Suzanne Buchanan, (Kippen, 1941), Anne Geddes, (Blairhill, 1946), Jean Galt & Agnes Day (1945, Taken in Dunoon), Mo McPherson (1945, Taken in Dunoon).

    Kirsty MacKinnon



    Joyce Audoire

    My mother served in the Land Army at Lakenheath, her best friend was Hilda Ward. She has fond memories of the shire horses calling them 'gentle giants'. A man called Victor who lived in the village of Lakenheath very kindly gave my mum a pair of gloves as the cold caused severe pain (hot aches) in her hands. Should anyone remember Lakenheath please contact me

    Carol Granger



    Phylis Doreen Smith

    I am looking for Edith Walker from Wales who married farmers son Les Webber and Betty Jones also from Wales. We were friends when we worked together on farms in Tiverton.

    phylis smith



    Elsie Lillie Roberts

    Born in 1924 I lived at Barton Lane Eccles with my parents Father Edward.Wm. Roberts, my mother Lillie Roberts and My younger sister Olive We lived close to Barton Swing Bridge, Aquaduct , and Barton Power Station We could see Trafford Park Industrial Area across the M/c Ship Canal. Sitting ducks so to speak.When war came In 1939 A Anderson Shelter was delivered my father Dug a hole in the back garden and Erected the shelter Covering the top with soil and turf. Made bunk beds .Hoping we would not have to use it. Gas Masks. I.D. Cards isued Ready for what was to come In December 1940 Hitler decided to Blitz Manchester Night after night we slept in the shelter. 22nd Dec. was the worst night. Manchester was on fire. Noise was deafening, Bombs, Guns. The sky aglow for miles around. A bomb landed four gardens away. Our house was unlivable. We moved to my Aunts Nursing Home in Gatley Cheshire. A Memorable Xmas In 1941 we moved to Berwickshire, Scotland May 10th 1942 I joined the Scottish Womens Land Army. I was sent for a four weeks intensive farming course to the West of Scotland Agricultural College Auchencruive, Ayrshire. So many days milking, field work, poultry. Pigs. Tractors, Reversing a tractor with traier thro a farm gate etc etc. This was not a good idea as some farming methods on the W.side were somewhat different to the E.side where I was destined to work. After this I was sent to Bemersyde, Roxburghshire Earl Haigs Mansion House Was patially used as Billets for S.W.L.A. We had a dormitory called Rookery Nook.. We went out daily to various farms in the district. Seasonal work. Tattie picking., Muck spreading, Singling turnips, sugar Beet. Threshing Mill, Stooking etc. etc. Opening up a field at Harvest Time, Following an old man with a Scythe Making a straw band to make a sheaf Three or four times round the perimeter to enable e Binder machine to come in and cut and make sheaves for us to pick up and stook. Barley was the worst. Oh those Barley Alns. Stuck to everything. quite painful. We worked with elderly men, young lads, and lots of S,Ireland Men who came over to work. S,Ireland was not at war. Italian P.O.W's I worked on many farms in Roxburghshire and later Berwickshire. It was hard work. It is amazing now how mechanized farming has become. No more hand picking potatos . No more muck spreading with a fork. no more threshing mills. I now live in Queensland. Australia. At 84years old May 30th this year 2008 I remember the times like yesterday. Sad and happy days. Looking forward to that Medal/Badge. Better Late than never. Cheers. Elsie L. Roberts.

    Elsie L. Roberts



    Doris "Half Pint" Wright

    I am posting this on behalf of my mum, Doris Wright, who served in the Womens Land Army, based at Stubton Rectory in the village of Stubton, Lincolnshire. My mum has fond memories of her Land Army days, not least because she met my dad, Owen Wright, who was a Scottish Jock serving in the 1st Airborne Division Provost Company, Corps of Military Police stationed at the nearby Stubton Hall. After the war, they married and set up home in Hamilton, Scotland. Dad is sadly no longer with us but mum regularly reminisces about her Land Army adventures when she, a Yorkshire lass from the city of Hull who had only known urban life and factory work, became a country girl assisting the farmers around Stubton with their wartime chores. I am sure mum would love to hear from any of her former Land Army pals.

    Elizabeth



    Betty Ivy Fisher

    I am enquiring on behalf of my Mother, Betty Ivy Fisher from London My mother is 82 and has memory loss, but she still recollects some instances from her days in the Women's Land Army. I would appreciate any assistance from members of the WLA who might have known my Mother, where she served, and if possible to be able to get in touch. Thank You

    Frank Jory



    Elizabeth Sadler "Bessie" Adam

    Unfortunately my mother died in 2005 so too early to receive the badge that has been awarded to those who served in the Women's Land Army. I am currently tring to piece together information to include in her family history. I wonder if there are records that I could obtain that tells me of her time in the Land Army just as I was able to access the Naval Records for her brother. All I know is that when she married my father, a German Prisoner of War, they worked together on a farm in Kirkudbright. Their marriage certificate dated 31 Jan 1948 gives my father's address as The Cottage, East Glenarm Farm, Crocketford which I assume is where they worked but of course the war was over by this time so I am not sure and would be delighted if you could advise me of where I might find information. I will be delighted to share any information that I am able to find

    Update: Land Army records for those who served in England, Scotland and Wales are available to view on microfiche at The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey. The microfilm you need to ask for is: Series: MAF 421: Ministry of Food: Women's Land Army: Index to Service Records of the Second World War 1939-1948.

    David Kaden



    Hilda Gladys Pettitt

    I was called up in June 1943 and sent to work for Lady Langham in Cadbury, Somerset on the dairy farm and later to work on the Wrington Vale Nurseries in Somerset. I was billited with Mrs. Exon in Congresbury. The owner of Wrington Vale Nursery was Graham Griffiths (who died about 1975) and the Manager was Bill Ridley. I am now 84 years old and live in Norfolk and would like to contact any-one who remembers me, especially Iris Johnson who I believe lived in Liverpool and Doreen Hynam who lived in Bristol. I left the Womens Land Army in 1946.

    Hilda Smith



    Iris Johnson

    Iris worked with me in Somerset, I would love to get in touch with her again.

    Hilda Smith



    Doreen Hynam

    Doreen worked with me in Somerset, I would love to get in touch with her again.

    Hilda Smith



    Ivy May Bareham

    During the war I was a young lad....now long retired... I had a favourite auntie who was in the Women's Land Army. Her name was Ivy May Bareham and her home was in Colchester, Essex. Is there any way I can see her name on an official document or register. Or is there any record of her. She died from an illness after the war....she was only in her thirties and by that time I had joined the Navy as a boy recruit at HMS Ganges. She is laying in the churchyard at Mistley, Essex and even after all these years I still think fondly of her. Any information would be very warmly welcomed Sincerely Robert Woods, Somerset UK

    Robert Clive Woods



    Daphne Olga Bradbrook

    i would like to know if anyone remembers my mother during second world war.Daphne was stationed at boxted nr colchester in the land army.

    shirley london



    Katheen Annie "Kitty" Hullett

    My mother was in the land army we think she was at a place called Tidworth her name is Kathleen Annie Hullett nickname 'Kitty' also her sister Betty Hullett 'Elizabeth' also a friend called Joyce who married an American, mum came from London Isle of Dogs, mum always spoke when we were little about her time in the land army, we would love to hear from anyone who remembers our mum so we can get the medal for her. She married Frederick Rock she had two daughters Denise and Maureen. Mum can be contacted at my email address.

    Maureen Silk



    Pamela Iris Manton

    My wife- Pamela Manton then- joined the Land Army in 1947 when she was 17. She served for 5 years. Until then she had lived with her parents at Small Heath in Birmingham. We are both now approaching 80.She was first of all put as an orderly at Oldberrow House near Henley in Arden, after three months as an orderly she began performing regular land work (her first job being ditching)After some time at Oldberrow House she was sent to Wolverton Court at Snitterfield. Much later she was sent to another hostel in Henley in Arden- and finally she was stationed at yet another hostel in Atherstone in Warwickshire. (a hostel that was later replaced by an estate of houses)Although the WLA was disbanded in 1950, my wife stayed on to finally complete her 5 years. She had always said that those 5 years in the WLA were some of the happiest in her life, and so a short time ago I wrote to the present owners of Wolverton Court who said that if we called on them they would show us around, unfortunately I gave up our car (due to my age and the car's age) some time ago and so there was no way we could get there. But when I wrote to the present owners of Oldberrow house they were happy to arrange a get-together of other ex land girls. They even collected us. There were 7 ladies at the party and though my wife was happy to meet them, unfortunately none of them had known my wife. So if there are any ex-land girls who were at Oldberrow House- Wolverton Court-or the hostel in Atherstone and remember Pam Manton, as she was then- my wife would be delighted to hear from them.

    H. Wale



    Renee May Clode

    My mother Renee Clode was stationed 1942 -1944 in a hostel in Kingsland near Heraford with may of her friend she used to tell me many stories as a child about her days in the land army, her friends, her jitterbugging with the American troops, and of an American soldier who she said would have been my father if he had not died in action towards the end of the war. My mum died in 2001 of Alzimers not a way to go for someone so cleaver and good. If anybody out their remember Renee, please get in touch - Regards Dave

    Dave Arnold



    Gladys Turbutt

    My sister and I, Doris and Gladys Turbutt, were based at Little Bourton in Banbury untill the well water ran out in 1943, we were then split up. My sister went to Swacliffe and I went to Bicester with all the girls in my photograph.

    I am still in touch with Ada and Rose who in turn is in touch with Sylvia who used to be our Forelady and responsible for getting us out into the farms. When they held a reunion at the Albert Hall unfortunately only one of these ladies turned up, that was Joyce. I wonder if anyone in this photo might like to get in touch, I would love to hear from them. Doris has lived in Banbury since she married a Banbury man and I know Lilly also lives there.

    Gladys Stokes



    Irene "Mickey" Collier

    Some reminiscences of my days in the Land Army.(1943-1947) I joined the Land army when I was only 15 (well nearly 16) and was first sent to a hostel at Compton Dundon, in Herefordshire. We found the work very hard at first and ached in every limb, especially the first two months. None of us had done this type of manual labour before! As I lived in London we used to try to get home most weekends - often by thumbing lifts as our pay did not go very far. We used to be taken by lorry first thing each morning and dropped off at a farm for the day. We seldom knew in advance where we were going to be. Another thing I remember is being hungry a lot of the time, for if late down for breakfast there often wouldn’t be any left as it was on a first come first served basis. (I was never very good at getting up in the morning) Although packed lunches were provided for us to take with us, if you were late down and the lorry had arrived you could miss out on these also. Sometimes, fortunately, the farmers wives would bring tea and a snack out to us during the long days in the fields. A number of times when we were working in the fields, German planes came over and dived down low and we had to jump in the nearest ditch to avoid being machine gunned. One week I was 2 days late back and as a "punishment" was sent away to a hostel in North Petherton in Somerset. Actually this proved to be blessing, for although getting home proved to be a non starter from here, I enjoyed working in this area very much, we got on well with the farmers and the countryside was lovely. I look forward very much to receiving my badge as I have always thought we were very much the forgotten service. Irene Sayer (nee Collier) 80

    Irene Sayer



    Victoria "Queenie" Cross

    My mother was a member of the Women's Land Army during WW11, I am trying to find any information that I can about that period. Victoria's details are Born 6.4.1915, Chester England. All that I know was that she worked on a farm during the hay harvesting time and when the Germans flew over they used to hide under the hay wagon for cover. I am the daughter of Victoria and I am seaching her family tree, unfortunately she died in 1.2.1971 aged 55. Victoria was married to David James McNeilly Nesbitt St Mary's Chester 1941. I would appreciate anything that you help me with. Kindest regards Aileen Parker-Walker (nee Nesbitt)

    Aileen Parker-Walker



    Joyce Lomax

    I joined the Women's Land Army in 1947 at the age of 18. On the 9th of June 1947 I was sent to Spalding in Lincolnshire, where we stayed at a place called Holland House. My friends in the Land Army were Edna Gadman who lived at Sutton Flats, Salford, Annie (I don't remember her last name) who also lived in Salford, and Alma Stamp from Doncaster. I left the Land Army in October of 1947. If anyone remembers me or knows of my Land Army friends please contact me.

    Joyce Boyd



    Alma Stamp

    I would love to hear from Alma Stamp who served in the Land Army with me at Holland House, Spalding, Lincolnshire.

    Joyce Boyd



    Edna Gadman

    I would love to hear from Edna Gadman who lived at Sutton Flats, Salford, and served in the Land Army with me at Holland House, Spalding, Lincolnshire.

    Joyce Boyd



    Joyce Stokes

    My mother served in the land army during wartime and enjoyed it so much she went back after the war had finished! She was based in Hertfordshire in a big old house - something like Lydial Hall. Her name then was Joyce Stokes, she had a mass of blonde curls, and was always as brown as a berry. She drove big trucks also, sometimes transporting POWs, including a few blond, blue-eyed Aryan soldiers - which she found unsettling! From her tales to us about this time it sounds a lot of fun - being young helped that, I suppose lots of dancing etc - and certainly not following all the rules! It would be lovely if someone remembered my mum

    Linsy Timmins



    Dinah Sarah Fletcher

    I am writing this on behalf of my Mother, Dinah Singleton, nee Fletcher, now 88yrs of age, Born in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, who together with one of her 6 Sisters, Frances, joined the Land Army in 1940. They did their training at Shipton Court, Shipton-under-Wychwood, Oxon & afterwards, were employed there, working for a Mrs Darcy Hall. Later, they moved, to work for a Mr.Brooks, The White House, Nettlebed, Nr. Henley, Berks. Although Mum's memory is now failing & all her Sisters, 2 Brothers & Husband (my Father) have now sadly passed away, Mum recalls many happy times spent during this period. She & her Sisters would attend many a Dance at the local Town Hall, where they would meet & enjoy the company of both British & American Servicemen. This was one of many places where they could have some well earned relaxation, after a hard weeks work. They were very near RAF Brize Norton & like many other Land Girls, would watch the aircraft fly overhead & eagerly await their return, in the hopes that all crew could be counted safely back Home but sadly, so often, this was not the case. A great deal of her time was spent dealing with Poultry, although, all other duties were also carried out, Tractor Driving, Ploughing, using the Threshing machines etc etc. All heavy manual work which my Mother enjoyed. Sadly, my Mother developed Pleurisy & became very poorly, Doctors thought this was brought on by the wet weather conditions & outside manual work, she was discharged due to ill health in 1944. At which time she returned to her job as a Nursery Nurse. Her eldest Brother Joe, sadly was killed at Dunkirk & her younger Brother John, served in the Navy & went on to live until 73yrs of age. She met my Father, Joe, during a walk round Christchurch College, Oxford. He served as a Captain in the Artillery & was amongst other places, posted to the middle east - 8th Army, seeing fierce Battle at El Alamain. He saw many of his men killed & wounded & had many narrow escapes himself, receiving shrapnel wounds to the legs. He also developed Appendicitis but did not want to leave his men in order to receive treatment, his condition later became very serious, it developed into Peritonitis, he was rushed to a field Hospital, where he nearly died. His health was never quite the same but he went on to live to 80yrs of age. Both my Parents used to recount how, my Mum & her Sister were walking one direction round the College & Dad & his friend the other, they passed. Had it not been for the fact they were obviously both taken with one another & so decided to circuit the College again, in the hopes of meeting up a second time, they may never have met!! They kept in touch all during the War, my Father even enclosed a cactus flower from the Desert in one of his letters to her, very romantic! Both coming from Farming backgrounds, she went on to become a Farmers Wife, when after Dad's discharge, they were Married in 1946 & were together for 48yrs. If anyone recalls any of the Family or has experiences in Oxon during this time, please get in touch, we would be delighted to hear from you.

    Sandra Garrod



    Patricia Mary Albrow

    I was 17 yrs when called into the Land Army and had to go into the dairy division, imagine this londoner seeing her first cow up front and personal and being told to milk it! That was more scary than the air raids I had been through. We worked hard but it was good out in the country and we ate better than most and our dress uniforms looked good. I often had to work the dung detail along with some Italians pows, I was at the bottom of the hea, slinging it up to the pow at the top. He liked opera, so he used to sing while we worked. The day the war ended, my boss came to the shed and told me "Go pack your things and go home" He knewIi had just married a month befor. I am 81 yrs now, living in the states. To all who are still here god bless.

    Pat M Sullivan



    May Griffiths

    May Griffiths is my mother and will be 80 in January 2009. I intend to throw her a land army themed party and would love to hear from anyone who served in the land army with her. We are trying to do this in secret as a surprise so cannot ask her too many questions!!! She joined the land army in 1946 aged 17 and I know she served at Thirsk on a farm and also in Stokesley. We'd love any friends to come to the party.

    Margaret Smith



    Edith Constance "Connie" Burgess

    It was still dark as we walked through the village. Squat, grey stone houses edged the cobbled square, with the war memorial, bus stop and blacksmiths. A small group of men stood around, silhouetted by the glow from the furnace. They stamped, and rubbed their hands, eyeing us as we made our way along the street, laughing and joking in their local dialect. We soon found they would be our workmates, and the blacksmith’s would become a familiar place to call. I had just met Helen the day before, at the land Army hostel outside the village. Now in our dungarees, jumper, coat and stiff new boots, we were on our way to our first day’s work. I was eighteen when the war started, and Bob my boyfriend, later husband, was twenty when he was called up. Because I missed him, and wanted to do something to help, I joined the Land Army, so here I was walking in the dark into an experience that left a lasting impression on my life.

    A mile later, away from the shelter of the hills, we looked for our farm but could only find a barn and sawmill. The snow had soaked our legs, and the wind bit through our clothes, as red nosed and shivering we approached some men, who paused to stare in amusement. One asked ‘Ist tha land lasses? His blue eyes twinkled in his ruddy face as he assessed our discomfort, ‘Best find you an indoor job,’ he said and led us into the long, high barn, filled with ‘chop,’ a mixture of hay and straw for horse fodder. We knew we were lucky to have shelter, and our spirits rose as the work, filling hundredweight sacks, warmed us and dried our clothes. We looked out of the window at the fields covered in snow, the sun rising and sparkling in the tree tops, stroking the other side of the valley with it’s golden lustre. This turned out to be one of the coldest Januarys of the war, but in youthful optimism we sang as we worked, and talked of our town lives. Just two days ago Helen had worked in a factory, and I’d been in an office.

    Soon we felt hungry, and looked at our lunch boxes. They were big and strong, but our dismay would be hard to imagine when we found their meagre contents. Thin sandwiches of paste and jam, and a square of sponge cake. It was only half past nine and we were ravenous, breakfast was a distant memory as we’d left the hostel at 7 am., and our next meal wasn’t due until 6pm. We nibbled a little, then in a quieter mood resumed our work of filling sacks. After another two hours we tried to straighten our aching backs. The shovels felt heavy in our blistered hands, there was straw and hayseeds in our hair, and they itched under our clothes. We needed the toilet, but couldn’t contemplate asking the men where it was, we guessed much of their laughter was already at our expense. Noon came, and Jack called to us, he said he’d take us to his home across the fields. We trudged across the ice to a terrace where he lived with his wife and family of five children. Though he’d worked all morning in sub-zero conditions he was warm and energetic, and introduced us proudly to his wife, a good humoured and confident lady who welcomed us hospitably. Soon we were sat round a table by the fire with rounds of bread and fried eggs on our plates. The laughing chattering children, faces glowing in the warmth of the fire, were a contrast to the cold of our morning’s experience in the barn.

    Jack was a ‘hind,’ in charge of the horses, some of which came to the stables for a rest after working in the forestry side of the business, others came for breaking in. His ‘Boss’ lived with his family in the ‘Home Farm’ on the other side of the river. He was a rich man who drove a hard bargain and worked his men hard, but never asked them to do a job he wouldn’t do himself. He’d had a hard life, which toughened him and sharpened his wits. Born illegitimate, into poverty, he acquired a run down horse and did odd jobs. When the horse’s condition improved, he sold it and bought another, and so his business progressed to include land, forestry, saw mills, quarries and aggregates. He watched his workers through binoculars and sacked those who didn’t come up to expectations. He was respected, but I hoped I wouldn’t meet him for a long time. The lunch hour passed too rapidly, and reluctantly we left, but glad of the invitation to call again. Our spirits lifted, we enjoyed the challenge of the biting wind as we crossed the ice hard fields past a group of huddled sheep as we returned to work. The filled sacks had been removed from the barn, and a larger pile of empty ones replaced them. The considerable hole we’d carved in the ‘chop’ had been filled, so once more we rolled up our sleeves and started to shovel.

    As time went on, though the cold persisted, we came to enjoy our morning walks through the village. Though early, it was always busy, and we waved to the men at the blacksmiths, and laughed at their wolf-whistles. Our hands roughened, and backs strengthened, but we got bored filling bags of chop, this wasn’t what I’d thought I’d joined the Land army for. Then, one day Jack said I was to go to the stables with him. I’d expected rows of loose boxes, with horses heads looking over to see who’d come in, I’d imagined they would whinny softly to Jack who fed and cared for them, but my illusions were shattered by two rows of huge buttocks. It was a windowless building with a central concrete path, flanked by lines of huge restless flanks and shuffling hooves. I followed Jack through the dimness to the far end of the building, dwarfed by those strong hindquarters, and horribly conscious of the proximity of those hooves. I was shown the box of chop and oats, Jack measured an amount then slapped a horse on the rump. As it clip clopped to one side, he walked between it and the partition of it’s stall to put it’s food in a manger. That, he said, was all I had to do, and sweep up the muck into a barrow, then dump it outside on the heap. He went to do some other jobs and said he’d be back soon. It seemed simple, so with a measure of feed I approached the first horse and clapped it on the rump. It didn’t move. Another slap, and no response. ‘Move over’ I said, but it was deaf. I tried squeezing through, but it shifted it’s bulk to block my way and lean on me. As I squeezed out fast it stamped it’s hoof just missing my toes. The other horses sensed the situation and became restless too, tails swished and heads strained against their halters, I didn’t fancy my chances with any of them! I thought of the milkman’s horse back home, a sweet little thing, I’d had rides in the float as a child. With fresh determination I approached another horse and slapped it as hard as I dared. A horse further down the line lashed out with both feet, I’d never seen anything like that before, the speed was incredible. If I’d been behind it I would have been a skinful of splinters. Somewhat shaken I appealed to the awkward monster, ‘Oh come along, do move over, I’ve got your food for you.’ An unrestrained chuckle from the doorway surprised me, I turned to see a fat little man with a round face and a horseshoe embroidered down his shirt front, and I guessed I had met '‘The Boss.' ‘T bloody hoss canna understand thee,’ he boomed, ‘Dey it like this.’ He walloped the rump and shouted ‘Git up yer great bugger,’ and the horse clip clopped to one side. ‘Dey it that way,’ he yelled at me. In his dynamic presence one had no choice but to obey, I whammed the horse and bellowed 'Git up yer great bugger' with instant success. He watched me feed three more horses then left, highly amused and chuckling gleefully. That was the worst swearword I’d used in my life.

    I worked around the stables for a few more days, odd jobs, cleaning, and taking the horses out to drink at the water tank. Most were large shire horses, resting from their gruelling work in the forests. They were not trusting, or to be trusted, they would kick, bite, and stamp. Jack’s job, caring for them and doctoring them was dangerous, and I was relieved when the next week I was told to report to the Home Farm. Though we were in the heart of the country, it was only forty miles from where most of us lived on the industrial coast. So, if we had our bus fares there was just time to get home after our Saturday morning work then return to the hostel for Sunday evening.

    I would usually go to see Jack’s family on my way back from home and sit by the fire in their kitchen, watching the younger children getting washed in the tin bath. The fire heated an oven on one side and a boiler on the other, which was filled by the oldest girl carrying water in a jug from the kitchen tap. When it was hot, the water was drawn off from a tap near the base. After the baby was bathed, and dried on a towel warmed on the oven, he was cuddled by one of us whilst the next youngest was bathed then handed to someone whilst the next was done. It was strange too see Jack who was so tough with the horses, gently nursing his children, their little arms wrapped around his neck, and kissing his rough red cheeks. After the children had gone to bed the rest of us had supper. This was a grand meal as Sunday was baking day. There was meat tart, prune pie, custard tart and delicious home made bread. We relaxed, laughed and talked about the week, then Jack’s wife would walk me back to the hostel, whatever the weather.

    The hostel was a busy place on Sunday nights, girls came back in all sorts of moods some were glad to have seen their boyfriends, and some were home sick. The building was L shaped, one arm was a dormitory with forty beds, the other, was the recreation and dining area, each was heated by a coke burning stove at each end. The dormitory was partitioned, we slept in bunks, two pairs to each partition, with a wardrobe, chest of drawers, and a mirror. The recreation area had some chairs around the stoves, and there were long tables and chairs in the dining room. The cook was a young lady from the village, and our evening meals were plain but filling. It was our lunch boxes that weren’t so good. It was alright if we got cups of tea and something to eat from the farmers during the day, but otherwise, the few meagre sandwiches weren’t enough to see us through.

    Beyond the kitchen, lived the warden, what luxury! Carpets, tasteful furnishings, and curtains. How easy for those privileged women to be pleasant, it seemed to us too nice a job to be classed as war work. At the end of the dormitory was the ablution area, toilets, basins, baths, sink for washing clothes, and a large hand-wringer with wooden rollers. There was no hint of luxury within the building, but we were glad to gather round the stoves for warmth on winter evenings, whilst those who had the energy could play table tennis.

    In the summer we would lie on our bunks and read, or write letters to our boyfriends in the forces. We didn’t argue much, and were a hardworking lot. We elected a head girl each term to deal with ideas and complaints, and mediate with the warden. There were never many complaints, for Britain was at war. Our loved ones were away fighting for us, and our families at home lived with the fear of being bombed. Their nights were often spent in air raid shelters, and there were shortages and rationing. We knew that Britain needed every man and woman to do their utmost to help our armed forces and keep industry moving, and higher food production was necessary to keep it all going.

    This is a extract from my Mother's Land Army memorys.

    Steve Orwin



    Rita May Field

    I live on a sheltered housing scheme and recently got to know Rita Knight....nee Rita May Field. She was born in Sydenham in 1927 and joined the Women's Land Army as soon as she was eligible. I have a particular interest in recording the memories of these gallant older ladies who served our country during wartime. Rita gave me a list of some of the women she remembered serving with. They are: John Bagley, Olive Brown, Sheila Catcheside, Doris Chamberlain, Mary Coldham, Emily le Berre, Ella Olinski, Ethel Quin, Doreen(Rusty)Reynolds, Vera Robbins, Tina Robinson, Marian Smith, Clifford Walters, and Audrey Washington. Rita was stationed in Worcester and stayed in a hostel, not on a farm, towards the end of the war (1944-45 or thereabouts.) The area she served in was known as The Tything. She would love to hear from anyone who served with her.

    Jo Mary Stafford



    Phyl Wardale

    My mother, Phyl Wardale, was warden of both WLA (Women's Land Army) hostels in Wendy & Sawtry, England in the late 1940s. As her young daughter, I lived in the hostels with her. I remember it being very exciting for a small child and the landgirls were brilliant to me. I can remember several names, but would love to hear from anyone who would be interested in getting in touch.

    Lyn Taylor



    Irene Sanderson

    Irene joined the WLA in May 1943 two weeks after her 16th birthday. She was sent from Sheffield to March in Cambridgeshire. When she arrived she was sent to stay with a Mrs. Wellum (a very religious lady) before being moved to a hostel in the High St. which had once been a furniture shop. She did general farm work; everything from taking the bull to the cows to harvesting turnips of which there was an awful lot. She ate a lot of beetroot sandwiches and learnt a lot about life. Despite a few health scares, Irene is well and happy and living with her husband, Arthur, in Sheffield.

    Lynn Brown



    "Titch" Brunton

    I am trying to help my mother locate one of the land girls her mother worked with. All I know is her name was Titch Brunton. I don't know where her mother served or any more information, her mother won't give her any information at all and has always been very secretive about her war years.

    Tori Law



    Margerate Alice Elphee

    I am contacting you about my Mother who was in the Land army during world War Two. She died Eighteen years ago, and I and my Father and family think it is disgusting that only surviving Land Army Girls can claim the badge of recognition. I tell my family all i can remember about my mothers efforts to put food on the tables during the war.about how they would have starved to death themselves if it wasn't for the generousity of the American superfortress base nearby. Obviously there won't be many survivers to claim the badge which will make the whole project a lot cheaper for the government.Sounds about right! Cheapskates! What a way to insult the Dead heroes to whom we owe so much.

    Martyn S. Rowling



    Iris Young

    My mother Iris Young served in the Womens Land Army from the 9th February 1946 to 19th March 1948, she left to get married, is there anybody out there who remembers her, i am looking for any old photos of my mother when she was in the WLA. Would love to know where she was stationed while she was in the WLA, any stories about her life then. I do know she met my father while they were both in the Army.

    Diana Gardner



    Ruby Phylis McClusky

    My nan Irene May Bridge (nee Mullins) is collecting her medal next month for her service in the Land Army (Henlow Grange). Afternoon tea has been arrange at Henlow Grange (now a Champneys Hotel) with a small ceremony to collect her award from the Mayor of Bedfordshire. I have been asked by members of the family if I can find out about her friend Ruby Phylis McClusky. I have very few details but would appreciate any help, advice orinformation anyone can supply. The lady I am looking for is Ruby Phylis McClusky born 15/03/1930. Her last known address in 1947 was 59 Henchman Street, Old Oak Estate, East Acton, London W12. I believe that she married in the 1st Qtr of 1951 in Ealing to Cyril K Bailey. I have no further information. If you think you can help, please email me. Look forward to hearing from someone!!

    Sharon Hooper



    Irene May Mullins

    My nan Irene May Bridge (nee Mullins) is collecting her medal next month for her service in the Land Army (Henlow Grange). Afternoon tea has been arranged at Henlow Grange (now a Champneys Hotel) with a small ceremony to collect her award from the Mayor of Bedfordshire.

    Sharon Hooper



    Dorothy May "Dolly" Tanser

    My Mum was in the land army and I remember her telling me about the baby mice that would geting her hair and how she would tuck her pants into her socks to stop the mice running up her legs. She is my hero.

    Lesley Veale



    Anne Grace May Munday

    Anne Munday (now Brooks) I am writing on behalf of my mother Anne. She served in the Women's Land Army from 1942-45. She was posted to Hertfordshire, to Bennington House. My mother is now 93 and as sharp as a tack. She has numerous photos of her days in the Army taken with friends she made while living and working there. I know she would love to hear from anyone who was there at the same time she was. My mother lives in Tasmania Australia.

    Jan Mansfield



    Bridget Thornton

    My Mother served in the Land Army and was stationed in North Devon. I believe she resided in Instow at some point. Unfortunately she has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimers Disease. We are planning a family 'get together' in the area during September of this year when she will be 80. Is there anyone out there who perhaps remembers her as a lively young girl who was absolutely thrilled to be in Devon and I know she loved every minute of her time in the WLA. I know that she often drove a busload of gals around. She left when she was diagnosed with TB. Her married name is Pankhurst

    Patricia Titmarsh



    May Phaby

    I served in the Land Army for nine years in Cornwall from 1941 to 1950, when it disbanded. We had a review at Penzance by the Late King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. This was a great occasion in our Land Army lives, an unforgettable time.

    I was mostly employed on dairy farms around West Cornwall. I still have my original badge,armlets,certificates and of course a lot of photographs. I would love to meet up with any former Land Girls who knew me to share our memories. My Land Army number was 39311 which I remember as clear as a bell.

    I feel that all the Land Army girls helped to feed the nation, some even losing their lives, especially on the east coast. I continued in dairy farming up until the sixties when I married an ex-farmer, John Lawley.

    May Phaby



    Phyllis Mildred "Philly, Milly or Chilly" Chilcott

    My mother's early atempts to join the Land Army were thwarted, they would'nt take her! she was too young!! But after eventually joining up towards the end of the War and spending many happy times based near Brent Pelham it has to this day shaped and defined her life. With a life long love of nature and cows! On the occasion of her 80th Birthday we had a family gathering at the Pub in the village where she was based, for lunch. During those 'happy times'(aside from the sadness, horror,s and futility of war) she spent many an evening in this pub playing the piano and having her drinks lined up (a small line, it was the war after all!), and having a life long love of Whiskey! (in a responsible moderate drinking sort of way!) She still keeps in contact with a fellow 'girl' Vera, who now lives near Kings Lynn. Having finally been recognised for their efforts by the powers that be, in the form of a Service Medal and after having marched past the Whitehall Cenotaph and now more recently the memorial to all those 'women who served', and with probably being one of the youngest remaining Land girls thankfully surviving, she and I could'nt be more proud of her doing her bit.

    Martin Daniels



    Megan George

    My Mum Megan George served in the Land Army during the war and I have a photograph of her in her uniform. All I know is that she was on a farm in Leicestershire and that she had a really good time whilst there. The work was hard but the girls had fun. My Mum died in 1973 at the young age of 52 years but I would love to hear from anyone who may have more information as to where she was stationed and what are their recollections of her.

    Diane Dickins



    Mavis Lindsay

    My dear friend Mavis will be 80 next year. She immigrated to Canada in 1947, and lost all documentation regarding her service in the Women's Land Army. She served in Selsey, Sussex, I believe until she left for Canada in early 1947. I would love to find some connection to the WLA for her, possibly even a person who remembers her.

    Martha Gandier



    Millicent Byrom Penman

    My aunt Millicent Byrom Penman was in the Womens Land Army during the last war. She came from Lanarkshire in Scotland. If anyone remembers her I would love to hear from you, thank you.

    Margaret Huntley



    Anne Edith Louvain Older

    My aunt, Anne Edith Louvain Older , who died in 1999, served in the Women's Land Army from 24/07/1942 until 30/11/1950.

    She used to tell us many stories of her time during the war and when we cleared her little flat after her death I found some memorabilia.

    I found your web site to be most interesting and I know she would have loved to read all the memories, unfortunately we only got our first pc after her death and so she never saw these. I know that for part of her service she was on a farm in Sussex at Pevensey belonging to Mr. Knight where she was billetted with a Mrs. Churcher and she was also in Devon near Tiverton. We live quite near to Pevensey and I think the farm has long gone and been built upon.

    Carol Boorman



    Mary Wainwright

    My mother, Mary Wainwright, was in the Land Army during the 2nd World War. I have photographs of her on the farm and with the horses. I believe she was with a farmer and his family in the Yorkshire Dales. Sadly she died in 1976.

    Ann Spowart



    Gladys Letton

    My mother was from Bristol and talked so much of her time in the W.L.A. Her sister remembers her being away a lot, but we only have one picture of her in uniform. Please help. Can anyone remember her?

    Carol Economides



    Mary "Mollie" Frank

    Mary Frank on the right

    My Mother, who's maiden name was Mary Frank was in The Women's Land Army, working for Mizens market gardeners at one of their farms on Reigate Road, Surrey. She now only has just a few recollections of that time, but prompted by the recent pre-publicity surrounding the issue of the Women's Land Army Badge, she wrote the following article which was published in the Western Morning News:

    Land Girl badges

    A few weeks ago you published an article about the Land Army Girls receiving a badge. I would very much like to receive one. I was a Land Girl on a farm near Epsom in Surrey, directly in the path of the German bombers to Biggin Hill aerodrome.

    Unfortunately I got blown up by the first "doodlebug" dropped and lost hearing in one ear. As it was on soft soil the rest of me was OK! But nearby houses were demolished, and we were subjected to a lot shrapnel from own nearby guns.

    If anyone can help me get the badge I would be very pleased. I am now 88 years old. My Land Girl Headquarters was at Guildford Surrey.

    Mary Stidston

    In fact when the bomb landed they all rushed to help the families in the houses hit, a difficult task I am told. She was covered in blood and a ambulance crew wanted to take her to hospital, but she wouldn't go. As it happens she was only suffering from a heavy nose bleed. So she cycled home to Banstead where her mother had heard about the bomb. But as she walked through the door her mother saw all the blood and immediately feinted!!

    I would point out that we have now submitted an application for a badge for her.

    Mary is on the left in this photo

    Mary is at the front, far left.

    It would be interesting to see if anyone else will recognise themselves in the photos.

    Robert Stidston



    Pauline Davis

    My mum, Pauline Davis, was in the Land Army, WW2. As far as I know she worked at a farm or place called Breedon, I think it was a poultry unit. I would love to hear from any ladies who remember her or the place.

    Michael Baddeley



    Margaret Clark

    My name is Margaret Clark and I served in the Land Army between 1945 and 1948, firstly on the Home Farm in Pembrokeshire run by John Bennion and then on the Old Moor Farm near Bothal in Northumberland run by Mr J Hine. I would very much like to hear from anyone who who also worked on these farms. I would also like to march on the Remembrance Day Parade and would be very grateful if I could get any advice as to how I would go about this.

    Margaret Clark



    Jill Elizabeth Bennet Neame

    My mother served with the Land Army. Her name was Jill Elizabeth Bennet Neame.

    I would love to hear from or of anyone that might have known her.

    Wendy Underwood



    Bella Sutherland Murray

    A few memories as told by my Mother, Bella Sutherland Campbell (nee Murray). Mum joined the Land Army in 1939. She first worked at Shandon Farm, Croftamie, Scotland. The farm belonged to a Mrs Orr and Mum refers to the farm as “McKinley’s Farm”. Next she worked at Major Kirkwood’s farm at Darnly Mains, Thornlybank, near Renfrew, Scotland and then at Mc Causlin’s Farm, (not the correct spelling), Kirkmichael, Helensburgh, Scotland. Mum met her husband, William “Willie” Jack and married on the 25 December 1941. For a time thereafter she worked at “Sannie” Simpson’s Garden Centre, Helensburgh before she left the Land Army. A magazine during the 50’s/60’s featured Mum in an article entitled “When Miss Murray Talks About Farms She Talks About Calves”. Mum thought the article might have appeared in the Country Life magazine.

    Carol Nicolls



    Gertrude Smith

    I am trying to get service details on my mother, Gertrude Smith, about her service in the WLA. She married an American sailor in Exeter in 1946 so she must have served nearby. I only know she worked on a farm with other girls.

    James Smith



    Eleanor "Norah" Durie

    I was stationed at Bemersyde House during the war. As a member of the Scottish Womens Land Army I was 19 when i joined. I remember having my 21st Birthday at Bemersyde.

    Norah Johnston



    Joan Catherine Flynn

    My mother was in the womens land army in the late 1940s as she ha now passed I would love to know if anyone may still remember her .

    Fran Hill



    Joyce Mildred Iris Barker

    My name is Joyce Barker, and my daughter is typing this for me in Hampshire, and I'm living in St.Austell, Cornwall now, and we're doing this via a telephone. Kathleen Strong, was my best friend, we took a day off from work and went to Birmingham, where we saw a lorry full of land army girls in bales of hay with a fork in their hand. We liked the uniform so much, Kath and I said, thats it we're going to join up. We went to the cart and asked them what we had to do, and we went and joined up straight away. We had to wait to three weeks. The place they sent us to was a hostel in Small Heath, Dudley. We think there was about 30 other girls there too. The next day we went on a lorry to a farm and we went potato picking, our first day, very hard work. Other days we went thrashing, fruit picking and sprout picking, we got frost bite through sprout picking and had to go hospital, off sick for about a week.

    We loved our nights out at the local dance and the pub. The pub was called the Yew Tree with a big dance hall at the back. I've got some really funny tales of our dances and doing the jitterbug! We went to an RAF station dance, the whole hostel was invited. We went on a lorry! Next day, after the vaseline had worn off from our faces from the good sleep, back to work again! I drove a tractor and a milkround, milking cows, this was at Chadersley Corbett at 5 o.clock in the morning!

    Joyce Barker



    Letitia Maguire

    I am trying to find details of my mum, Letitia (Letty) Maguire, who died in 1950, aged 24, when I was 11 months old. She lived in the Rotherham area, possibly Wickersley and I know she became a Land Girl, and married Ken Depledge at Wickersley church in 1946 but have no other details. Her parents were Hannah and Robert Maguire, and her stepfather was Ted Pollard. Please contact me if you can tell me how to find out anything more about her time in the Land Army,

    Christine Cook



    Florence Docie Bray

    My mother was in the Womens Land Army from 26 June 1944 until 8 March 1947. We have recently found details of this and a pesonal message signed by HM The Queen as my mother passed away on 1 July 2008. Her Number was 146332.

    C.R.A. Wellings



    Myrtle Lucy Davies

    Myrtle Davies was a Landgirl at Catsley Farm Kinlet in South Shropshire, She was recently awarded a badge to mark Landgirls contribution to the war effort, not before time I might add!, sadly Myrtle died the day before her badge arrived, so she never saw it. To continue her landgirl story, she never went home after her service, she married the farmer,s son, Geoffrey Griffiths. I am researching my family history, and I am struggling to find anything about the landgirls of South Shropshire, Myrlte and Geoffrey are my cousin, sadly both deceased now. I have a write-up, from the local paper, for Mrylte when she died, I will email it to you. I am also searching for anything on the Home Guard in South Shropshire, as my Father, John William Hulme was Lt. Hulme in Cleobury Mortimer Home Guard, South Shropshire. Any help in either case will be gratefully recieved.

    Gill M. Hulme



    Patricia Avrylle Trickey

    Mother, Pat Trickey served in the land army. I believe she worked for a Col Hillhead. If anyone remembers her. I would love to hear from them.

    Glynis Holloway



    Thelma "Tina" Green

    My mother, Thelma Green, joined the land army and was stationed in Pallington Dorset, I can vaguely remember the stories she told and her smile when she told me the locals called her Tina though I dont know why. Sadly my Mum has been passed away some years now but I would love to hear from anyone who may have known her or been in Pallington at the same time which I believe was around 1948 as she served six years. It would be wonderfull if someone could tell us some stories of that time as knowing my Mum there must have been some good ones. Thank ou

    C Jones



    Gladys Emberson

    Miss Gladys Emberson was my grandmother,since she past away I have been searching through old family photos and have found a photo of her in 'Land army' uniform. I have spoken to various family memberswho have confirmed that she served in WW2. If you could help me with any other information about her and her service I would be very very greatful. Thank you

    Lucy Green



    Elizabeth "Betty" Wharton

    I served at Springwell Farm. Washington. County Durham. I can remember moira and olive though their last names escape me.I also served in the Agricultoral College in County Durham.i served from 1945 to 1950

    Elizabet Newstead



    Patricia Mclaughlin

    I am trying to find out about my Mother's time in the Land Army. My Mother died when I was young and my Father not long after so it is proving difficult finding things out. Her name was Patricia Mclaughlin and she lived in Birmingham at the time of the war.

    Patricia Allen



    Sylvia Beecham

    My mother-in-law served with the Land Army in the Sheffield area during Second World War. Mum is now 82 and her memory is not as sharp as it used to be. She as asked if I could try to contact someone, so that is what I am trying to do.

    Her name was Sylvia Beecham and I think she served her time in Derbyshire. She lived in Sheffield but left there to join up.

    Thanks for your time look I look forward to hearing from anyone who remembers mum as she has never been in contact since the end of the war.

    Martin Drinkwater



    Audrey Marika Hope

    My mum, Audrey Marika Hope from Cottingham, was a Land Army Girl stationed at Southella Dairy Farm East Yorkshire & Anlaby. If there is someone out there who would remember my mum, she would be pleased to hear from you.

    Jennifer Angell



    Patricia Mclaughlin

    I am trying to find out about my Mother's time in the Land Army. My Mother died when I was young and my Father not long after so it is proving difficult finding things out. Her name was Patricia Mclaughlin and she lived in Birmingham at the time of the war.

    Patricia Allen



    Evelyn Holland

    My Mother Evelyn Holland served in the Land Army at Detling. She often talks of the time she spent there. Did anyone else serve there or is related to someone who did? She would be very interested.

    Kate Cornwall



    Ellen Hicks

    I was in the Land Army from 1946 until 1948 in Dorset, in a hostel called Woodyates. During the terrible winter of 1946/47, we didn't work for 3 months, but just sat around in the hostel or played ping pong or darts! We had a small coal fire in the bedroom, and were allowed one bucket of coal per day! We used to take it in turns to creep down the cellar and steal some more. One night somebody got caught by the warden and she made us take all the hot coals off the fire as a punishment! There were no carpets on the floor so we filled all the gaps with newspaper. What a winter that was, but it was followed by the longest, hottest summer on record. I wonder if anybody remembers Woodyates?.

    Ellen Hicks



    Maida Jane Lewis

    My mum, Maida Jane Lewis, was in the Land Army. She worked for Mrs Bennion at Home Farm, Stackpole in Pembrokeshire. It seems to me that those who lived through such times should be able to share whatever are their feelings, no matter how insignificant they may think they are, to benefit those who still survive and those wanting to remember.

    Bobby Phillips



    Jessie Mary Russell

    I met my late wife, Jessie Mary Russell, from Glasgow, at a dance held in HMS Dundonald while I was in the Royal Navy in 1945. Jessie was working on a farm as a Land Girl, near Craigie, Kilmarnock, Scotland.

    We used to meet by me taking a bus to Kilmarnock and Jessie, after a long walk/run to the end of the road, catching a bus to Kilmarnock to meet me there. Sometimes she managed to borrow a bike and leave it at a smallholding near the bus stop with friends she had made.

    We used walk back to the farm at the end of the evening, picking up the bike on the way, until I was posted to the Far East.

    I would love to go back to the farm but unfortunately I cannot remember the name of the farm or the owners. The only thing I remember was that between the main road and the farm there was a creamery on the left and the farm was on the right. I went to the area earlier this year but although I managed to find the old Naval base I could not identify the farm.

    If anyone remembers Jessie I would love to hear from them.

    Danny Sinclair



    Joan Smithson

    My late mother was in the Women's Land Army with the no 42884. Her name at the time was Joan Smithson and came from Bootle in Liverpool and was 18 when she joined up in Lancs.

    She was transferred to Salop on the 7th of July, 1941, resided in a hostel in Shrewsbury and worked at Wellington farm Eyton.

    I have several pictures of mother with other Land Girls and at work on the farm including one of mother and another Land Girl feeding the cows with the Minister of Agriculture Mr R S Hudson watching during a visit to Shropshire. This picture and a write up appeared in the Wellington Journal and Shrewsbury News May 16th 1942.

    I have my mother's Tie , Armband and Badge. I also have my mother's release card and letter from the County Secretary of Shropshire, 66 Abbey Forgate, Shrewsbury granting mother's discharge on account of marriage. Mother served from 18/04/1941 to 30/06/1945.

    Derek Evans



    Sheila Farrel

    My mother-in-law was in the Land Army in Suffolk. Her name was Sheila Farrel, originally from Luddenden Foot near Halifax West Yorkshire.

    She has just had her 84th birthday and it would be nice to collate some info together for her. Can anyone help?

    Mike Drewery



    Rachel Rodgers

    My mother, Rachel Rodgers, joined the Land Army, possibly around 1947. She was billeted at a horticultural school near Oxford.

    Paul Bullen



    Ruth Brookes

    I served in the Land Army in 1944 - at Blairdrummond, Perthshire. I was staying in Bankhead House. I would like to hear from anyone who remembers me then.

    Ruth Brookes



    Mary Connell-Jarrett

    My mother kept detailed diaries of her time in the land army which run to 3 volumes from her filling in her application to join 19th September 1939 following the declaration of war only 16 days earlier. She started training at Wye College Kent learning poultry work and after finishing training in December 1939 had to wait until February 1940 to commence work at Pluckley Kent with the English Flax company where she worked until 1941 (not sure of date as this year her diaries aren't always filled in towards the end of her Land Army days)She then joined the WAAF (more money and better conditions I believe) as a RT operator and became a LACW she often talked about some of the raids she was involved with but these aren't noted down in the smaller diaries she kept I presume because of the secrecy of some of thes missions. She met my father who was a bomber armourer and the rest they say is history!! The Land Army diaries are full of the films they went to see, food of the time newspaper cuttings, photoes from Picture Post including one of herself, there is even a detailed account of a night time air raid on Stanley Park Road, Carshalton Beeches, Surrey on Sunday 11th may 1941. She was sat in an anderson shelter in the garden and wrote her diary as the raid happened culminating with the point at which they decided to return to the house and then they wer almost swept of their feet so sat tight unti they heard the all clear at which they discovered the back of their houe had disapeared just as if a knife had sliced of the back of the house all the beds and pictures still in place. She notes that "London is burning what is there to come and what will happen to us?" I have her enamel badge, felt armband, tie and these diaries. I would be happy to share the contents with anyone to who they would be useful I do not at present wish to part with them as they are part of my family history. My mother died in 1994

    Mrs Rosemary Smith



    Susan Chalmers Tait

    I served on the Black Isle at Jemimavile Cromarty, working on the land, also in Inverness, and Edinburgh, and back to the Black Isle, some names I remember are, Mary Macpherson, Ella O'Neal, Reena Blair, Eadie Sommerville,and Susan Shields, are you still around would love to know

    Robert Macdonald (son)



    Rose Elizabeth Horner

    Miss Rose Horner, 94 in January 2008, was the lifetime companion of my Great Aunt Anne Yenuzaites who sadly died a few years ago. Auntie Rose and Auntie Annie, as I knew them as a child, served in the Land Army together somewhere in Essex. I don't know the exact dates and Rose can't remember them now (or where they worked). I asked her if she would like to apply for the medal but she doesn't want to, saying there's no point as she "Doesn't go out anymore." She has some funny tales about lack of food (mean farmers wives), declining to go to dances with US servicemen so that they could use the bathroom while the other girls were out(!), and sneaking away because they couldn't take it any more. I have a photograph of them in a group of landgirls but it is small so probably won't scan very well. If you would like to see it, let me know.

    Catherine Spratt



    Anne Selman

    My Mum, Anne Selman, served in the Land Army in England towards the end of WW11. She trained as a nurse afterwards, and emigrated to New Zealand. She subsequently married a Kiwi, and had 5 children. She's still alive, although has very advanced Alzheimers Disease. If anyone can remember meeting, or serving with Anne, or if she worked on a farm you know of, I'd be most interested, and delighted, to hear. Please contact me.

    Sue Lindsay



    Rita Katherine Watts

    I am writing for my mum, who served in the WLA.She would love to know if any of her old pals are still with us. She was stationed at Lee on Solent, Hampshire, at Privet farm and Chester lodge. She is 86 and very proud of her new medal. She is in good health and is making a trip to Australia Oct 08. Her maiden name was Rita Watts, she would be very interested in any information regarding any land girls in the Lee on Solent area.

    Paul Crumplin



    Jean Bennett Langtry

    My mum Jean Langtry(deceased)was in the Land Army but unfortunately I have no idea where she was posted but I do have some pics of her in uniform that I will look for and post at a later date she married my dad Jak Tennent in 1946.

    John Tennent



    Florence Irene Jones

    My late mother Flo Jones, served in the womens land army during WW2. All I know is that she worked on a farm somewhere near Hythe in Kent. If there is anyone who remembers her please get in touch.

    Peter Griffin



    Vera Margaret Cecilia "Vee" Byng

    My mother sadly passed away earlier this year, leaving few clues as to when she joined up or when she left the LA. I was born in April 1943, so it is reasonable to assume that she would have ceased working some months before! She married my father in 1939, and lived with him in Deal, Kent. He was in a Reserved Occupation throughout the war as a Chief Sanitary Inspector/ Acting Borough Surveyor for the local council, as well as being a captain in the Home Guard responsible initially for anti-gas precautions. He is occasionally mentioned in passing in a book on Deal at War. The marriage was not a happy one, for various reasons, and Mum hinted that this and a feeling that she should be doing "something" for the war effort contributed to her decision to join up. She worked at Solley's Farm at Ripple, just a couple of miles inland from Deal. Today it is well known for it's diversification into ice-cream making(delicious!) and running a farm shop. The same family still own and run the farm. Sadly, the generation that may have known my Mum have since passed on, and she was,unfortunately, strangely reticent about this chapter in her young life. About a year before she died she did tell me, however, that she always looked forward to the hearty farmhouse-style breakfasts which somehow overlooked the fact that food- rationing existed! On another occasion, for a dare, she sat on back of the farm's prize bull! The marriage finished soon after the War, and she remarried, becoming Vera Royle. Regrettably, she left no photographs,or other ephemera, of her work in the LA. She was widowed in the 1970's and eventually moved to a beautiful cottage in the Cotswolds. I'm hoping to visit the National Archives in the near future to see if I can trace her service record. I'll keep you posted. Ray

    Ray Woods



    Joyce Kathleen Sully

    My Mom Joyce Sully was in the Land Army in Devon and would love to hear from anyone who remembers her, please email me and I will pass on any messages.

    Jonathan Collis



    Jane Beattie Kelly

    My mother Jane Beattie Kelly served in the Women's Land Army at Dunalastair Gardens, Kinloch, Rannoch, Scotland from 1941-1944. Is there any way to find a record of her or any photos in an archive?

    Irene Kelly



    Cicely Adams

    I am trying to make contact with any other ladies that my mother-in-law served with in the Land Army. Her maiden name was Cicely Adams, married name Cicely Monk. Served around Watton-at-Stone, Hertfordshire.

    Suzie Monk



    Mary Bailey

    The attached photo of a group from the Womens Land Army taken around 1947 in Wales. The woman on the far right is my mother Mary Bailey.

    Mary joined the Women's Land Army shortly after the war 1947/48. She trained at Boncath, Carmarthen and worked at Crosshands, Llahndilo Wales. Mrs Lewis was the lady in charge of the Unit/Hostel where they were accommodated at the time.

    Mary recounted tales of working on the land lifting turnips and potatoes by hand, having a hard time of it from local farmers who took advantage of the cheap labour. She remembers her close WLA friends Betty Burridge and Dorothy Reece, also Dorothy's sister Olwyn, who lived at Llandilo or Monadilo. Emma Lowther was another close friend in the WLA and she had relatives near Durham.

    Mary married an RAF chap, Arnold Hall, they were married near Durham and went on to tour the world with the Royal Air Force. They live currently in retirement in Lytham St Annes and Mary celebrated her 80th birthday earlier this year.

    I would love to hear from anybody who might remember Mary or her pals in the WLA.

    Peter A Hall



    Joyce Burt

    I heard only a short time ago of this internet site and I am wondering if any of my friends and workmates have also been in touch with you. I was in the W.L.A. from the 10th of August 1942 until the 19th of January 1946. I lived at the Land Army Hostel in Little Hadham in Hertfordshire (Little Hadham Place).

    After leaving the Land Army I returned to my office work at Prices Candle Company in Battersea and in 1947 married my boyfriend who as a member of the Dutch Royal Navy had served during the war years with the British Navy. In 1949 we moved away to live in Holland where we are still living. I'm sorry to say I then lost touch with my wartime friends, but I suppose we were all busy building up our new way of life and bringing up our children.

    I often look back though to the years at Little Hadham and I hope to hold a little bit of contact with W.L.A. My maiden name was Joyce Burt.

    Joyce van der Veer



    Audrey

    Does anyone know of Audrey who worked at Kinns farm in Cranfield, Bedfordshire in the second World War as a land girl? Audrey worked on a farm run by John Kinns, the farm is at Wharley End, just on the edge of the airfield. The dates must have been around 1943 - 1945 sort of period. it was quite a small farm. Mostly arable I think. John Kinns lived with his wife and 5 children at Wharley End Cottage. The eldest son was called Peter Kinns. Is Audrey still alive? Sorry, but I do not know her surname.

    John Mortimer



    Phillipa

    I am looking for the Land Girl who worked on our farm at Kites Hall, Old, Northamptonshire during the Second world War. Her name was Phillippa; but, sadly, I do not have a surname. Hope someone might be able to help locate Phillipa.

    Caroline Hayward



    Sheila McKenzie Patterson

    My Mother, Sheila Patterson served in Scotland in the Women's Land Army, I don't know much more.

    Fred Robson



    Marion "Minnie" Chalmers

    My Mother-in-Law. Marion Chalmers, served with the Land Army in East Lothian, Scotland at a farm called Ballencrieff during the 1939-1945 war. She met my William Tait and they married in 1947. I would love to find out more about her time there. We have some photos of her, in uniform, and from the re-union they had many years later. I wonder if anyone who served with her are still around and remember her? My husband remembers only one surname of someone who served with her - Hood (possibly Bertha?).

    Ellen Tait



    Christine Daisy Lilly Brown

    Mick Brown



    Dora " " Moon

    I would like to know if anyone out there knew Dora Moon who served in the Land Army. She was my Mum but sadly died in 1964 when I was just 14 years old. She was just 40 years of age

    She was in the land army, but I'm not sure where and not sure when, probably in the early 40's, she was born in 1923 so would have been 17 yrs old in 1940. She lived in Hastings.

    I suppose this is a long shot but its worth a try. I have a home in France where I spend a lot of time, though go back to Hastings regularly, my dad still lives there but he is now losing his memory so have been unable to retrieve any info about mum. If anyone out there remembers Mum, I would love to hear from them.

    Christine



    Phyllis Everlyn Exler

    My mother Phyllis Exler served in the Land army down on a farm in the Chippenham area, Wilts. in the early part of the war milking cows, etc. My Mum is 90 now and we live in Australia. My mum still has photos of herself and other women working , milking cows.

    Paul Wilkins



    Marjorie Qualie

    My grandma, Marjorie Qualie is coming up to her 90th Birthday and I would love to find out more about her days in the land army. I know she went to work on a farm, I think in Haskayne. She was from Litherland and ended up marrying the farmers son (if I'm correct), my grandad, Edward Silcock.

    Rachel Whorton



    Mary Ethel Fleming

    I was stationed at Overton on Dee, Queensbridge Hostel, North Wales, 1945, I did general farm work, thrashing, apple picking, collecting eggs and potato picking, stooping the corn. We had to do the work as the men were away. 50 land girls where stationed there, I remember Meridith, Margaret Nickelson became my best friend and she came to stay with me in Blackburn when we were on leave and I stayed at hers in Lancaster, we used to go to the Floral Hall in Morecambe in our uniforms when we were on leave to do the jitter bug. I would love to hear from anyone who was stationed with me at the same hostel.

    Mary Ethel Werry



    Joan Gregory

    Vikki Gregory



    Elsie Ethel Pritchard

    This is a bit of sad tale. I'm trying to find out more about Elsie Ethel Pritchard (I think her christian name was Ethel, but she may have gone under the name Elsie). She joined the Land Army in July 1942, age 22, and resigned in March 1944 to have a baby. The baby was adopted. We believe that this baby is my uncle, and he has just found out (at the age of 65) that he was adopted. He is understandably completely shocked, and both his adoptive parents have died (it is thought that his adoptive father and his biological father are the same person).

    Elsie's address on the Land Army index card (from microfiche at National Archives) was in Bexley Heath, Kent. I believe she may have been serving in Shropshire. If anyone remembers Elsie (or Ethel) or can help with any information, please do get in touch.

    Joselyn



    Marie Smith

    Marion Winstanley



    Amelia Gertrude Bell

    I was 20 at outbreak of war in Sept.1939. My childhood sweetheart was quickly sent to Belgium as he was in the Territorial Army. He came home on a leave in April 1940 and we got married. We had five days together & he had to rejoin his regiment in Lille, Belgium. He was killed on the beaches of Dunkirk during the evacuation on May 28th 1940.

    The Blitz began in Sept & my home was blown up by a landmine. Moved to a flat also in Highbury & that too was damaged. I decided to get out of town so I went for a weekend stay with friends in Northamptonshire where I met up with a farmer berating the government because they had taken his farm workers as soldiers. He said he'd been offered a land army girl "what use would she be?" I asked him if he would take me on (not having ever been on a farm in my life) & he said he would.

    I returned to London, went to WLA HQs & said I would volunteer if I could go where I wanted. They said OK. That's how I started, in Northamptonshire, but this farmer turned out not to be of the best, he treated me as if I was male labour & I was working from 6am to 10pm on haymaking, harvesting, milking, foddering, muck carting etc. He sent me into the bull's pen to clean him out, a vicious looking animal, but for me, ignorance was bliss & I just pushed him around whilst cleaning the floor, even tweaking the ring in his nose! I had even been careful to shut the door so that he couldn't get out! He didn't touch me.

    He sent me up the fields to shepherd the sheep, not telling me there was a ram amongst them, but I soon found out when it butted me. One day he sent me with a scythe to cut the nettles down, how I ever came out of that with both legs I'll never know!!

    Fortunately after 2 months a WLA rep. came & promptly decided I should never be working under those conditions & I left that farm, but luckily I was taken on by another very nice farmer in the area. Even he sent me on the errand of getting a horse out of another farmer's field - as notified by the local postman - the horse, an ex-hunter, was frolicking with the mares there. Off I went, with a bowl of cowcake which I knew he liked with all the confidence in the world, but old Jack knew differently, having managed to get his head harness on & leading him to the break in the hedge he had got through, he promptly threw his head up, I went flying & off he galloped back to the mares - I swear he was laughing. But I didn't give up I tried again but no way, he just wouldn't budge this time & I had to return without him.

    Yes, it was hard work but I have never regretted it. My experiences were quite something, for a town girl, but as we all did, I got down to it. If I had my time again, I would have rather gone in with a crowd of other girls in billets, more fun & help, but it all worked out well, I was in with very good local people & eventually married a local chap. I found too that the locals accepted me very well as I was a worker amongst them, often helping other farmers when needed. I only had to retire upon the birth of my daughter, but afterwards still went on helping the locals. I am now nearly 90 years of age, have got my badge etc. not in the best of health but battling on.

    Millie Bell



    Irene Cook

    My mother, Irene Cook, died when I was 11 in 1963. I know she was in the WLA, as I recall she mentioned it when we were on holiday in Sussex just before she died. She also had a friend called Pam who was also in the WLA. I would like to find out more of her service and whether there is anyone out there who remembers her.

    Michael Pinchen



    Adelaide Dorcas "Tiny" Axford

    My dear Mum, Dorcas Axford was in both the land army and the ATS. She told me many stories when I was a child about those times and I wish I has taken notes so I could pass them on to my son. He absolutely adored her and was heartbroken when she died. Her Mum, my Grandma, Doris Axford ran a boarding house on Wyndham Street in Yoevil Somerset which was frequented by a lot of American service personnel. They all called her "Ma" and used to treat her very special often bringing her food supplies and treats from their base. They would marvel at the tasty meals she was able to make out of those supplies. Many kept in touch as did their families often sending parcels to my Mum and her sisters Ruth and Miriam. I wish I had kept records of those names. One I do remember was Elmer Treese or Treece. I wonder if there are any relations of these service men that remember their loved ones speaking of the Axford family from Yeovil? Also has anyone heard of Waldron Axford from the same family and his wife Kay? Any info would be so appreciated.

    Jacqueline Neilson



    Joan Frances Slater

    I am writing on behalf of my mother, Joan Chamberlain, she saw an article in the Peoples Friend magazine in November 2008 about the Land Army, she feels she might know some of the ladies in the photo on the top right hand corner, is it possible to find out where they are from? Mum lived in Cardiff, South Wales and served in the land army in Chepstow....Mount Ballam approx in 1947 for about 2 years. Mum was very excited with the service badge she received last year. Any information anyone can give us would be appreciated. Thank you.

    Linda



    Jessie Etheridge

    I would like to get in touch with WLA member Jessie Etheridge who lived with the Clarkes in Palmers Green before joining the WLA in 1941 or 42

    Lillian Clarke



    Doris Ethel Crawley

    My mother, Dot Crawley, was in the Land Army in Suffolk at Coleford Camp, near Bury St Edmunds. She was born in 1913 and is still alive. We are looking for her to be awarded the Land Army Medal.

    Susie Mason



    Jean Margaret Lowry

    My Mum, Jean Lowry joined the Land Army in 1939 and was based in Cheshire. She worked on the Duke of Westminster's farm and Lord Leverhulme's farm at Thornton Hough on the Wirral and around High Leigh, Cheshire. Please does anyone have any info about these farms and the people who worked there?

    Jane Steel



    Doreen "Bobby" Gill

    In 1940 I joined the W.L.A. only because I was too young for the armed forces. After threshing, hoeing and muck spreading I became a trifle disenchanted with the Land Army until I saw a note of the hostel board asking for volunteers for 'Cub-Excavating'. I immediately volunteered thinking it was to help rescue baby fox cubs. Imagine my astonishment when I found I was to drive an 8.1/2 ton excavator - and what's more I had to start it with a starting handle!! The object of the operation was to reclaim land for agriculture. Together with two other land girls and living in a gipsy style caravan we cleared and straightened many rivers thus allowing them to flow smoothly and for the land to drain again for cultivation. We worked with either 20 Italian or German P.O.W.'s who were accompanied with a 'ganger' and a very old guard, who both seemed to spend their time sleeping! It was hard work, but we worked hard and we played hard and we wouldn't have swapped the job for anything. One of the advantages was that we always seemed to be working near an Air Force camp and so were invited to their dances etc. I met my late husband at one of them - so it had its compensations!

    Doreen Green



    Patricia "Stevie" Stevenson

    Patricia (Stevie) Stevenson - Shenley Lodge Does anyone remember me, Pat "Stevie" Stevenson? I was billeted at Shanley Lodge, Ridge Hill, Barnet, Hertfordshire from 1945 to 1949. I joined when I was 17 yrs old. Although the work was hard, I had a great time and meet some fantastic people and made a lot of friends. Unfortunately, I have not kept in touch. I would so much like to hear for anyone who might remember me. Looking forward to hopefully hearing you Pat

    Julie King



    Joan Edith Davis (d.1943)

    I have been doing a little study on my relatives and have discovered that my aunt Joan served in the land army in Dorset, she was at Muston Farm, she stayed at the W.L.A Hostel in Piddletrenthide, i have found out from a letter she sent to my grandmother that she had a friend called Rene who apparently was like a second mum to her and looked after her. Unfortunately i never met Joan she was killed on the farm in a tragic accident whereby a trailer being driven by the farmer skidded and crushed her to death when she fell from it. Another girl Irene Cordier jumped clear, now Irene could be ' Rene' as stated in her letter. Maybe someone may have known any of these names before,or heard about the accident via their grandparents or mothers, I would really love to know.

    Janet Saward



    Doreen Kearney

    My mum Doreen Kearney, enlisted in the Land Army in 1942-1945, she's now 83 and still getting about ok. I love listening to the stories she used to tell me about the work and the social life at the weekends, my mum used to love to dance!.

    I am trying to trace a friend of my mothers, her name was Doreen Kerr and she lived in Carlisle, my mum used to stay over weekends at Doreens mums house and always was made welcome. If there is anyone reading this thread and knows Doreen please let me know as my mother would love to contact her again.

    My mum and others have been invited on the 4th of December to have tea at Northumberland hall by Sir John Riddell as part of service recognition during the war. Thank you and best regards to you all who served our country so well during the war.

    Carol Leightley



    Marie McHutchon

    I started work for the Benmore Forestry Commission at the age of 17, after leaving Dunoon Grammar School. In 1940 the Forestry Commission became the Women’s Land Army (FFG). I was married and became Mrs Kent in 1943 and had to resign from the Land Army when I moved to London. After the war I moved to Cornwall where I lived with my husband until he died in 1989. I have two children and 2 grandchildren. Since 2003 I have lived in Spain with my daughter, son in law and my grandson.

    Marie Kent



    Isabel Roberts

    My mum in law Isabel Melling (nee Roberts) received the Land Army Badge, on Friday 24.10.08 At Wigan Town Hall, in recongnition of the significant service she and her former land army and timber girls colleagues, gave. She was posted to Coedpoeth near Wrexham and was billeted at a local pub she recalls was name The Five Crosses, sadly she has lost touch with the two friends she recalls from those days and both have now passed away.

    Les Finch



    Phyllis Iddison

    I am trying to trace any information and/or photographs of my late mother-in-law Phyllis Iddison, she served in the Land Army during the Second World War. I do not know where was based but believe she came from Yorkshire. Any information would be gratefully received.

    Carole Caple



    Bertha "Betty" Williams

    My Mother served in the villages of Piddington and Quinton in Northamptonshire and would love to hear from anyone who served in the same locations, so we may share some information.

    Betty as she was known to all was billeted at Horton House Hostel, which were some converted stables with four beds to a room and not a very nice place to stay. The lights went out at 10 pm, so unless you had a torch, you could not even find your way to the bathroom. She worked at Church Farm, Piddington and later at Turneys poultry farm, Quinton.

    Church farm was run by Nobby Smith who was the bailiff and he was quite a character as he was very deaf and had loose fitting dentures that often shot out as he was speaking. The gamekeeper was Jack Whatton and he used to watch the land girls with a gleam in his eye, so most of them kept away from him. The local shepherd was Harold Fitzhugh and he was a vey kind man and looked out for Mum and her friends and she kept in touch with him for many years. She met her future husband Raymond Rogers alias "Wiskers" who also worked at Church farm and they got married in 1943 while he was on leave from the army.

    The work was very hard and long hours and you had very long walks to reach your workplace, one of which was an old run down farm called Chaney, which was very isolated and at the end of the day there was a long walk back in the dark, which was very unpleasant.

    Her next placement was Turneys poultry farm at Quinton Green where she plucked and prepared hundreds of chickens every day and by now she had left Horton Hostel and stayed with the Garner family in Hackelton.

    I recently paid a visit to the villages and both of the farms are still there, but non of the original barns, so they all look quite modern now. I tried to find Horton House Hostel as I understand that it is still there, but I am uncertain as to where it is situated. As far as I know they were stables belonging to the manor house.

    That's about as much as I can remember, but would love to contact or hear from anyone else that were on these farms and can remember my Mother or some of her friends, Rose, Mary, and Doris.

    Harry Rogers



    Edith Griffin

    My mother, Edie Griffin served in the Land Army during the war, down on a farm in Exeter. She still talks about it today, she is 84 and would love to hear of any of her friends from those days.

    Alison Truelove



    Irene Mary Byr

    I would dearly love to get in touch with any of my old chums who served with me in the Wainfleet area in 1946-47

    Irene Gostlow



    Ruby Jones

    Does any one remember Ruby? I think she was a farm in Cornwall, any details would be much appreciated.

    Anne Brokenshire



    Evelyn Margaret Frances Taylor Timber Corps

    My Mum, Evelyn Taylor joined the Womens Land Army when she was 18, all I know about that time is that she was billetted in a family house in Bath and worked sometimes in Bath but also in Bristol. She did mention that she was in the Timber Corp group and learnt to drive a tractor and used to chop down trees. When she met my Dad during her time in Bristol, she had a patch over one eye and her arm in a sling, I think she may have fallen from the tractor but not sure as she is no longer around to ask.

    I have two photo's of my Mum in her working uniform as well as one of her in a more official uniform. She also mentioned that she had a photograph taken for what she believed to be war time promotional footage but never got to see anything to do with that. I have looked at various websites with different stories from Land Army women but I haven't seen anything mentioned about the Timber Corp in Bath. I would love to hear from anyone who may have known my Mum or been stationed at the same place and get to hear their stories.

    Diane Frances Durrant



    Eileen Welply-Baldwin

    I was a land-girl based in Welshpool, Wales. Most of us lived on the farms where we took on all kinds of tasks, including hoeing, ploughing, turning hay, lifting potatoes, threshing, lambing and looking after poultry.

    Originally from Stoke-on-Trent, I joined the Women's Land Army in 1942 at the age of 17. I picked up potatoes and put them in sacks, I used to milk cows twice a day, and we had no machines to help us either and I used to drive the tractor, do ploughing, spread muck, and help farmers with the harvest. I used to have bread and butter with jam every day for lunch.

    One of my fondest memories is winning a bet with a friend to ride a pig through the village square. I was bet half a crown, which today would be worth about Ł1, that I could not stay on a pig's back in the main square for 10 minutes. I am very pleased to have received the badge of honour and even more pleased to be attending the Cenotaph parade on 12th October.

    Elieen Welply-Baldwin



    June Patrica Townsend

    My Mother June Patrica Townsend, was born in Petersfield, in Hampshire in June 1929. As a youngster I remember mum showing me a few photo's of her and a few other ladies serving with her standing around what might have been a tractor, but alot of years have passed since then so I could be wrong. I'm sorry to say that I am unable to find any of the photos that mum use to have it might be that they went missing whilst moving from one address to another.

    I did not know that the girls in the Land Army were sent off to different parts of the country, I always thought that mum would have been working on one of the farms that were in or near Petersfield. I am not sure but I think mums younger sister may have also been in the Land Army and her name was Zeena Mary Townsend.

    After reading about what the girls had to do and some of the conditions that they lived in has been quite a shock, and I have great respect for all they did for the country in time of war, and would like to say thank you to all who served. Mum died in 2006, but I would love to hear from anyone who knew her.

    Martin Mackett



    Winifred "Penny" Sheppard

    My Mum, Penny Sheppard, joined the Land Army and her Hostel was at Kingham, Nr Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire. She once worked at Blenhiem Palace. She worked at many different farms. She's often spoken fondly of the enjoyable times as well as the bad, like girls crying from the cold when brussel sprout picking out in the fields. She didn't think much of any of the farmers she worked for. She said they were all very mean. They apparently paid ten shillings (50p) a day for a Land Girl. In fact she said the POW's did better for food than she did. Even in Summer with double summer time they'd be doing the harvesting and all the farmers gave them (because they were supposed so supply a tea when they worked late) was a cup of cold tea and one thin slice of bread and jam. Even if there was only 10 minutes to go before she'd finished work for the day the farmers would always find something for them to do, even if it was just clearing out a barn or sorting out string. Even if you were ill you had to do something, so normally if you were off sick and not sick in bed you were able to help prepare the food for the evening meal in the kitchen.

    She had some lovely times though, and meet some great friends in the Land Army. She also had some laughs with the Americans stationed nearby. She used to go to lot's of dances, and can even still remember some of the American's names. You got two rail passes every few months to go home on your weekend off, but if you wanted to go home any more frequently you had to pay for the fare yourself out of your meagre earnings.

    My Mum hated barley and said it used to get everywhere and no-one ever wore a jumper otherwise you'd never get rid of it, and most girls at some time or another would get barley rash. At threshing you would see all the rats and mice gradually come into the circle into the middle of the field which hadn't been cut and everyone would kill them with shovels or whatever they could lay their hands on.

    She remembers one farmer, whose son actually married one of my Mum's friend's in the Land Army, who used to go out for the day when it came to the pig's being slaughtered, because he used to get too upset. They used to put them onto straw and then they'd be shot in the head and then set alight to shave all the hairs off them. Mum said not a tiny bit of a pig was ever wasted.

    She once got stung in the mouth by a wasp and it was a German POW that helped her. The Italians were always chatting the girls up, but were very lazy, but the German's would always be hard working, very polite but kept themselves to themselves when helping out on the farms. She said the PoWs got Ham and chicken whilst the Land Girls had to make do with bread and jam. She remembered one of the Sergeants with the POWs getting very angry about this. The Country hasn't changed much in all those years has it? Still, helping out others more than its own people! She said you were supplied with corduroy breeches, but many girls, including herself, saved up and paid for gaberdine ones instead.

    There was a photograph of my Mum in a photographers window in Chipping Norton for years apparently in her full Land Army Uniform, together with an American in a separate photo who was head of the Motor Pool, called Joe Morano. I haven't got any pics of Mum in the Land Army, but would love to find one. Even now when we go past a field she can tell me what kind of crop it is growing. She said it was very hard work, but she wouldn't have changed her time doing her bit in the Land Army for anything.

    Susan Shelley



    Claudine Dorothy Guillaume

    My Aunt Claudine is now 94 years young. She is very proud to have received her Land Army badge and was thrilled to attend the special ceremony held at Guildford Cathedral on Sunday 23rd November 2008.

    Steve Kamm



    Georgina "Ena" Oliver Watford, Herts

    My Mum served in the land army around Watford in the Bedmond area, she often told us stores of how she and her friends visited injured Soldiers at Leavesden Hospital where she met my Dad who was in the Canadian 12th Manitoba Dragoons and was injured in France and sent to Leavesden Hospital. She went to Canada on her own on the Lucitania and Dad followed. My sister was born in Canada but Mum wanted to come back home to England and they settled back in Watford, celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary almost in the same spot where they met during the war in my house which was built on the grounds of the old hospital. Mum unfortunately died in 2006.

    Jane Atkins



    Joyce May Dixon

    Unfortunately I was too young to remember any stories my Grandmother, Joyce Dixon had of the Land Army, but I do remember that she said it was one the happiest time of her life. Even though it was a time of war I think she really enjoyed the freedom and camaraderie.

    Rebecca Gunn



    Norma Frances Taylor

    Our mum Norma Taylor" was based at Instow Devon, the stories she told of her times were of a great time that she enjoyed with the rest of the girls even though the war was a stark reminder of why they were working away from home. She didn’t have a good family life at that time and when she joined the land army it was like a new life. The farming community was a good one for her personally, she loved those times so much. After she passed away we found a diary of her times and it made good reading of the times you girls all had. We have found a list off some of her friends at that time and if you are one of them, I’m thanking you for that and the times you had together
    • Lucy Mooney
    • Sylvia Ollivant
    • Olive Bowyer
    • Wyn Fletcher
    • Joan Ashby
    • Joan Mowat
    • Beryl Saines
    • Rosemary Buckingham
    • Pat Preedy
    • Flo Fletcher
    • Elenor Smith
    • Bridget Thornton
    • Beryl Rawlings
    • Bett Howson
    • Joyce Beer
    • Margeret Jarvis
    • Eileen Dennings
    • Violet Ward
    • Joan Marks
    • Emily Harris
    • Margeret Eden
    • Helen Barnes
    • Pam Stenning
    • Iris Maynard

    Ben & Beckie Winter



    Caroline Edith Cottenham

    My mother has just been to the City all London for the 11th Feb 2009 reunion but sadly there was no one there she actually knew while in the land army. If you or your mother was billeted in Stone House, Thornby ,Northampton and can remember, Carol Cottenham from Islington, North London we would love to hear from you.

    My mum worked near Thornby at Callender farm and trained with Joyce and Marjerie, she's pretty certain that Joyce married a Canadian soldier and went to live in Canada after the war ended. Both Joyce and Marjerie came from the Northampton area before joining the WLA.

    Robert Piggins



    Francis "Peg" Massey

    My mother, Peg Massey served in the Land Army during the Second World War on farms in the Berkshire area, she often tells me how hard the work was and how tough life was in general, but also she is very proud of the hard work that she and the other girls did towards the war effort, when others found excuses not to help. She recently got her badge and letter of recognition, and also will be going to the reception at the Agricultural College at Burchets Green near Maidenhead in March.

    Only last week she told me of a Jewish girl she was working with on one of the farms who lent her a lovely dress, as she did not have anything nice to wear of her own, to meet my Father after 3 years being away in the Navy. She still remembers the style and pattern of the dress with fondness, and of course the lovely girl that lent it to her.

    Ken Pope



    Mary Forsyth Fenner

    My Mom, Mary Forsyth Fenner, served in the WLA during WWII and was stationed in Ayrshire, Scotland at Trachraigue and Calzean Castle. She worked hard in the fields and with the animals. She made many friends during her time in the WLA and took some of them to my Grandmother's home in Girvan during their off time. They would bicycle through the fields and arrive there in no time. The girls would allow my cousins to ride their bicycles, a rare treat during wartime, and then stay for tea. I am hoping that someone may still remember her and fill in the gaps in her wartime service.

    Irene Hahn



    Jean Lowry

    My mother Jean Lowry was in the Land Army from 1939 to 1943. She was stationed on the Wirral, Cheshire on Lord Leverhulmes Estate at Thornton Hough, She worked there with Joyce Batten. She also worked on farms in Essex. Does anyone remember Betty Harris? My mother attended a ceremony at Kendal Town hall on the 14th November 2008 with others who were in the Land Army and the Timber Corp.

    Jane Steel



    Patricia Maud "Treece" Evans

    I have just been with my Mom to service in Shresbury commemorating women serving in Land Army, Mom would love to find any one who had been around during her time in the Land Army. She worked on various farms in South Staffordshire, particularly Bobbington, and Enville. She boarded most of the time in The White House. If you know of anyone she may have worked with, please get in touch.

    Carol Wood



    Nancy Fryer

    My Grandmother served in the Land Army during the Second World War. Her name was Nancy Fryer and she worked in the Forest of Dean area. She was from Sharpness, Gloucestershire. She died about 30 years ago when she was in her 70's. It seems that family members cannot claim the badge on behalf of their dead relatives, Mum would love to have a badge that recognized her Mother's war effort.

    Suzanne White



    Millicent Simms

    I would like to hear from anybody who served with my Mum, Millie Simms in the land army. We know she was stationed at or near Ossington off the Great North Road near Newark in Nottinghamshire. They lived in a large house and used bikes to get different farms. Her memory is not so good now, but she keeps writing down bits and pieces.

    Kathleen.J.McIvor



    Gladys Florence "Laddie" Citron

    I am seeking any information on my Mother, Gladys Florence Citron, who was a member of the Women's Land Army during World War 2. I believe she was working in a village called Much Hadham, Herts. When Mum was alive she said she worked on the farm owned by Swift's, not sure if this was connected to Swift's corned beef people. She was very friendly with another lady named 'Gladys' and this is why Mum was nicknamed 'Laddie' I have one very old, small photo of a crowd of ladies during that time.

    Lesley Citron-Ross.



    Alice Hancox

    My mother Alice Hancox joined the Land Army and served in Cumberland.

    Jeanette Roberts



    Hilda Godwin

    My mum Hilda Godwin joined the Land Army when she was 16. She was at The Mount in Stourport and remembers being taken by truck each day from The Mount (she thinks this is now a hotel) to different farms to work. She drove a tractor and milked cows - two of many jobs she did, She has been married to my Dad for over 60 years now and is thankfully still alive and very well. Last year she attended a celebration lunch at Walsall Town Hall for veterans and would dealy like to get in touch with any of the girls she was with during the war. If anyone remembers her and would like to get in touch please contact me.

    Glynis Edwards



    Marjorie Hanger

    Madge joined the WLA in 1941 aged 17. She did he training at Seale Haine near Newton Abbott, Devon. On completion of training she was sent to work for Lady Fitzallen Howard at Evershot Dorset.Then on to Affpuddle near Dorchester, and finally to Wimborne Minster where she worked in horticulture at what is now Trehanes Nursey at Hampreston. Madge has received her certificate for her services to her country.

    If you know anyone who worked at any of these addresses then please get in touch.

    Rachel Hanger



    Louisa Jessie Segrott

    I am trying to find out some information of my great nan, Jessie Segrott's time during her Land Army years of 1943-45 as I never got the chance to speak to her about it. I'm hoping to find anyone who might have known her or her sister Helen "Nelly" Segrott. We think they may have been in the Salcombe, Devon area and they originally come from Bermondsey in London. If anyone remembers them any information would be much appreciated, thanks.

    Jamie Copley



    Catherine Melloy

    My grandmother Catherine Melloy served as a land girl during ww2. I think she worked in either Perthshire or Fife somewhere, I'm not 100% sure. She was born in 1921 so she would have been in her early twenties. If anyone knew her I'd be really grateful to hear from them.

    Kerry Watts



    Veronica Constance Mary "Vera" Rattray

    My Nanna, Vera Rattray, wrote her story and had it published. It's an excellent recounting of her time serving as part of the Land Girls.

    Christina Habberjam



    Barbara Elizabeth Chalkley

    My Mum, Barbara Chalkley joined the Women's Land Army in September 1941 and was working on Church Knowle Farm, Nr Corfe Castle, Dorset on 1st October 1941. She stayed with Miss Grace in the little cottage beside the bend in the road as you descend from the Creech hilltop (t'other side of the ridge from Creech Grange). Her sweetheart was Richard (Dicker) Williams who was working in the Intelligence Section, HQ company, 70th Dorsets, Branksome, Dorset, at the time. Unfortunately after three weeks she was 'invalided out', I think with bronchitis. Mum was in later the A.T.S. from January 1943

    Mum passed away in 2004 but I am researching her wartime life and would love to hear from anyone who could tell me more about her brief spell in the Land Army.

    Dee Stephens



    Doris Violet "Tup" Barker

    Doris Barker, in the Land Army

    Doris Barker was my mum. I think she went into the Land Army sometime around November 1942 and worked on various farms in Essex. From what I know from surviving family members she got a compassionate posting to Valentines Park in Ilford as her mum was badly ill at the time. Apparently there were some AA guns in the park and the Land Army girls used to give the soldiers on the guns fresh vegetables. One of these soldiers was my Dad's brother. In early 1944 my Dad had returned from Italy with 7 Armoured Div and was stationed in North Norfolk training for the Normandy landings. He was introduced to my mum by his brother when he was on leave sometime before June 1944 and they married on 28th January 1945.

    Doris Barker in the Land Army

    A couple of stories I've heard are the time mum was somewhere in Essex and was woken up by some noises. She looked out the window and thought it was the middle of the night so went back to bed. In fact it was the early morning and her normal getting up time - what she had thought was the night sky was in fact the black out curtain across the window - I don't think the farmer where she was billetted saw the funny side.

    Land Army Doris Barker on left with brother Frank and sister Rene

    Doris Barker on left with brother Frank and sister Rene.

    Another story that mum always told as a joke but at the time must have been quite frightening. She was working in the Valentines Park, Ilford at this time when the alarm went and they heard a doodlebug coming. Mum for some reason decided to take a short cut to the shelter through a hedge, but got stuck in it and couldn't get out, just as the doodlebug's motor cut out which meant it was on its way down. I think she got out with some help and the bomb landed some way away.

    Unfortunately I don't know the names of the other two girls in these photos.

    Land Army working in Valentines Park, Ilford in 1944, Doris Barker on left

    Doris Barker on left working in Valentines Park, Ilford in 1944
    Land Army working in Valentines Park, Ilford 1944, on left Doris Barker

    Doris Barker on left, Valentines Park, Ilford in 1944

    Mum died in December 1999. I would love to be able to get details of her number, dates of service and where she was stationed.

    Geoff Bye



    Rosemary Reeves

    Rosemary Reeves, my mother, left WD & HO Wills in Bristol to sign up for the Land Army. She spoke very little about it since but I think she was based somewhere in South Glos. She seems to have enjoyed it until she had an unhappy experience at the farm where she lived (having to barricade her door at night) and left with what sounded like a nervous breakdown. She went to stay with a friend at Portishead to recover and met her future husband who lived next door.

    I would be interested to know anything about her time in the Land Army (both happy & sad), the location, etc. and any photographs that might be a available. All I have of hers from this time is a certificate and a badge. She went on to live a full life until she died aged 84 in 1998.

    Carole Hawkes



    Ruby Simpson

    My Mum, Pat Simpson served in the Land Army in North Yorkshire. She'd love to hear from anyone who remenbers her.

    Ed O'Keefe



    Gladys Margaret Milburn

    My Mum, Gladys Milburn, used to tell us she could milk a cow and drive a tractor. I've a couple of old pictures of when she was in the WLA and picking something in a field. Today she told me she had wanted to do something different than sitting behind a desk. They weren't really recognised for what they were doing.

    Carolyn Barnett



    Emily Elizabeth Chant

    Our Mam, Emily Chant was in the Land Army based at Sherburn. I remember her telling us stories about her days on the land. I always remember her best friend was Nora Bennet. I have one photograph of mam as one of a group of Land Army Girls, I would love to see more photos of when mam was a girl, does anyone have any?

    Janet Langton



    Ada E. "Babs" Cole

    Ada Cole joined the Women's Land Army at 25 years of age on 25th of August 1941. She lived in Wembley and, though she did not drive, was taught to drive a tractor and put to work ploughing up the commons. She was frequently teamed with a male "conscientious objector" who would ride in the trailer behind the tractor doing jobs like spreading lime. The two photos of her with her crew show her wearing a headscarf which she said she did to keep as much lime out of her hair as possible.

    She was a very small girl but loved the physical work and loved to tell her children about the muscles she developed. She loved the camaraderie as well as the work and told us it was the best time of her life.

    Once in the Land Army, Ada took up the nickname "Babs" and was known by that name for the rest of her life. She became good friends with another girl, Dorrie Jean Coles, whose last name was so close to hers. When they were discharged on the 18th of October 1946, Babs said she was hoping to find a farmer to marry because she loved the life so much. But Dorrie Jean took her home one weekend where she met Dorrie Jean's brother, James, who had just been discharged from the Royal Artillery. They fell in love and married just two weeks later. They settled into a flat in Richmond on Thames, and later moved to Plymouth where Babs kept a flourishing garden. She never did drive a vehicle again: James thought that women were a danger on the road.

    Babs and James moved to New Zealand in 1990 where she passed away in 1997.

    Patricia Morlock



    Eileen Allen Henley in Arden

    I am making a life book for my mum Eileen. She talks about the Land Army a lot and I would appreciate any contact with ladies that knew my mum. We are living in Australia now, but I only know she was at Henley in Arden during the war.

    Jan Ghamraoui



    Hilda Florence Lucha

    Just adding my mum's maiden name to this list of wonderful hard working women. My mum recieved her medal through the post exactly on her 92nd birthday.She was made up, and I so proud of her.

    Mum worked at Chestnut Farm in Bury St Edmonds, Lincolnshire for about 7 years in all.In that time she had a transfer to North Wales to work at Lord Newbury's estate,but asked to return to Chestnut Farm till service was over.

    There were 3 women on the farm in all. (Helen Mills and Muriel being the other two). Although she was quite a small person she was tough and a grafter, she enjoyed the hard work ,and her memories of that time she cherished.

    In 1942 her younger brother Peter August Lucha wanted to join the war effort, he was a flight sergeant on a Lancaster bomber, on a training flight they crashed into a mountain all were killed, he was 22 years old . it broke mum's heart

    Alexander Craig



    Margaret Robb

    Margaret Robb is my Mother's maiden name. She was a Land Army girl in Dunlop before she got married to my Dad,in 1945.

    A funny story she told me before she left the Land army to be married I think a few days before her Wedding. Her work mates covered her with tar then dropped her in some feathers, she said it took her days to clean up. I remember my mother having a little book about the Land Army, and her photo was in it with some of her workmates, but it was lost years ago. P.S. my mother had the lovely long red hair.

    Pauline Horneman



    Betty Maybank

    I was stationed in the Land Army in Wales during the year of 1943. I was with a great group of girls, they were the best, we were stationed in a castle in South Wales. It was near the town of Hayes (I am not quite sure of the spelling) Our work consisted of potato picking, stacking hay and pest destruction. There was a group of Italian prisoners nearby that helped us on the land. Also nearby was an American medical army,that would meet us in a little pub in the village. They were a wonderful bunch of guys. We had lots of laughs. If anyone out there was part of this group of girls please get in touch. I still have two brothers and one sister living in England. Those years are special memories that my girls and their families want to hear about. Hope to hear from someone who was there, soon.

    Betty Maybank



    Alice Ethel Cousins

    Mum who is now 81 years old was in the WLA she tells me she was billeted at Ross on Wye and later somewhere in Herefordshire(possibly Bircher Hall)quite near Leominister, she wonders if there are any of the girls she knew still around.

    Michael Holland



    Audrey Parton

    My mother Audrey Parton and her sister Joyce Parton were in the Land Army.I believe they were both based together around Syerston. Mum often speaks of her great days in the Army, and all her pals.

    The lovely dances she would go to, though many unofficial, as she and her sister would shimmy down drain pipes to go out and climb back in through small windows, before the farmer caught them.

    Mum speaks of her friends Olive and Betty, sorry don't know their surnames. I'm sure Mum would love to catch up with old pals if you have any contacts, before time runs out.I hope you can help, as Mum is not aware I am trying to locate her pals.What a suprise! Joyce died in the late 1970s. She was the outgoing one and had no fear; often getting mum into trouble! Or so Mum says, ha ha.

    Linda Colquhoun-Scoffield



    Eliza Dobbin Doey

    My mum is currently in a nursing home with Dementia and our family are keen to find out the farm and roughly the dates when she was in the Land Army. I would be grateful if there is anyone who would have any information to get in touch.

    Dorothy Welsh



    June Amelia Moss

    My Mother, June Amelia Moss served in the WLA during WWII. I think she was at Monkham's Hall working in tomato fields. She enlisted in the WLA at 18 years of age in 1941. I'm not sure how long she served with the WLA but she married my Dad, Merlin Burkhart an American GI on May 9, 1945 and came to America, Harlan, KY in 1946. My Mother passed away in 1969 at age 45. If you have any information about her please contact me.

    Sharon Brassfield



    Grace Austin

    My mother served in the Land Army from 13th July 1944 to 8th January 1947. She would have been 17 when she joined. She was based at a farm near Wrexham, I think. Paterson is a name I recall her mentioning.

    Stephen Kellie



    Joyce Lucy Airs

    Actually, I would love to hear from anyone who might have known my mother when she was in the Women's Land Army.

    Ed Freeman



    Rhoda Puig

    Our Nan, Rhoda Egan (nee Puig) was also at Culford (nr Bury St Edmunds) felling trees for use as pit props for the mines. Nan remembers having a toothache when she first arrived, and being sent to get the tooth pulled out that same week. She also remembers catching her foot with the axe during the summer and resting in the nurses station.

    Nan often organised a coach back to London for other girls who wanted to go home for the weekend. She remembers Kay Beer (who married a Canadian), and being taken to visit a mine. She says she was given slips of paper in lieu of part of her wages, that could be cashed in after the war, but that she lost quite a few of the slips. Nan is now 88 and lives in Norfolk.

    Olivia Dean



    Elsie Kemp

    My Grandma was a Land Army Girl, Based at Hammil, near Eastry in Kent. Her name was Elsie Gaunt, nee Kemp. I wondered if any one remembers her.

    Emma Pellatt



    Queenie Hampton

    My paternal grandmother Quennie Hampton was apparently in the Land Army in West Surrey during WW2. I regret (like so many others) never asking her about it! Does anyone recognise the name? Do e-mail me if so.

    Martin Hampton



    Shirley Mavis Mills

    My mother Shirley Mavies Mills, born on 9/08/1929 joined the land army but I am not sure when she joined - I think it was in 1944 or 1945. She was first sent to Edenbridge, near Tonbridge in Kent where she lived at the Womens Land Army Hostel. She stayed there for some time until she secured a permanent job on a dairy farm at Swingfield near Folkstone. She left at about the end of 1948 and went to work for the Navy Army and Air Force Institute (NAAFI). I would like to find out more about her life history and if anyone knew her and has stories and/or photos of her. I would dearly love to hear from them as she passed away in 199, and we have only one photo of her in her uniform.

    Jennifer Davies



    Joyce Mary Chaplin

    I worked in Waltham Abbey Essex growing tomatoes and often wonder if there is still anyone out there that worked at Sapsfords Nursery in Sewardstone Road. Would be good to hear from them. From there I worked on farms at Shopland, near Benfleet and lived in a hostel in Kenneth Road. It was a very enjoyable job and I enjoy telling my grandchildren all the things we had to do. Joyce

    Joyce Willsher



    Dorothy Cooper Barnsdale Hall, Oakham, Rutland, Leicestershire

    My Mum, Dorothy Cooper, who died over 25 years ago, worked as a Land Army Girl at Barnsdale Hall, Oakham, Rutland, Leicestershire. She was there with her sister Kathleen Cooper and I know they were friends with a lady called Anne.

    I am just wondering and hoping if there are any records, details or any information about her time there. My Mum, if she were alive, would now be 87, but I am wondering if there is anyone alive who was with her at Barnsdale Hall, or who might remember her?

    Tina Clark



    Isabella Docherty

    I would love to find out any information or obtain any photos of my mother - Isabella Smith (nee Docherty) born 24/11/30. She was in the Womens Landarmy in Ayrshire Scotland in 1947.

    I would also like to find out about her family.

    Her mother Sarah Docherty (nee Morgan) born around 1898 was killed in the bombings 101 Nelson Street, Tradeston, Glasgow in March 1941, along with 4 of my mother's sisters - Rose, Annie, Adeline and Willamina. Any information would be appreciated Thanks

    Mary Andersen



    Margaret Grace "Peggy" Walsh

    My mum Peggy Walsh was in the Land Army, based somewhere around Abergele in Wales. I remember her telling me about walking the farmer's bull on a rope from field to field, also about working with the Italian POWs. She did say it was some of the best times in her life.

    Norma Allman



    Ruby Bennett

    My mother served in the Land Army and was stationed in Settle Yorkshire. I would like any information about her and the camp at Settle as she died in 1956 when I was 6 years old.

    Valerie Wilkinson



    Joycelyn Betty Mumford

    My mother, Joyce Mumford was in the Women's Land Army and was at a hostel named Littlewoods,not far from Braxted Park in Essex. She was a tractor driver and worked on the fields at Braxted Park and farms around that area. I can remember my Mum telling me stories about when she was in the land army, one of the things she used to tell me, was about the Italian prisoners of war. They used to be taken out of camp to help the girls on the farms, they were very cheeky and used to pinch her bottom, so she sometimes used to get her own back on them; The prisoners used to have to sit on the plough to add extra weight to it if the ground was hard and dry, so she would rev up the tractor and go faster to give them a bumpy ride.

    I only have two photographs of her in uniform, if any one who worked with her or knew her, I would be grateful of any info or photograph's of her and I would like to contact anyone who was at the same billet with her.

    Alan Theobald



    Nora Ballard (d.1941 )

    I am trying to find out details about a relative of mine, Norma Ballard, who served in the Land Army in WW2 and whilst serving died of pleurisy. I woudl love to find out details of her time in the land army, where she served etc. She was married in Pershore and had a daughter called Jean.

    Editor's note: Details of how to obtain information about service in the Women's Land Army are available on our Family History FAQ Page

    Cheryl Harmer



    Jean McLaughlan

    My mother, 85, would like to find any friends from her land army days. She was stationed at Dunwoody House ? nr Lockerbie in the early 40s. Her name then was Jean Mclaughlan and she lived in Rolland St Maryhill, Glasgow

    William Irwin



    Audrey Patricia Elsie Yard

    I am trying to find out any details of my late mother, Audrey Patricia Elsie Hodder (nee Yard) from Warmwell near Dorchester. I understand that she was stationed at a Farm in Blandford Forum or the surrounding area, not too far from her home. She married my father - Charles Hodder and had eight children and in the late 1950's they moved to Manchester to be near one of her Aunties. If you have any information, this would be gratefully received. Unfortunately my mother died in April 2008 after a long period in hospital and a nursing home. Towards the end of her life, she suffered from dementia and, as a lot of stories on this website, her memory was lively and colourful - but very unreliable

    Antony Hodder



    Madeline Elsie Bates

    My Grandma, Madeline Dry (Maiden Name Bates) served in the Women's Land Army during the Second World War. She unfortunately died when I was only 11 and I would love to know if anyone has any stories? I do know that she was billetted to 77 Alexandra Road in Reading Berkshire and that her number was WLA37074. I also know that she broke in horses for Lord Vesty ( we have a picture of her on a hunter)! Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Nick Dry



    Doris Sylvia Cathrine "Dot" Page

    I am trying to find out about my late mother's time during the Second World War. Her maiden name was Page, we knew that she served as a Land Army girl, but where or when, we just don't know! Her name was Doris, but everyone called her Dot. She sadly passed away in 2002, followed 8 wks later my our father William Henry Tofts. They lived a full and happy life, having my sister and 4 yrs later myself. We seem to always get told what Dad did during the war years, he served on HMS Dido. But we sadly didn't get told about Mum's part, only that she was a Land Army Girl.

    Even though she is no longer with us, we would dearly love to learn more about her time as a Land Girl, Where was the farm? Who she worked along side? who were her friends?

    Ann Haywood



    Edna "Ginger" Hardy

    My nan was named 'Ginger' because of the colour of her hair at the time. I am trying to find out if any of the girls she worked with in the Land Army are still around? She moved away from her home to work as a Land Army Girl, to get away from her father. This is where she met my grandad who was, at the time, working the field or the one next to hers, on his tractor. He is German. His name is Bruno Walter Boldofski, known as Bob.

    I know that they met on the field, fell in love, were tried to be separated by her father and other people but it didn't work and they are still together and will celebrate 60 years of marriage this October 2010. It would be amazing to try to get them to meet up with any old loyal friends.

    Sarah Wright



    Josephine Standing

    I am working on a friend's family history. Her Mum was Josephine Standing and we are trying to establish if she was in Dorset, as family heresay goes with the Womans Land Army. Does anyone remember her?

    Gilly Miller



    Doreen "Renee" Warbrick

    I am researching my grandmother who has passed away and I understand that she was a Land Girl during the War and would like to try and find out some more information. Would love to find out what she did and if anyone may have any photos of her.

    Jodie Campbell



    Forewoman Rosemary Richards Nottinghamshire

    Rosemary Richards left her job at the Mansfield Shoe Co. in May 1943. and joined the Women's Land Army on the 26th of May. She did her training at Ranskill, Notts then worked on Blyth Farm at Mansfield, working with the pigs. She then moved to Babwoth Hostel in Retford and worked on surrounding farms doing thrashing, field work, potato picking etc. Later she moved to Clipstone Hostel worked on various farms nearby then moved back to Retford as a Forewoman/Driver.

    Rosemary moved again to the ex prisoner of war camp, Arnold camp, nr Woodbourgh, Notts. It was said that conditions in the camp were not good enough for prisoners of war so moved them out and put Land Girls in instead. She stayed there as Forewoman/Driver until released to get married on 26th of November 1949. She made many friends of which I am still in touch with some and joined Women's Land Army Association and went to the Royal Albert Hall for the Inaugural Meeting as well as many other WLA meets and attended the last meet at Birmingham. She was proud to march in the Armistice Parade in London to the Cenotaph and was seen on TV footage and also attended the unveiling by the Queen of the Memorial to the women who served in WW2.

    Ian Douglas Lockley



    Minnie Holmes

    My great aunt, Minnie Holmes, served in the Women's Land Army during WW2. I believe she was based somewhere in Lincolnshire. She came from a family of blacksmiths - her father and his 8 brothers worked all over the East Riding. Unfortunately, this information only came to light after her death, so that's all I know.

    I would be very interested to hear from anyone who remembers her or can give me any further information.

    Alison Dingle



    Margaret Helen "Midge" Smith

    Margaret Smith was my mother-in-law. I don't know where she trained but she was in the Land Army and told me she worked in the nurseries. She kept her green fingers throughout her life and was a great gardener, winning Hounslow in Bloom awards on 5 or 6 occasions with her husband Arthur. She spent many of her war years living with a family in Cornwall.

    Jill Perry



    Doris Margret Barnett

    I'd like to hear from anyone who knew my mother, Doris Barnett. She was in Land Army. She lived in Cardiff. Can anyone remember her? thank you.

    tina



    Mary Brown

    I trying to find information for one of my elderly clients. The details I have at the moment are that Mary Brown, was in the Land Army and involved in an accident on the Stirling to Alloa Road, she thinks it was June 17th 1944. Seven girls were injured, Mary was badly injured and spent six months in hospital. Mary would like to find out more details about this, please can anyone help?

    Helen Muckley



    Sylvia Italia Maria Kung

    Sylvia Kung (or Lavet) was my late husband's mother. I should be interested to find out more about her and what she did in the Land Army during the War. She was born in Rivoli, Italy in 1924. It's believed that she was working on a farm (possibly the Park Farm),in Earlston, Scottish Borders. It was here she met my late husband's father by whom she became pregnant in August 1944. My husband was born out of wedlock 19 May 1945 and sadly,he never had the privelege of meeting, or indeed, knowing anything about his father, other than he was possibly an Italian prisoner of war, and approximately 5-6 years older than his mother. I'm sorry I don't have any further information which may be of help, the only 'evidence' is a photo of his parents taken about 1944.

    Julia Hewitt



    Patricia Myrtle "Paddy" McGrath

    My mother Patricia McGrath was a member of the Women's Land Army. During the war she lived and worked in London, but decided to leave the bombing behind and go to Nottinghamshire where a friend of her aunt had a farm, Fen Farm, just off the A1 near Newark. A city girl, Mum soon adapted to farm life with Mrs Knowles. She learnt all aspects of farming, but closest to her heart was looking after livestock, a love that stayed with her for the rest of her life. Fen Farm was near Balderton Aerodrome. I remember Mum telling me that one night there was bombing that caused a big fire on the airfield and Mum had to help move some cattle that were pastured near the fire.

    Mum met my Dad, Tom Cook, whilst she was in the Land Army; they were married and set up home with a farm of their own. That farm is still in the family although Mum & Dad have both died. As a small child I remember Mum wearing bits of her Land Girl uniform, the trousers and the great coat. I regret not having any photos of her in it.

    Mum rarely spoke of her life at Fen Farm and the small amount of information we did have was gleaned over a great length of time.

    Joan Barton



    Joan Florence Wines

    My mother, Joan Wines, served in the Women's Land Army. She spent her time on a farm just outside Exeter, Devon. She was originally from London and finally settled in Newton Abbot. She married and had 5 children, 4 boys and a girl, she passed away in 1996 aged 66.

    She often spoke of her days in the Land Army and obviously enjoyed her time there. In the early 70's we went for a drive in the car and found the farm. The farmer and his two sons remembered her and we spent a very pleasant morning with them.

    She recounted a story to the farmer who remembered it. The farmer brought a bull to the farm for mating with one of his cows. The cow was secured and the bull introduced to her. My mother said she could not bear to watch and hid behind a wooden fence. She did however peek through a fence gap and watched some of the proceedings. When she could stand no more she ran up to the farmer telling him that he was a very cruel man. She said she refused to speak to him for several days. The farmer was very understanding and said, "Well these London maids never seen nowt like it afore so let the maid be." They eventually parted the best of friends though.

    A neighbouring farm had Italian prisoners of war. Of course the Italians had this romantic image and Joan along with fellow Army girls wanted to meet up with them. The Italians started working at one end of a field and the girls started working from the other end. Apparently they all worked much faster than normal and eventually met up in the middle of the field. I remember her saying that the girls were not disappointed. Her comment was, "Ooh they were handsome men and those Italian accents!"

    On the off chance that anyone knew Joan Wines, I'd love to hear from you.

    John



    Peggy Winifred Thomas

    My mother, Peggy Winifred Williams (nee Thomas,) served in the W.L.A in Warwickshire. She lived in Birmingham. Sadly, she died from cancer in 2002 just a few weeks short of her 80th birthday. She attended many of the W.L A gatherings from the 1980s to the turn of the century.

    Tim Thomas



    Ivy Blanche "Bunty" Coles Markfield Leicestershire

    My mother served in the Women's Land Army at Rise Roacks Farm, Markfield, Leicestershire. I am trying to contact any of the Land Army girls that served with her. I have some photographs. My mother told me it was the happiest time of her life. She had an award signed by the Queen. If anyone can help with contact addresses or emails I would be very grateful.

    Susanne Lyndon



    Eva Davies

    My Mum joined the Women's Land Army when she was 17years old and living in a very small town in Derbyshire called Somercotes. She joined up on the 30th May 1946 and was sent to North Wales where she lived for the rest of her life. She left on 30th October 1948, a week before she married my Dad on November 6th 1948. I was born 20th September 1949.

    She always used to say that she loved the Land Army and all the friends she made. She said that it was really hard work, but they all knew that they were helping the country and feeding the nation. She used to tell me that she was taught how to milk cows at a farm called Llidiart Fanni Farm in Coedpoeth near Wrexham. She said that it was one of the better jobs that they were given to do. Another job that she had to do was picking sprouts in the winter on a farm in Holt, near Wrexham. She used to say that it was a really hard, backbreaking job and that the girls would be so cold that their hands would bleed. She always said and was convinced that doing this work during that time had given her arthritic knees and hands later on in life.

    The two hostels that my Mum was billetted at were called Coed-y-Glyn Hostel near Erddig, Wrexham (now demolished) and a hostel in Gresford near Wrexham (also demolished). I have some super photographs of my Mum and her friends outside these hostels. They all looked so happy and such healthy women. I also have a list of names and addresses that my Mum must have written when she left. I wonder where all these women are now? Some I'm sure must still be alive, I just wish that my lovely Mum was. She passed away on October 18th 2006 just before the WLA was recognised by the Government. She never lived to receive her medal. Something I'm sure she would have accepted with great delight. Some names are just first names such as Hilda from Fleetwood, Agnes from Rochdale, Flo from Sheffield and Joyce Hill from Boncath, Pembrokeshire.

    I still have my Mum's badge and armband and I have still got my Mum's WLA issue wellingtons which she always wore if the snow was bad in the winter!!

    My Mum during all the years since she left the WLA kept in touch with one of her friends - Marge Babb nee Ellits from Wolverhampton - I still keep in touch with her and still call her Aunty Marge. I know my Mum would want me to do this for her. They always wrote to each other every few weeks through all those years, meeting up from time to time. A long, long friendship.

    It would be good to hear from anyone who remembers my Mum, Eva Hutchby or who was stationed in the Wrexham hostels during this time. I am so fascinated by this time in our history and just wished I had asked my Mum about her life in the WLA. I grew up knowing about the Women's Land Army because of the little snippets of information that my Mum would talk about. A couple of years ago I read a book called "They Fought In The Fields" by Nicola Tyrer.I t was a real eye opener to the times. My Mum would have loved to have read it.

    Pauline Wenlock



    Veronica Ryder

    I am researching my mother's life and I know she served in the Women's Land Army in WWII. Her name is Vera Vanson. I believe she may have worked in either Liverpool or Wales. I would love to speak to anyone who has information about Vera even papers but best of all, any photographs please?

    Kathleen Vanson



    Annie Elizabeth "Nancy" Jones

    My mother Annie Jones was in the Land Army in WW2. I believe she was billeted in Nottinghamshire, possibly Clipston with a family by the name of Higginbottom. I have a photogragh of her in her uniform but no other information.

    Diane Hobson



    Veronica Constance Rattray Trough of Bowland

    "We were a lively and energetic bunch of girls from all over Lancashire, and while some of us had a farming background, the majority did not . . . We were to get on well together."

    From 1939 to 1948, Veronica Rattray worked on farms in Lancashire as a Land Girl, and she faithfully recorded these crucial years of her life in her revealing memoir, "My Land Girl Years, 1939-1948", published prior to her death in 2009. The war years - a period of hardship for people in a nation under threat - was a time, for these Land Girls, of effort, self-sacrifice and hard work for low wages. They got on with their tasks, milking cows, herding sheep in the Pennines, and tending the huge shire horses that worked on the farms, and they got on well with each other. Vera's reward was to make new friends and to meet Queen Elizabeth in London, a moment she treasures. You can read her recollections of a happy time, when people had fewer choices and made the best of what they had.

    Christina Habberjam



    Emily Alice Tollet

    My mum has recently passed away aged 83. Her maiden name was Emily Alice Tollet. In later years she used her second name Alice, but not sure if she used Alice or Emily when she was younger. She was born and raised in Southampton. Her father was in the Navy in World War 1. We know mum was in the land army on the Isle of Wight based at Whitecroft farm. This is where she met my father and spent the rest of her life living on the Island. Her married name is Taylor. We believe she may have been based in Devon originally in the land army, then moved to the Isle of Wight but we don’t know for sure.

    In the picture of my Mum, she is the blonde haired woman on the right, we have no idea who is the lady on the left or where the photograph was taken. If you have any info on my mum, the other lady or the location I would be very grateful to hear from you. The Devon part of mum’s story is what we as a family are interested in finding out about but any info would be appreciated.

    Mark Taylor



    Joyce Margaret Robinson

    We are looking for anyone who knew my grandmother, Joyce Margaret Robinson, who lived in Olney Rd, Emberton, Bucks, whilst she was a land girl. She joined up on 17/2/41 aged 19 and was working in Northants first, then was transferred to Bucks on 3/8/43. She finally left the service 25/3/48 and got married the same year.

    Alison Krohn



    Barbara Dilys Palmer

    I was interviewed in Bath in January 1942 at the age of 19 and received a letter with the option of immediate training at an "approved" farm or in the following September at Cannington Farm Institute. I decided to go to an approved farm and was sent to Upper Farm, Brean for a month starting in February. My father took me by car to see the farm on a bleak day in January and said "You can't go there!" but I had a letter from the farmer, Mr Tucker, with a date to commence and decided to go ahead.

    On the appointed day I caught a train to Brent Knoll but had to wait at the tiny station for what seemed a very long time as Mrs Tucker, who was supposed to meet me, was delayed because she was playing bridge!

    I was excused milking the first morning, but after that it was up at half past six every morning! Fortunately, having been living in the country I already knew how to milk a cow. One day I remember was when I was given a bucket and told to go to a large field and pick up stones, as the field was due to be mown the next day and the stones could damage the mowing machine. I'm still not sure if this was some sort of test. At the end of the month Mr Tucker asked me if I would like to stay on and said "Yes please!" I lived in the farmhouse with the delightful family. I was very disappointed at the first Christmas when I was told I couldn't go home - the cows still had to be milked!

    Fortunately living on a farm, food always seemed to be in good supply, including an extra ration of cheese if you were in the land army. I didn't like cheese at the time but Mr Tucker was happy to have my ration! One day in 1943 a German plane dropped an incendiary bomb, which contained many incendiary "bomblets"; these large bombs were dropped on a parachute and were supposed to open and spread the bomblets over the area, but this one failed to open properly. Seeing the large bomb on a parachute Mr Tucker thought it was a man parachuting down and told us to stay indoors while he and other members of the Home Guard went to investigate. After the bomb was made safe the large silk parachute was put to good use by the local ladies and we all had nice new underwear!

    Barbara Esbester



    Freda Mary Graham

    My beloved late mother Freda Mary Graham, joined the Land Army with her sister Kay (Kathleen) Graham. They were living in Sutton in Ashfield in Nottinghamshire at the time of joining. My mother used to tell me and my two sisters of wonderful tales of her hard work and adventures in the Land Army. She often spoke about driving the tilly vans and double declutching with the gears! She relayed many stories of getting up early in the mornings at 4.00 am to undertake the milking and also of the farmers making fond advances towards the land girls.

    My mother was based at Grinley on the Hill in Nottinghamshire, Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire and also Fakenham in Norfolk. She absolutely loved being in the land army and enjoyed the outdoor life. Her best friend was a girl called Agnus Malone (known as Crump).

    On leaving the Land Army my mother went to work for an eminent radiologist called Dr Cordiner on Harley street, before settling down to married life in Sutton in Ashfield. I would love to hear from anyone who knew my mother, her sister Kay or Agnus. Many thanks for allowing me this opportunity to share my memories of my wonderful mother.

    Laura Marriott



    Forelady. Mary Wadsworth

    My mum Mary Wadsworth was born in 1922 in a small town called Mossley near Manchester. She was a mill worker and joined the Land Army around 1941 & left after the war. She met my father at a dance. Like lots of other people she didn't talk much about the past although I did try a few times She told me the work was very hard and the hours were very long. She said the farmer's wife was very good with them and they mostly lived on "jam butties".

    My mum recieved her Land Army badge in October 2008, she had a big party at the residential home where she lived, my grandson & his school came to sing to her. Our mayor & mayoress presented her with the badge. Although she had a good day she did whisper to me "I dug alot of potatoes for that medal". Sadly my Mum died in November 2009. I am now trying to contact anyone who may have been on the farm with her at Bletchley Park, Leighton Buzzard.

    Loraine Council



    Vera Grace Sweeney

    Vera served in the Womens Land Army in Hertfordshire during the Second World War. I will be helping to to apply for her WLA Badge in recognition of her service.

    Paul William Stride



    Elizabeth Emma Osmond

    My Grandmother, Betty Osmond, was a very proud member of the Land Army. She moved to South Africa many years ago but has often spoken many tales of her time in the Women's Land Army. Often remembering many facts and names from her past. Some of the information I have available is as follows: CMJD 70 3 Osmond E.E, Headquarters in Guildford, Surrey In service with the Land Army, Surrey & Sussex, for approximately 4-5 years.

    Prior to the WLA Elizabeth was running a tea shop in the Warlingham Park Hospital for people suffering nervous complaints under Doctor Rees who was also later decorated for his work during the 2nd World War. Her married name is now Elizabeth Simpson. It would be wonderful to reconnect her with any old friends.

    Amy du Toit



    Joan "Tish-Teddy" Poole

    I was 17 and just right for the draft into one of the services so I volunteered for the W.R.N.S. But not being tall enough, I decided on the Womens Land Army. I served for a little over 3 years, from April 1942 to June 1945.

    My first job was Near Kidderminster. I hoed potatoes, planted potatoes, harvested crops etc. We dipped sheep and chased them a lot. Threshing time, I was on the back of the rig when one of the farm boys snuck up behind me and dropped a nest of naked baby mice down my overalls. I jumped up and down to shake them out then the barn cats made short work of them.

    I was then sent to a dairy farm near Worcester. Got to be a good milk maid too then requested to transfer to a farm in Quinton near B'ham. I biked about 5 miles to and from the farm where I cleaned out cows, pigs, chickens, horses etc. There was always something to shovel. Also I had a daily milk round with horse and trap. I had to bottle all the milk by hand and put the tops on. Then deliver the milk. I washed a lot of empty bottles. I had a horse tear the back out of my leather jacket, while I was in it. I was not pleased.

    I had a lot of fun though and I wouldn't have missed it for anything. I got married to a Yank and came to America in 1946 and I am still going strong.

    Joan Fiske



    Joan Mary "Dinky" Doidge

    My beautiful mother Joan Doidge lived in Hockley, Birmingham until she met and married my wonderful dad, Peter John Reaney. He spent some time in the army as a baker but thankfully he didn't see any 'action.' His nick name was 'Tiny' because, like my Mom, he wasn't tall, but, like my mom, he was a a very hard worker.

    My Mom described her time in the Land Army as the 'best days of her life' and I think it's because she loved being useful during such a difficult time and didn't mind hard work. I don't know where she was placed [possibly Wales?] but I would love to hear from anyone who can remember her. I remember her telling me how much she cared for her appearance and tried to keep her shirts white but there was a girl who, if she found something funny, would lean on mom's shirt [whilst she was laughing] and leave her lip-stick mark on it. Mom used to say it would take her ages to get the stain out. Bless her.

    I have some photographs of her time in the Land Army, maybe someone would recognise themselves in them. I would be happy to meet up with anyone who remembers my dear Mom and I'm sure she would give her blessing for me to do this on her behalf. My mom was a very, very special lady, though she wouldn't have agreed with me because, as well as being beautiful in every way possible, she was also very modest in every way [in fact, she was described as a bit of a prude by some of the other girls because she didn't join in with some of their jokes. I'm just the same but, like Mom, I still have a good sense of humour.

    My Mom and all of you did a fantastic job as Land Army Girls.

    Catherine Veronica Reaney



    Doris Jennifer "Doll" Moore

    My Mom was in the WLA in Saham Toney, near Watton. The nearest base was Bodney. My Mom met my Dad, J. R. (Smokey) Campbell, stationed at Bodney and they were married in Saham on April 29, 1944.

    She came to the States in December of 1946. I have heard many stories of her days in the WLA which she enjoyed very much. She had two childen while in England and two in the U.S. I am very proud of my Mother and her service to the WLA.

    Jennifer C. Harris



    Betty Jalland

    My Mum Betty Jalland was in the Women's Land Army based at Old Clipstone Nr Mansfield in 1942. She was 21 and got married in Lincoln to Frank Machin. Although she passed away at 1964 I would like to find out more about her life in the Army and if anyone knew her.

    Sandra Wright



    Pam Taylor

    Between the years 1942 to 1950 my parents holidayed at Brook farm, Marden Herefordshire. I was 8 yrs old when we first went to Brook farm. I used to help bring in the cows for milking, at 12 yrs I was taught to drive a tractor by one of the Landgirls and I also went on the milkround with one or other of those girls.

    One was named Pam Taylor and I believe she came from Wolverhampton. Another was called Joyce. Another Muriel from Manchester married Jim Rogers the Blacksmiths son and yet another girl was Jean Renshaw. I should love to hear about any of those ladies.

    Brian Bamforth



    Maud Penn

    My dad Alan Aldred died recently. He was called up for service in the Second World War and met a landgirl from Sunderland called Maud Penn. My Dad was taken ill and went back to his home in Bedfordshire to recover. Maud wrote to my Dad but his mother did not deliver the letters to him, therefore Maud must have thought that Dad did not wish to keep in touch, which could not have been further from the truth.

    I have since found several letters that Dad wrote about Maud. 50 years after he first met Maud, Dad wrote a letter stating how he had never forgotten her and how he had been trying to trace her for years.

    Maud may have married, and there is a chance that she may no longer be alive. However, I feel that for Dad, I would like to see if I could trace Maud Penn or any of her family. My Dad was married to my mum for 52 years, but I know that he never forgot Maud.

    If anyone remembers Maud, please contact me. I would love to find her so that I could pass Dad's message on to her, which he had tried to deliver himself for years without success.

    Jane Harris



    Grp.Ldr. Nellie Elizabeth Bagley Kingsland

    My mother, Nellie Bagley, (as she then was) served in the WLA in Herefordshire during WW2, based at Kingsland Hostel and at one or two other places in the same county.

    She is now 89, and has very clear detailed memories, some of which I will add here later now that I know this site exists.

    Jan Latusek ('Joz')



    Margaret Blower

    I still have fond memories of my time in the Land Army which were very happy times spent mainly in Warwickshire. My dearest friend was Flo Lockey who married a man from Shipston-on-Stour and I would dearly love some information about Flo. My other friend was a girl named Maud nickname Ginger for obvious reasons, who married a Canadian and went to live in Canada. The place she lived was in Manitoba. They were great friends and I truly missed them when I left the Land Army for family reasons.

    Margaret Mogford



    Zena Manners

    My friend who was at the time was Miss Zena Manners, a Welsh lady. She was a Land Girl in WW2 and trained at Sparsholt Farm Institute, Winchester in May 1943. There was a team photograph taken which she has subsequently lost. Does anyone have a copy?

    Joy Carter



    Kathleen Harvey

    I was in the Land Army in Thornhaugh. I have lost contact with my good friend Doreen Knapp and wondered anyone knows of her?

    Kathleen Harvey



    Winifred Pickering

    My Mum, Winifred Pickering, served at Newton Abbott. I have a photo of her taken in July 1943 with 3 other Land Army girls, it would be wonderful if we could track any of them down.

    Rosemary Hetherington



    Winnifred M. Eade

    I joined the Land Army in 1941 and at first lived in a hostel in Muston, a little village in North Yorkshire. Shortly afterwards I was moved to Sherborne in Dorset. During my time in the WLA I worked on many farms doing everything from feeding animals, planting and harvesting crops to digging ditches. It was hard work but I loved every minute of it and even got to ride a horse for the first time. I made many new friends during my time in the WLA. I remember my friends Rosie Robson and Freda Jackson who were both from Bridlington which is where I grew up. It was a good feeling knowing that we were contributing to the war effort.

    One morning our group of girls were riding in the back of the truck out to the farm. While going down the steep Garaby Hill in East Yorkshire the brakes failed. The truck raced down the hill, crashed through the farmer’s fence and into his barnyard. Chickens were flying everywhere! No-one was hurt but we got the day off.

    At night the girls would go into the villages for a social time together. Here we would get to know one another and to share a lot of laughs. We would meet soldiers from all over the world who were fighting with us. I made many friends with the girls in my group. It was Freda Jackson who set me up on a blind date with a Canadian soldier. That date was to result in a marriage that lasted 65 years. After the war my husband, Thomas John, and I moved to Canada with other war brides. Since then I have lived in the small town of Lindsay where my husband was born and raised for 68 years.

    Dermot McInerney



    Dorothy Jean Harrison

    My mum often used to tell this story to us when we were children. She was based in Norfolk, although I can't remember where abouts now. She said that she worked on the land cutting trees down and clearing areas. She lived on a farm in a cottage with her friend who we would all call later Auntie Iris. She said that they got to know some American bomber pilots and when they were sent out on a bombing raid on the way back the pilots would waggle their wings to let them know that they were back safe. This one particular night the bombers were followed back in by the Germans and the cottage that my mum was staying in was straffed and her and my Auntie Iris slept through it all, waking the next morning to see bullet holes in the wall above the bed. Lucky or what? Sadly my mum passed away in 1996 before we could write her story down, but I know she was very proud of her service in the Land Army.

    Debra Emmett



    Megan George

    All I know is that my Mum, Megan George served in the Woman's Land Army during the 2nd World War somewhere in Leicestershire. I have a couple of photographs from that time.

    Diane Dickins



    Gwen L. Fisher

    In 1943-44 my uncle was stationed in Leicestershire and that's where he met Gwen Fisher, who was in the Women's Land Army and they became friends. His name is Charles Mendoza and he would really would like to hear from her. So I have been searching for her and my search brought me here to this website, I read all the stories the women submitted and I didn't see her name on the list, I feel she or her family deserves that medal for her years in the W.L.A

    Deborah Ubina



    Lily Scott

    I was based at Tenby House, Okehampton.

    Lily Grant



    Ivy Ethel Kate Green

    My mother Ivy Green died in 1994 and I recently learnt she served in the Land Army, as did her sister Pam Green who went on to join the WRAF. I do not have any photographs but think they might have worked in the Somerset area. Does any one have any information please?

    Margaret Baruth



    Edna Winifred Watts

    Have recently heard that my mother, Edna Watts served as a Land Girl in Scotland in WW2. She died of cancer in early 1969 and would love to know if this is correct and if so would I be able to contact anyone who worked with her.

    Sandy Ferris



    Fay Passman

    My Mother, who has sadly now passed away, worked during the War as a Land Army girl at Mentmore Towers in Leighton Buzzard. Owned I think at that time by Lord Rosebury. I do not have any further info but would like to hear from any one who knew her. Her name was Fay Passman. She came originally from North Manchester.

    Avril Levinson



    Olive Dorothy Lowe

    I was 16 in 1939, at the start of the war and Coltishall Aerodrome was being built. This consisted of five airfields and a dummy airfield. Unfortunately, for us, the dummy aerodrome was just down the road from where I was working. One night, we were awakened by our beds shaking and a piercing whistle overhead. Next morning we were shown where ten bombs had rained down.

    I used to ring the bells in the local churches but, once war was declared, we were not allowed to do that any more. They were only allowed to be rung as a sign that peace was declared and the war was over. Everyone was issued with identity cards and ration books. At the back of the books were some clothing coupons.

    I was working as a domestic servant, first in Westwick Hall and later for a lady in Sidestrand for a year. I would cycle home to Scottow once a week. A five mile limit along the coast was enforced, meaning that unless you were actually living within that five mile limit you could not pass the barriers set up by the army. The soldiers were always on patrol at these barriers and I would get halted on the way back about five different times after I had been home. It became a habit for me to carry my identity card in my hand on the handlebars.

    In 1940 I went home to live, but, by this time, my family had moved to Ashmanhaugh where my father was an ARP Warden, as well as holding down his new job as a farm foreman. I became a children's nanny for a while before becoming a housemaid at Hoveton Hall for a year.

    By then I was eligible for call-up, when I decided to join the Women's Land Army. The position happened to be at Hoveton Hall! I began in the kitchen gardens at first and later worked on the farm with the horses. Jobs included cutting kale during the winter, threshing, hoeing and pulling and topping sugar beet.

    Between 1940 and 1943 the war was in full swing and folk were issued with Morrison Air Raid Shelters. These shelters were the flat steel variety. One Sunday evening we were all getting ready to go for a walk when we heard the sound of gunfire and, coming straight towards us was a hedge-hopping Heinkel with machine guns blazing. We all fell flat and luckily he missed us. I found out afterwards that he had made a hole in the wall of the bedroom I used to sleep in at Hoveton Hall. That night was also the night they tried to bomb Coltishall Aerodrome but the bombs didn't reach their target. Another night we heard a terrible noise of aircraft. The aerodrome at Rackheath had Liberator four-engined bombers there. This particular night a German fighter followed the Liberators home, got amongst them and shot some of them down. It was terrible to watch. Coltishall was a fighter base so they were soon scrambled and shot down the German plane over the sea.

    The next real scare we had was on hearing a Doodle Bug. The casing dropped first then the warhead exploded in Coltishall by the river. I recall one incident when I was on a train. Two nuns got on and when they got up to get off, one alert person noticed their hands and shoes were rather larger than normal for a woman. That person informed the guard and they were apprehended. It turned out they were spies!

    This was a critical time for Britain. Our pilots were fighting day and night for their country and freedom. The German bombers were coming over more and more and doing great damage and destruction to our cities. Several of our local boys were away and quite a few were taken prisoner in Singapore. Some never came back. It was a very cruel war out there. The prisoners were badly tortured.

    There were different nationalities all over the place. With Rackheath being an American base, there were plenty of Americans around and they were always popular with some of the girls because they always had plenty of money to spend.

    In 1945 VE Day was announced. There were great celebrations everywhere but we still had food and clothing rationing for a very long time after that. At this time I thought it would be a good idea to raise funds for the RAF Benevolent fund as there was to be a "Wings For Victory" week so we had a series of concerts to include "Salute The Soldier" week and also in aid of the Women's Land Army Benevolent Fund. We were all happy with the success of all the concerts.

    I had several positions in the next few years and in 1950 I was selected to attend the disbandment parade at Buckingham Palace in front of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. We had to travel to London and slept in the Clapham South Underground Station for two nights.

    The morning of the parade we were taken by coach for breakfast and back to Wellington Barracks for the parade at 11.00 am. We were all marched from there into the Buckingham Palace quadrangle, lined up and waiting for the Queen Mother to appear. She chatted to quite a few girls in the front lines. I was in the second row. After the inspection we were shown round the Royal Mews. I had completed nine years in the Women's Land Army!

    Olive Cameron-Black



    Kathleen Stanyon

    My Mum - Kathleen Stanyon (maiden name)was in the Land Army during World War 2. She was based in Suffolk, near Sutton Hoo, in a stately home with other girls. Her best friend was a girl called Rose. I am currently trying to find where she may have been billeted and a little bit more about Rose.




    Margaret Irene Martin

    Blodwen Evans & Margaret in her Land Army uniform.

    My grandmother, Margaret Martin joined the Women's Land Army in June 1944 and left early 1948. She met her husband whilst working in the Lake District area, where he was working for the Forestry Commission. She always said they were the best days of her life.

    Catherine



    Dorothy Sinclair

    I wonder if anyone reading this is related to the girls who were in the Land Army with Dorothy Sinclair? The main name I recall her talking about is Agnes, who was from the Manchester area and apparently was a wonderful singer. She also mentioned Josie, although Josie wasn't at the same farm. Mother and Agnes were at High House Farm in Albrighton on the Shropshire Staffordshire border.

    Janet



    Elsie Ridsdale

    My stepmother Elsie Ridsdale joined the Land Army in 1945 at age 15 (she lied about her age to get in) and somehow got away with it for the 3 years she was serving. She was based at Leeming Bar North Yorkshire, in the camp there, she had a couple of friends from the same town. Elsie Ingledew and Maureen Walker I believe. She worked various farms. Then Elsie went to the Thirsk Hostel N. Yorks, again serving on various farms around the area, I understand she ended service in 1948. Her recollections have dimmed with time as to date details, so the exact details are a little approximate, she is now 82 years of age and bright as a button and quite fit. She can't remember her service number, but she lots of memories of the 3 years she was in and loved it. (She drives the young ones nuts with tales, but I love it). Anyone able to fill in the details? I am applying for her badge, she doesn't know about it as yet, so hopefully a nice surprise.

    Tony Warren



    Dorothy Sharp

    My Grandmother, Dorothy Sharp (known as Dolly) served in East Rudham and West Rudham in Norfolk in the Land Army. Very little has been disclosed to me. She handed down her medal to me and I wish to know more and see if there are any ohers who served with her. She married Albert Spencer during the War. He served in the Navy.

    Sarah Peterman



    Charlotte Abigail "Peggy" Morris

    Peggy Morris, as she was known as, was one of 11 children born and bred in the East End of London and joined the Land Army and went to the Bodmin area of Cornwall where she worked till 1945. She was billeted in Barn Lane, Bodmin with all the other women. She met and married Ellis Jackson who was an American G.I. They left for the USA either late 1945 or early 1946 and returned to the family farm in North Dakota which is in the Mid West and borders Canada in the north. They had 4 children, Shirley, Neil, Linda and Alan. All the offspring and Peggy still live in North Dakota but do not farm anymore. Peggy is at present living in a care home and is physically very well although a little forgetful. She will be 90 this March 2013. Shirley and Neil will be visiting Cornwall in June 2013 to try and trace their parent's footsteps.

    She can recall a few names of the girls she worked with, namely Elsie Thornton, Nellie Angus, Connie Neal and someone she only remembers as 'Red'. They are bringing over some photos from that time which will be added to this story later this year. We are hoping that we will be able to make contact with women or descendants that she knew at that time. We hope that this info will help others to add parts to the jigsaw they are trying to put together.

    William Sage



    Forewoman Constance Hunter

    Does anyone know the address of the Thirsk Land Army hostel where our mother Constance Hunter stayed for a number of years. Our mother met our father in Thirsk when he was training at Catterick but was billeted there. Our mother died a year or so ago, closely followed by our father and we wish to make a kind of pilgrimage to Thirsk to see the places they knew so well. Dad used to drink in the Golden Fleece, which still exists, and we would love to know where Mum was based. One of my sisters went to York with our parents and they spent a day in Thirsk but Mum could not remember exactly how to get to the hostel and they had to give up after a few hours wandering the byways. Can anyone help, please?

    Michael Anderson



    Gwynneth Shaw

    My mother, Gwynneth Shaw was sent to Norfolk when she joined the Land Army. She was about 18 years old, and her sister was already working there, and so she followed on, and managed to get on the same farm.

    They were in bed one night, 4 girls to one room, when a they heard a doodle bug. They were all very frightened and one of the girls said 'Don't worry, it's only when the engine stops that you need to worry about them', at which point the engine promptly cut out. They looked out through the window and actually saw it going past. Luckily, it fell to earth a long distance from the farm, so my Mum and my Auntie were both safe, although very shaken.

    Kathryn Edwards



    Ethel Barrett

    My grandmother, Mrs Ethel Barrett, was the Cook/Warden at the Women's Land Army Hostel at Eastling in Kent. I remember that the hostel was located close to a large house called The Paddocks, which was the home of the Fisher family. This family farmed much of the local land. I wondered if any one might have worked at Eastling and remember my grandmother?

    Bob Barrett



    Margaret Anne Watt

    My mother, Margaret Anne Watt, sadly passed on April 15th 2012. She loved her days in the Land Army. We are not totally sure of where she was posted in Wales and we would like to visit. We found her records and they say Pembrokeshire. Does anyone remember her or have photos, it would mean so much to us to hear from you. Thank you.

    Marilyn Hill



    Joan Ashton

    My mother-in-law, Joan Malone (nee Ashton), speaks with such great fondness about her time in the Women's Land Army, 1948-1950 in Tuxford (stayed at the Women's Land Army Hostel) so I have been researching that time and came across this web site. I thought it would be a wonderful surprise for her if I could find any other ladies (or families) that knew her from that special time of her life. She has been living in Australia since 1966 and returned to the UK in the 1980s to visit her family and a dear Land Army friend Edna Oliver, sadly to find that she had recently passed on. So, if anyone remembers their time at Tuxford 1948-1950 with Joan Ashton and the other gorgeous girls in the photographs I would be thrilled to show her this site and any messages or photos. Thank you to all the Women's Land Army for your amazing work and dedication to your country.

    Fiona Malone



    Kathleen Harvey

    I was in the Land Army in Thornhaugh. I have lost contact with my good friend Doreen Knapp does anyone know what happened to her?

    Kathleen Harvey



    Joyce O'Grady

    Joyce O'Grady

    Joyce O'Grady served in the Land Army at Ilmer Burches Farm in Buckinghamshire. The photo shows L-R Joyce O'Grady, Unknown, Bill Byre and Daphne in about 1945.

    Peter East



    Gwyneth Margaret St.Angelo

    Gwyneth Margareth St. Angelo was born in 1925 at Irlam, Lancashire. In 1943 she applied to join the Women's Land Army. At the outbreak of the war she wished to join the army like her older sisters, Pauline and Delys, but she was too young. She dearly wished to serve her country during those difficult years and as soon as possible joined the WLA. She was stationed in Hertfordshire between 1943 and 1944.

    Dermot McInerney



    Marjorie Eunice Dennert

    I joined the WLA as soon as I was 18, then transferred to a dairy farm near Maidstone, Kent. Later to Bucks, another dairy farm at Fulmer- then to Farnham to grow vegetables for the war factory canteens. I was pleased to toil away whilst our boys fought world-wide for justice and peace.

    The Forgotten Army – M E Dennert 2004

    I watch with pride on Anzac Day

    The lads as they march by

    I share with them grim memories

    But pause to wonder why

    One army is forgotten still…

    They toiled beneath the sky

    those girls who gave their utmost

    In rain, hail, wet or dry

    They were the ones who tilled the soil

    Tho’ some folks thought them balmy

    But I’m proud I was a member

    of the Womens’ Land Army.

    Marjorie Eunice Dennert



    June Napolitano

    I joined the Women’s Land Army in 1947 age 18 Not letting my mother know, as she was very upset. My life was hard at home being the eldest of 10 children. Thinking life would be a bed of roses & free & easy life at last! Was I wrong! Lights out at 10 pm said our Warden at the Potters Bar Hostel I first went too. I thought out of the frying pan into the fire the first week. Also the first job potato picking was awful & hoeing, Oh dear! The only nice part was the land girls I made friends with. Also our Saturday night extra time out for a dance. That was great until my friend Honar & I overstayed our time & were caught by the warden climbing through the window. I was sent to another hostel & Honar & I was split up, what a shame.

    I went to a remote village called Sandy in Bedford, a 2 mile walk to a village pub that was the only highlight of the week to play table tennis with the young farmer's boys. We only drank 1 shandy as we could not afford anything else. My Ł3 wage was halved as I had to send half to my mother. The Hostel (Hassles Hall ) was a bit spooky I thought, but we had a nice crowd of girls. Again the work was so boring again hoeing & weeding. I am afraid I put my hand up. Come & see me Monday for a trial Oh dear! I asked a German POW to please teach me to drive & over the weekend I mastered it. I then had the best job, much to the jibes I had from my friends. From then on I spent the next 2 years enjoying the Land Army. I left in 1950 & met my husband Richard & married had 6 children. Now 24 grandchildren. I ran a rest home for the elderly till I was 72 yrs & now enjoying my twilight years with my daughters. Not bad for 84 so far.

    June Napolitano



    Joan Matilda Parker

    My mum Joan Parker served in the Land Army, but sadly I only know she trained at Barnard Castle. I would like to find out more.

    Evelyn Vance



    Violet Bessie Wiles

    My mother, Violet Wiles was billeted at Mark Hall in Harlow, Essex while serving in the Land Army. She talks fondly of her experiences there and has retained a love of gardening. It would be great if anyone that recalls her could make contact.

    Jeanette Moorhouse



    Ruth Tym

    My mother, Ruth Tym, served in the land army during WW11 but unfortunately I do not have any details other than I think she was on a farm somewhere in the Yarm, Yorkshire area. She often talked of John and Cath at the farm and I believe this is where she was stationed. They kept in touch after the war and I have faint recollections of them. I remember mum telling me that John collected old tractors and he had been on a news program regarding this as I think he had purchased one from the US. One of the photos shows John and Cath at the farm with one of his tractors. I believe they had one son. One other person my mum talked of was Doris who is shown in two of the photos. I remember a few years ago I took mum to Eden Camp in Malton and in the Land Army hut she saw some photos of the women she served with. I will return there sometime and see if the location is known.




    Lilian Morgan "Lea" Childs

    My grandmother joined the Land Army and I believe was initially based at Queensbridge in Overton. She came to work in Caerwys, North Wales where she met my grandfather and therefore stayed in North Wales rather than returning to Liverpool. She passed away 40 years ago but I would very much like to hear from anyone who knew her and could share some stories.

    Nicola Davies



    Margaret Anne Watts

    My mum, Margaret Watts, was in the Land Army in Wales, we think in Pembrokeshire. Sadly mum passed away in 2012. She enjoyed her time in the Land Army. She used to talk about the farmhouse, the farmer's wife and going to dances. We would love to know where exactly she was as we can't remember the name of the village. We would love to hear from anyone who may remember her. She was from Liverpool.

    Marilyn Hill



    Mary Turner

    Mary Turner came down from Hebden Bridge to work in the fields down the fen at Swaffham Prior. She stayed in Swaffham Prior House, with all the other land girls, some from Manchester and Liverpool. It was hard work for these girls.

    My mum (Mary) met my dad in the village of Swaffham Prior, some of the other girls married local lads too. The girls kept in touch, they had a couple of reunions at Swaffham Prior House, they were invited to go in and look at where they used to live. Life had certainly changed from when they lived there.

    Mary Whiting



    Leah Josephine Haddrell Woman's Land Army

    I know so little about my Mum's life in the Land Army, which is why we should pass on to the next generation. Her name was Leah Haddrell and she was from Rotherham, and died in 1993 aged 67. Any information, would be appreciated. I'm hoping her unusual name may jog a few memories. She met my father Joe Allen (Irish) while she was working on a farm in Evesham. They went on to have 5 children when returned to Rotherham. My mum passed away when I was pregnant with my son, I would love to pass on any information and lovely stories of her time in Evesham, we have a photo of a group of Land Army girls, looking amazing and happy, in fancy dress outfits.

    Carolyn Taylor



    Mabel Shaw

    Mabel Shaw was called up in 1941. Her picture was put into the Dewsbury Reporter on March 14th 1942 with 5 other girls who had also joined up. She eventually was posted to Belvoir Castle where she met my father. My mother had a great singing voice and won a state Amateur singing contest in 1942, she also sang for the at several concerts including "The State Theatre" in Grantham where she was top of the Bill!

    I would be interested to know if anybody can recall my mother either singing or working in the WLA.

    Chris Dixon



    Dorothy Bates

    Dorothy Bates worked in the Women's Land Army.




    Mercy Joyce Scurr James

    Mercy James served with the Women's Land Army

    Veronica Cameron



    Brenda May Jones

    My mother, Brenda Jones, was in the Women's Land Army during the 2nd World War. She was stationed near Penzance and also near Penrith. She talked about it fondly. Not sure if anyone may see this post who knew her. Also, I have never seen a photo of her whilst in the land army. Not sure if any exist? thanks.

    Jane Jones



    Edith Maud "Eda" Griffiths

    My Mum served in the Women's Land Army at the end of WW2. She was 17 when she joined and 21 when she left. She first worked at Brockington Grange, Bredenbury, Near Hereford. She later moved to Sutton St Nicolas and stayed at "Rock Cottage" with Ivy and Stan Rock. Mum said she payed Ł7 a week to lodge there. She says it was a beautiful cottage, with a little wooden gate and lattice windows. She stated there was a sign on the gate which just said "Rock".

    Mum is now 86 years old and my daughter is currently working on a project about WWII and we are using my mum's memories of her Land Army days as a chapter in the project. She has told us some lovely stories. It would be lovely to hear from anyone who knew her

    Catherine Rees



    Rita Irene Day

    My late wife, Rita Irene Day nee Summerscales, was in private service with Mr & Mrs David Brown of David Brown Tractors later Aston Martin cars. At Meltenham Nr. Huddersfield.

    Rita decided that she would like to join the Women's Royal Naval Service but after talking this over with her Dad he suggested it would be better joining The Womens Land Army. Rita joined the WLA and was based at the hostel in Shortbank Road Skipton, North Yorkshire. She trained as a tractor driver and was involved in the ploughing of meadowlands to plant food production in our country's desperate need for food.

    Rita was also involved in all types of agricultural work, harvesting, threshing, etc etc. At times this was a very dirty and heavy work, even long hours for the sum of one shilling an hour (now 5p). The normal hours per week were forty eight, plus two hours free for the Country. Many hours were expected according to demand on harvesting, etc. etc. From the week's wages of Ł2.8 deduction for food and accommodation at the hostel was twenty shillings (Ł1) leaving the sum of Ł1.8 to live of.

    Living in the hostel with about forty other girls, they were a very happy lot when they had time to relax. I was serving in the Royal Air Force as a motor driver mechanic, and started a pen friendship with Rita. Later on a week end off duty I hitched hiked from my camp at Freckleton Lancashire to Skipton for our first date. This happened again and we fell in love.

    A year later we were married on 15th July 1947. Rita later left the WLA and moved to my home City of Edinbugh in 1949 I was demobbed from the RAF and we settled down here.

    Later a former Land Girl from Skipton started a annual reunion in various districts in the Yorkshire Dales. We attended as many as we could over the years, and after 60 years it was decided to finish, due to the decline in numbers. Later when the Armed forces veterans badge was issued, I thought the Land Girls were in need of recognition and started a campaign for a form of medal or some type of award. After 60 years a special WLA badge was issued at last. God bless the WLA/WTC.

    Harry C. Day



    Kathleen Beatrice Harley

    Kathlee Harley

    Kathleen Harley's family are putting together a documentary film and photo book about her life in the Land Army, and presented it to her on her 90th birthday in March 2015.

    We have been unable to trace the farm on which she worked which, she tells us, was Furze farm, near Holsworthy, Devon, and was run by Mr and Mrs Radclif. We are seeking any help to trace this farm. Any help would be greatly appreciated

    Ray Drury



    Doris Margaret Berry

    My mum, Doris Margaret Berry, joined the Women's Land Army at the beginning of the war aged 16. She worked in the hot-houses growing tomatoes in Waltham Abbey. She says it was back breaking work lugging manure around and digging frozen ground in the winter. Unfortunately, she kept no photographs or memorabilia of her time in the Land Army but always spoke of her time with great enthusiasm and I think that she enjoyed her time in Waltham Abbey. Following the war she returned home to Forest Gate. Sadly she died Jan 1st this year and so missed yesterday's tribute ceremony in Staffs.

    I would love to hear if there are any other tomato-girls left.

    Irene Stewart



    Margot A Ladwig

    Aunt Margot Ladwig served in the WLA during WWII 1939-1945 along with her sister Ursel. She came from Germany in 1938 and settled in Monmouth, Illinois in the U.S. Unfortunately, we don't have stories, but we do have photos. Those photos will be added to our digital collection at Western Illinois University. We still have armbands and the tie. We do not have her necklace.

    Linda A Wade



    Usel Ladwig

    Aunt Ursel Ladwig served in the WLA during WWII 1939-1945 with her sister Margot. She came from Germany in 1939 and settled in Monmouth, Illinois in the U.S. Unfortunately, we don't have stories, but we do have photos. Those photos will be added to our digital collection at Western Illinois University. We still have armbands and the tie.

    Linda A Wade



    Joyce Bell

    My mum Joyce Bell was in the Land Army Station down in Evesham we believe, not sure of the year. She used to tell us tales about her and her friend Sandy. We are very proud of her.

    Lesley Byram



    Dorothy Ethel Simpson

    It was a Sunday when we left Nottingham and two other girls Elsie and Thelma were also new recruits for the W.L.A and they had a W.L.A representative with them who was travelling with us and would take us to our private billets. Doris and I were put in a private billet with a Mr and Mrs Pay and the other two girls were put in another billet about three-quarters of a mile away from us on a main road. The first thing Doris and I wanted to do was write to our parents and tell them the name and address where they could write to us. We asked our new landlady her name and she said Mrs Pye, well Doris wrote Mrs Pie, I argued with her and said it's spelt Pye. Two days later we found out her name was Mrs Pay, it seems she had a strong Kentish accent that made A sound like I. We were dreading getting a letter with the wrong name on. The house was old fashioned, no bathroom just two bedrooms, Mr Pay had one bedroom and Doris and I shared a double bed in the other room. Nowadays two females wouldn't ever be put in the same bed, but we were innocent of goings on today. Mrs Pay slept in a single bed in the parlour. Mr Pay made no secret of the fact that he had a woman friend. Mr & Mrs Pay never argued and treated each other with respect. He was quite a clever person I think she bored him. Monday morning about 7.30 am a lady from W.L.A came to take us to work, she hadn't told us anything before, we got in her car and we stopped to pick up the other two girls who were still in bed and their landlady was annoyed and said the girls should be allowed to settle in. We were taken to work about five miles away to a farmer Crump, he should have been called grump because he was grumpy. Our first job was to pick six or eight sheaves of corn up and lean them together. This is called stooking and helps in drying out the corn, this was before Combine Harvesting. The weather was boiling hot and my hard leather shoes were killing me, so T took my socks off to give my feet more room, but the corn 6stubble cut my ankles to ribbons. Well after three days of stooking and we had nearly finished the acres of wheat fields a terrific gale came up, and our four girls watched in horror as nearly all our stooks collapsed. The farmer appeared and swore at us and told us we were no bl--dy good. The next day we were picked up and taken to a farm about 6 miles away to help with bringing in the corn to be put in barns or built into stacks. We were given a pitch fork each and told to climb into a rickety old cart pulled by a horse. As we crossed the road to the first of the fields we had to work in, the cart went in a rut and threw Doris forward and the upturned pitch fork went into her hand making it bleed. We shown it to the farmer but he just did a tut tut and that was it. We bandaged it with handkerchiefs. We pitched wheat sheaves onto the cart but we were shown how to stack them so they were firm and didn't fall off. They were stacked very high and it was a bit scary if you had been making the stack in the cart and you were left on the top and we had to go along a track and cross the road to the barn to stack it there. All went well till the last load which was oats and the farmer said, it doesn't matter how that's stacked. Doris and I were on the cart and it was stacked as high as possible, just as we got to the rut in the road the cart gave a jerk, Doris and I were thrown off, I just slipped down landing feet first, but where was Doris? Well she was upside down in the ditch. She was unhurt, but she looked so funny we were hysterical with laughter. Then we saw our one and only bus coming so we yanked Doris out of the ditch and ran to catch our bus leaving the farmer to pick up the fallen sheaves. At the weekend we were issued with huge bicycles as our only means of transport from now on, but these bicycles were policemens, no light ladies bikes for us, they were very heavy and our billet was near a railway crossing and the gates were kept closed so we used to have to carry these heavy bikes over the wooden bridge.

    Janet Simson Garrett



    Silvia Allott

    My grandmother, Silva Barraclough (nee Allott), joined the Woman's Land Army in 1942 at the age of 17. My grandmother registered for the Woman's Land Army in Rotherham and was relocated to a newly created hostel in Bungay, East Suffolk called The Red House on the Beccles Road.

    My grandmother recalls the forewoman Flo' being a large lady with a fierce, no nonsense approach and carried out orders in a timely manner.

    It was in 1942 that my grandmother met her lifelong pal, Betty Baker, who was also stationed at The Red House. Betty was relocated from York. My grandmother recalls that Betty wished to write to a young man in the army, to offer support and encouragement, for the work they were doing on the front. My grandmother gave Betty her brother's name and address (Fred was in the Navy) and Betty and Fred remained pen pals throughout the war, eventually marrying after the war had ended.

    My grandmother speaks very highly of her time in the Land Army. We have stories relating to the hard work, the cold winters, the dances she attended and the 'Yanks' she met along the way, who were based close by.

    One dramatic story is relating to the time that a German plane flew over the fields in which my grandmother was working in. The German plane dropped several 'butterfly' bombs and the girls had to dive for cover. Unfortunately, one of the girls was seriously injured and my grandmother remembers the 'Yanks' coming over to rush the young lady to a hospital. This was a very scary time and the girls didn't sleep for a week fearing the Germans would be back to finish the job. My grandmother believes the young girl that was injured in the incident was killed but this is unconfirmed.

    My grandmother left the Woman's Land Army in 1944 having to go back home to Rotherham to look after her ill auntie. It was in 1948 that she married Frank Stanley Rimmington of Masborough, Rotherham(d.1951) and later re married Alfred Barraclough of Kimberworth, Rotherham (d. 1999).

    My grandmother is still living in the Rotherham area (2014) and is fit and well at the age of 88.

    Fred and Betty passed away some years ago within 5 days of each other.

    We would love to hear any memories from The Red House if you or your family have any to share.

    Luke



    Betty Joan Lowe

    Betty gets a medal

    Betty Joan Lowe was born December 1923 in Barnsley, Yorkshire. She married John Mulart Smith after WW2 and had 3 children Wendy, Martin and Claire. Betty served in the Land Army in Scarborough, Yorkshire. I have attached a couple of photos you may find interesting, unfortunately she is not around any more. She did come and visit us here in New Zealand under her own steam when she was 86. Despite her advancing dementia, during her visit she told me quite a bit about the Land Army, seems the old memories came to the surface more. She worked on a farm in Scarborough despite her 4ft 11 frame for 3.5 years she said. The two other girls in the photo remain unknown.

    Nick



    Mabel Irene "Casey" Cason

    Mabel Irene Cason was known as Renee or Casey. She joined the Women's Land Army on 16th of July 1943, aged 17. She worked at Harrison's Farm, Terrington St. Clement, Norfolk. Later, she worked at a farm in Weasenham, Norfolk, where the farmer didn't really want Land Army girls, and so they had to do a man's work. At one time she drove a wagon of corn to the water mill at West Newton. Later still, she was at the Land Army Hostel in Barton Bendish, Norfolk, working as part of a gang of about 20. Her Land Army friends included Audrey from Yorkshire, Edna from Liverpool, Marion from London and some from Barnsley. During her time there, she took a trip with one (or some) of the girls to Yorkshire. A local newspaper, The Lynn News & Advertiser, has two picture stories of the Barton Bendish WLA workers and she is clearly distinguishable in one. It is believed that she won a hoeing competition and that she also attended one of the WLA parades at Buckingham Palace. She finished her WLA time at Barton Bendish on 24th of October 1947, shortly before her marriage.

    John Ward



    Eirene Sylvia Till Haverholme Estate, Sleaford, Lincs

    My mum, Eirene Sylvia Till served in the Woman's Land Army in the Sleaford, Lincolnshire area (Haverholme Estate) having lived in London. She met her husband Ernest Black (my dad) on the farm they worked on. I would appreciate any information anyone may have.

    Loll Black



    Nancy Rebecca "Ann" Preston

    My mother Nancy Preston was in the WLA and was stationed at a farm in Bradley Green near Feckenham, Worcestershire, she was known as Ann. She met my father who was in the RAF and was stationed nearby. They used to go to dances in Feckenham and Redditch. Sadly she is no longer with us and I struggle to remember her stories but I know she loved her time in the WLA. She learnt to drive while on the farm. At one time she was living in a caravan with another girl who apparently used to 'borrow' her clothes - much to my mother's annoyance. She said the caravan was bitterly cold during the winter.

    She loved feeding the calves. She also worked in greenhouses growing tomatoes. I now live not far from where she was stationed and dearly wish I had asked her more, particularly the name of the farm.

    Jan Firman



    Drv. Mary Dorothy Irene Isaac Honiton

    I was based in Honiton at Fairfield House, New Street around 1947/48. I would love to hear from any other Land Girls who served in the same location. I remember names Vera Razey, Doris Lowe, Mary Yates, Enid Roberts, Florrie Bailey, May Kehoe, Gertie Cooke and wonder if they are still around.

    Mary Holliday



    Phyllis May Cordwell

    My aunt who was then Phyllis Cordwell now aged 92, enlisted in the Land Army in 1942 and was sent to Asham House, Nynehead nr Taunton and can vividly remember about her time spent there. Although she realises there may not be many (if any) other "girls" still around if any relatives of the following list have memories to share I know she would be delighted to hear from them!
    • Betty Foote,
    • Ann Arnett,
    • Stella Coleman,
    • Margaret Deeds,
    • Jessie Davis,
    • Emily Barnes,
    • Joyce Foyle,
    • Amy Shan,
    • Mabel Holland,
    • Irene Reid Watson,
    • Kathleen Fisher,
    • Diane de Creau,
    • Winny Vosper,
    • Audrey Graddon,
    • Edie Merry,
    • Gladys Cox,
    • Madeline Marks,
    • Ivy Lewis,
    • Smale,
    • Kathleen Eveleigh
    • Pamela House
    .

    As you can tell by the amount of names, my Aunt still has an amazing memory! She was joined a few months later by her sister Vera Cordwell (my mum) and I know they shared many happy times together.

    Jill Evans



    Doreen Winter

    Doreen Winter served with the Women's Land Army and was based in Bunny, Nottinghamshire.

    Sarah S.



    Margaret White

    I found this amongst some papers given to me by Margaret White (maiden name unknown) now deceased.

    Life in the Land Army

    It was 1943, in the middle of the war years. I was 19 at the time and working in a London office and bombing raids were an everyday occurrence. We spent many nights in our air-raid shelter which was just outside in the back garden. It was cold and miserable in there and we were always glad when morning came and we could go back indoors. Sometimes there was damage to clear up as often the windows had been blown out with the bomb blast. We were all weary with lack of sleep and then there was the problem of getting to work on time. The buses and trains were either late or not running at all. So everything seemed chaotic and grim.

    In our office the younger men were being called up to join the forces and the young girls were either getting married or volunteering for the services. I began to think that I would like a change too, so at 19, completely ignorant of what life in the country would be like I volunteered for the Women’s Land Army. This I thought would be fun.

    They decide to send me to Pembrokeshire in Wales. It was one of the loneliest places and much too far away for any trips home. So off I went with my brand new uniform and some strong boots. My heart sank when I arrived at this very lonely farmhouse. It was like going back a century in time and the whole place seemed lonely and neglected.

    The farmer and his wife weren’t particularly pleased to see me, but as it was becoming impossible to get local labours I suppose I was the next best thing. They spoke to each other in Welsh so I wasn’t included in any conversation and I retired early to bed with a sense of foreboding. The morning came and I listened to the rain beating on the windows. Lying in the estrange bed I looked around the room which was to be my home for some time to come. It was cold and uninviting, there was just an old brown wardrobe in the corner with my case containing my belongings. On a small table was a jug and basin for washing. I felt sad and lonely, but knew there was no going back.

    The rain continued running in riverlets down the window. I pulled the coverlet up around my ears and turned over in my bed. At 6 o’clock there came a knock at the door “Time to get up Maggie” said the farmer’s wife also called Margaret. It was decided the previous night that I would be called Maggie as there couldn’t be two people called Margaret on the farm. I can’t think why as the farmer never called his wife anything but “Mrs” all the time I was there.

    Feeling nervous and ill at ease I quickly dressed in my overalls and taking my mackintosh and gum boots went down stairs to start the day. The farmer was putting in his boots by the kitchen range “Morning” he said, taking his cap off the hook by the door he strode into the rain and I hurried after him. We made our way over the uneven ground to the cowsheds, my mackintosh flapped against my legs and the new gumboots squelched through the muddy puddles. Reaching the shelter of the cow-shed I paused for a moment to take in the scene. Two oil lamps were hanging high on the roof casting shadows on everything below. The smell of the oil was mingled with the sweat of the cows as they stood waiting in the stalls. One or two of them looked round with mild curiosity as we arrived.

    I watched carefully as the farmer sat down on his three legged stool and started to milk the first cow. How on earth was I going to do the same? The bucket stood firm between his knees and the milk squirted steadily down into the pan. “Ping, ping, ping” it continued with regular precision, a layer of white foam collected on the surface.

    Then it was my turn and I sat down gingerly under the cow. After fixing the bucket between my knees I put my head down and prepared for action. Nothing happened! I pulled and squeezed but nothing came forth. The hot brown body fidgeted in the stall and a tail swished around my face. My nervousness increased, realising this the cow moved sideways and the bucket fell to the ground. I shifted position and tried again. I pulled and squeezed and this time my prayers were answered and a faint trickle slid down the side of the bucket. My fingers ached intolerably as I grew hot and uncomfortable. Determined to do better with my second cow I kept repeating to myself “squeeze and pull” very slowly the bucket filled. Time dragged on and I started the third cow. I don’t think she liked me as her tail lashed out and hit me across the face like a whiplash.

    By now was daylight creeping in and I noticed another figure moving about the shed. I learnt later this was Arthur, a real country bumpkin and a bit in the simple side. He gave me a grin as I tipped the contents of my bucket into the milk churn. I was beginning to feel decidedly hungry by now and after untying all the cows and sending them into the yard, I was told it was time for breakfast. Off came the gumboots and wet mac and I went expectantly into the kitchen.

    The table was laid for four people and each plate lay two slices of very fatty cold bacon. My heart sank; it would have sunk even lower had I known it would always be the same. On the ceiling over the range, strung across with ropes to keep them in position were two sides of bacon. The smoke from the range had made them black and dusty. Yes, the mainstay of our diet was hanging aloft.

    The Mrs was a tall angular woman who seldom smiled. She asked how I had got on with the milking, “not too bad for a first attempt” I replied. She turned to her husband and they conversed in Welsh, I was embarrassed that they were talking about me. Arthur sat opposite me smiling vaguely throughout the meal. The meals never varied, it was bacon, bacon and still more bacon.

    After breakfast the mats had to be taken outside, hung over the garden wall and beaten with a stick. I thought of our ‘Hoover’ vacuum cleaner at home as the clouds of dust swirled around. As I went back inside there were a bucket of water and a brush waiting for me to scrub the floor. The hot water was soothing to my hands which were aching from trying to milk the cows. On the range there was a pan of bacon broth which we had for lunch, bread and butter and a cup of tea followed and that was it. It seems incredible to me that the meals never varied in all the time I was there. I was beginning to feel depressed; it was all such a contrast to the comfortable home I had left.

    I was then told to tidy my bedroom with a blessed hour of freedom. As the rain had stopped, I threw up the window and looked out at my new surroundings. The farm was situated near the road with a cobbled yard stretching behind where the chickens scratched about for food. The was a large pile of cows manure in the corner which smelled abdominally. Two small farm cottages were down the road, but apart from these no other houses could be seen.

    It was brighter now the rain had stopped; as soon as I went back downstairs things did not seem quite so bad. The next job was to clean out the chicken houses. There were a couple of broody hens who let out a shriek of protest when I disturbed them. Their wings flapped and I lost all confidence quickly jumping out and slamming the door. I think some of the fleas jumped out with me as I felt distinctly itchy for the rest of the day.

    Milking time came round again and I persevered with the squeezing and pulling. By the time I had finished my hands ached intolerably, but I had the satisfaction of knowing that the milk was flowing more easily. The cloths used to wipe the cows were hung out to dry, the chains removed from the necks of the cows and they were sent out into the yard. I had a stiff broom and shovel to clear the gutters, load it onto a wheelbarrow and trundle it outside to be emptied on to the muck heap. The milk churns had to be taken up to the crossroads to be collected by the milk lorry, so we rolled them on their rims across the yard and up the road.

    It was warmer now and I noticed all the pleasant smells of the country after the recent rain. We went back in for tea, I told myself there couldn’t possibly be bacon again, but I was wrong. On each plate were two slices of bacon and the usual bread and butter and tea. In the months that followed I often longed for fruit and vegetables or anything to break the monotony, but they were set in their ways and things were never any different.

    Not everything was against me, the summer continued with many warm and sunny days. Out in all weathers my skin became very brown and I gained weight at an alarming rate.

    Washday proved to be quite an eye opener. The old wooden tub in the yard was lifted onto an old table. We then sorted the dirty clothes; it was quite amazing to discover what the others wore underneath. Poor Arthur had just one proper shirt for Sundays, the rest of the week he wore sacks which had holes cut for arms and neck. We poured several kettles of boiling water into the tub and filled it with cold water from the nearby pump. I was allowed to wash my things first while the water was a good colour. There was no soap powder just two bars of yellow soap and a rubbing board, I felt I was living in Victorian times as we rubbed and scrubbed. The water was dirty long before we had finished but we carried on until the last sock had been done. It wasn’t a pleasant job but we were out in the sunshine. After a final rinse with pump water everything was taken to the garden and laid on the grass to dry.

    At the far end of the garden was the ‘loo’. It took five or six minutes to reach it from the house so it was always best not to leave things until the last moment. The thought of our bathroom at home filled me with nostalgia.

    The days grew long and warmer; it was a gorgeous summer so I made the best of things. Soon it was time to hoe the cabbage field and the farmer and I set off with a bottle of cold tea and a cheese sandwich in our pockets. We went over the yard to the next field where the cabbages were growing in straight rows up and over the hills as far as the eye could see. I worked slowly up and down each line cutting away at the weeds, how my back ached in that stooping position.

    As the day wore on I grew hot and tired and longed to stretch out on the grass verge. I rolled my dungarees up to my knees which felt cooler for a time. To cheer myself up I started to whistle my favourite tunes. The farmer took a dim view of this and reminded me of an old saying. “A whistling woman and a crowing hen is neither good to God nor man”. I was sure God did not mind as it helped my day along.

    The hours dragged with a short break for refreshments under the trees. Then I was told to carry on, on my own, until it was milking time. This gave me a little freedom and I gave myself a rest whenever I wanted. It was lovely to kick off my boots and lie on the soft grass and daydream for a while. It took most of the week to clear the field and by the time I had finished the bend in my back seemed permanent. There was nothing to do in the evenings when the work was done. We continued working until dusk then I sat swinging on the front gate, hoping something would happen, but it never did.

    There were two cart horses on the farm and together they made a splendid team. The farmer told me I was to learn to plough, so we set off to a field not far away. The horses were harnessed together with the plough between them; I watched the farmer guided them up and down the rows. Then it was my turn to take over, taking the plough handles and reigns I set off. Up and down we went with the horses straining my arms to their limit. Turning each corner then back down the straight again where I could relax a little while the horses led the way. Their muscles rippled as they strode ahead with their long black tails swishing from side to side. I was left alone to finish the field so I took my time and sang aloud all the good old songs.

    Some days I spent muck spreading usually alone in a field with a few cart loads of manure tipped here and there. The idea was to fork it and scatter it evenly all over the field. A nice leisurely job, but rather lonely. While I was doing this I heard a van driving down the road behind me. Suddenly there were loud shouts from the driver and his companions. Two land girls jumped out of the van and came to where I was working in the field. They were rat catchers and how I envied them as their day started at 8 o’clock and finished at 5 o’clock. They went round the farms leaving bits of bait in the rat holes and returned the next day to pick up the bodies. It seemed an easy job with plenty of time to spare for fun. We all stretched out in the sun for a break and swopped stories of our experiences. They had a good laugh when I told them that Arthur wore sacks instead of shirts and they refused to believe I had bacon for three meals a day.

    The small dairy in the yard was where the farmer’s wife made the butter for the market. It was all sent away except for one small packet which was kept in an outside food safe under lock and key. I longed to taste the cream from the dairy. One day when I knew everyone was out I took a cupful from the nearest churn, it slipped down a treat. It is still a delicious memory even after all these years.

    On Sundays I was expected to attend church with the rest of the family. The farmer believed that his crops would die if any of us failed to go. We took up one pew near the front. The Mrs wore a long black coat, mauve hat, black shoes and stockings, all very proper. The farmer wore his best breeches, well polished boots and a check cap. When he removed the cap I was fascinated to see his white bald head against the brown of his complexion. Arthur looked uncomfortable wearing a suit and his boots creaked each time we knelt to pray. We sang all sang the hymns with gusto!

    Sometimes the work needed all my concentration as it did when we spent the day at the sheep wash. After milking time we loaded the sheep onto the hired lorry and set off to the sheep dip some five miles away. They were put into a large pen where they were checked for maggots. Something quite strong was rubbed into the bald patches to remove them. I was glad when this part of the job was done. There was such a noise and commotion and they were dashing about all over the place. One by one they went through a corridor to a small pool of blue water. This had a very unpleasant smell of disinfectant. Here they floundered about until they found the shallow end, where they bolted up the side of the bank to join the rest.

    Soon it was time for haymaking to begin. This seemed to be one of the big events of the year and the work on each farm was shared by all the neighbours. The hay was cut and left to dry in the sun and then turned by hand with a long fork. Of course when it rained it had to be dried all over again. When it was finally judged to be just right, it was built into a hay rick. I enjoyed being in the sun all day long inspite of the permanent back ache.

    News came one day have you heard, have you heard? Everyone was saying. There’s any army of Grenadier Guards coming here” how interesting I thought – that should make life much more fun. They came with their jeeps and lorries dashing along the quiet lanes, laughing and singing as they went. They were stationed two miles away.

    I found I had to allow more time when I fetched the cows for milking. There were 25 cows and one bull; it used to be a simple matter keeping them in a tidy group as they ambled along to the farm. This all changed when the Guardsmen were about. As they drew near in their lorries they would sound their horns and drive through the centre of the animals scattering them to the left and right. Sometimes I would just get them back together and the same thing would happen again but in the opposite direction. It made us all laugh and found the days passed more quickly with these mild distractions.

    Swinging on the gate in the evenings was different now. Small groups of Guardsmen would be out strolling and we would pass an hour or two chatting to each other. I was pleased to meet their chief cook; I used to meet him at the corner where he would hand over cakes and other delicacies from the kitchen.

    Dances were started at the village hall and this gave me something to look forward to each Saturday night. After an afternoon with dozens of pipe cleaners to frizz my hair into lots of curls, I would set off in my best uniform to dance the light fantastic. All those lovely old tunes – I remember them still. I sometimes wondered if the smell of cows was still about me, but hoped the carbolic soap would counteract it.

    Suddenly one day came the news that I had been granted compassionate leave as my mother was ill at home. It was a relief to know that I would not have to return. The work had been hard and the hours long. It was an experience I would never forget.

    Post Script

    Sometime later I was sent to a farm at Dunton Green in Kent where I spent a happy two years. With the good company of another Land Army girl and all modern equipment, a contrast to all that I had experienced before.

    Lesley Weeks



    Constance Mary Burles

    My mother, Constance Burles, told us she always felt so good when planting potatoes for the Women's Land Army. It was the best feeling with her hands in the soil!

    Christine Hoffman



    Phyllis Cohen

    with a dog

    My mother, Phyllis Cohen joined the Women's Land Army on 29th of April 1942. She said she worked at Highclere Castle Farm and her war record showed she took a train to Hampshire on 27th of June 1943. She resigned on medical grounds. She enjoyed her time in the Land Army. I have been unable to find confirmation of where she was stationed. If anyone has any information I would be grateful.

    Charles Miller



    Joan Blackburn

    My mother Joan Blackburn was in the Women's Land Army from 1939 to 1949. She was based at Sturton-By-Stow near Scampton in Lincolnshire for a year and then on Tresco on the Scilly Isles. My mum is now 94 but often talks about the Land Army days. She remembers riddling potatoes in the snow, and weeding onions with a bottle of cider in the bottom of the hedge to keep them going in the baking summer weather.

    Tresco was an idyllic posting because of the mild weather and the beautiful sea. On Tresco the land girls had the use of a boat and a room where there was a piano, courtesy of the Dorian Smith family who owned the island. They formed a concert party and went to the other islands to give concerts. One day they were machine gunned on the beach by a passing German plane and had to make a run for it.

    Joan received her 10 year medal at Buckingham Palace and had tea at the Mansion House in London.

    Georgina



    Beatrice Anne Brown Women's Land Army

    My Mother came into this world in 1927 weighing exactly one stone and was christened Beatrice Anne Brown. She was born in Scarrington Nottinghamshire to William Henry Brown and Harriet nee Cobb. The Family moved to Sandiacre, Derbyshire in 1930 as her father had secured employment there. Her dad’s job was in the delivery department of Bouyant Upholstery which was at the top of the street. In those days the deliveries were done via horse and cart and her dad’s horse was called Diamond. Every morning her dad used to take Diamond down the street to the front window of his house, where mam, aged 4 fed it bread. The horse got that used to it that it refused to move until mam fed it. Aged 5, mam started William Lilley School in Stapleford and aged 7 she moved to Sandiacre Girls School on Town Street. Mam left school at the age of 13 as her mam passed away on 18th March 1940, aged just 45.There were 4 sisters living at home and her dad couldn’t cope so Mary went to stay with mam’s Aunt Doris and Ivy moved in with Kath the eldest sister. Sheila, the youngest, was adopted but mam looked after her until the adoption was arranged. Afterwards, mam looked after her dad and a kind of normality came into being so she applied for a job at Lace Factory at Sandiacre and was successful.

    She was there for two years until she decided that she wanted to “do her bit” to help win the war and she joined the Land Army. Her training took place at Repton, Nottinghamshire and took 6 months. She was then sent on to be based at Lyddington and was boarding in a hostel along with a number of other young ladies. They were sent out to various farms to carry out essential work to keep the farms running whilst then men were out helping to win the war. I wasn’t always hard work though and they had a little time to play. Every Tuesday night mam, her best friend Winnie and the other girls would be picked up by the RAF lads and taken to the dance in their NAFFI. Not to be outdone, the Army lads would pick them up on a Thursday for the same reason. It was at one of these dances that mam met David Schofield who was in the RAF. They often went to visit mam’s sister Kath. Their relationship lasted for nearly 2 years and then he was posted and they lost touch. Her sister Evelynn had also joined the Land Army and was stationed only 2 miles away so they would cycle over to see each other once a week and every Sunday they would get together with Evelynn’s friend Mary to attend a Songs of Praise service.

    Mam stayed in the Land Army for 3 years and then at the age of 20, she left and returned to the Lace Factory. Not long afterwards her Father passed away, just under a month before her 21st birthday. It took nearly a year before she started to feel like going out but one fateful night her next door neighbour persuaded her to go with her to the Plough pub on Town Street in Sandiacre. It was there that her eyes fell upon a handsome young man playing darts with his dad. Mam turned to her neighbour and said “I am going to marry that man” even though she didn’t even know his name. Her neighbour took her over and introduced her as her daughter to the young man and he told her his name was George. During the prolonged conversation that she had with him, she, for some reason, asked him if he liked comics and he said that he did. The following night, when she returned to the Plough to meet him, she had a Dandy comic tucked under her arm. Their life together had begun! They became inseparable and George eventually moved into the house on Gas Street with her. He had been married but was waiting for the marriage to be dissolved so they set up home together and their own family started to arrive.

    Kathleen Carter



    Mary Howell

    My mum served in the Land Army. She talked about her friends Dillys May and Beryl. Does anyone remember her?

    Carol Bollinger



    Pat Kemp

    It was very hard work and long hours in the Women's Land Army, but we had lots of laughs, no matter how tired we were at the end of the day.

    Pat Kemp



    Fiona Elizabeth Cook

    I joined the Women's Land Army in 1943 when I was 17, was sent to Ripley, Surrey for 2 weeks training on a dairy farm. I travelled to the Guinness Dairy Farm in Old Woking, was billeted with the head cowman, Bob, This farm was owned by Lord Iveagh, with a herd of Guernsey Cows. We did all the milking, care of the calves and bulls. We also helped at harvest time, so it was a long day.

    I served 3 years in the Land Army, and actually met my husband whilst milking a cow! He was an Officer cadet in the Royal Engineers, and had come to attend his cousin's wedding. She worked in the Dairy.

    I am 90 in March, and we will celebrate our 70th wedding anniversary in Dec, this year. We emigrated to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 1948, and still live here. My Maiden name was Hilton, and would be very interest to contact anyone who remembers me?

    Fiona Cook



    Teresa "Terry" Kenyon

    My aunt, Teresa Kenyon, served in the WLA between 1945 and 1947 in Devon.

    Margaret Warnes



    Agnes Gilcrist

    My mother, Agnes Gilcrist, was in the WLA on the Isle of Wight during WWII.

    B Banks



    Mary Grace

    My mother was in the WLA around Leominster, Herefordshire. Her younger sister, Jean, also served.

    Helen



    Jean Grace

    Jean Grace served in the WLA during WWII. Her older sister, Mary, also served in the WLA around Leominster, Herefordshire.




    Phyliss Bennett

    Does anyone remember Phyliss of the WLA Worcestershire Division?

    Jan



    Dorothy Walmsley

    Dorothy Walmsley of Brierley Hill served in the WLA with Phyliss Bennett.




    Gladys Greenwood

    Does anyone remember my grandmother, Gladys Greenwood, who served in the WLA? She was initially based in Kings Lynn, Norfolk, and then Wymondham.

    Barry Smith



    Veronica Palmer

    I am looking for Veronica Palmer (1944-45). My name was Pauline French and we were based at Pamphill Manor, Wimborne, Dorset in the WLA.

    Pauline Collacott



    Pauline French

    I was based at Pamphill Manor, Wimborne, Dorset in the WLA. I am looking for Veronica Palmer (1944-45) with whom I served.

    Pauline Collacott



    Irene Kitchingman

    My mother, Irene Kitchingman, was based at Crow Hall, Downham Market during the war when she served in the WLA.

    Dave Southwell



    Doreen Lawson Marske

    My mother, Doreen Lawson, served in the Land Army at Hutton Bonville, North Riding, Yorkshire, during WW2. I would like to know if you have her name on your register. She turns 90 this Saturday (16/01/16) Thank you,

    John Robinson



    Hazel Odell

    My sister, Hazel Odell, was in the WLA and may have been based in Kent.

    Pam



    Dagmar Kitchen

    When I was a kid we had a Land Girl billeted with us. I was only 2 or 3 so my memories are vague. She was tallish (to a 3-year-old) with dark long wavy hair and large dark eyes. I think her name was Dagmar Kitchen - which is a pretty odd name, so I hope somebody has heard of her.

    We also had a man called Leonard something with us at another time who worked in the Air Ministry at Cheltenham (now GCHQ). We lived on the edge of Stroud. My parents were teachers and my dad organised Harvest Camps on a farm in Chrington for the NUT in the summers. Anyone remember any of this?

    Chris Dean



    Gwen Bedwell

    Gwen Bedwell served with the Women's Land Army in Hasketon, Suffolk from 1944 to 1948. Anyone remember her?

    Paul Bedwell



    Audrey Foster

    Audrey Foster served in the WLA and was stationed in Ripon, North Yorkshire around 1944. Does anyone remember her?

    K.Guest



    Norrie Humphreys

    Does anyone remember my mother, Norrie Humphreys, who served in the WLA in Bulwark, Chepstow?

    Jan Wilkins



    Ruth Fuller Peddle

    Ruth Fuller Peddle

    Ruth Peddle served in the Women's Land Army.

    Stephanie Peddle



    Miriam Potter

    My grandma served in the Women's Land Army. Her name was Miriam Potter and she joined the WLA in Leicester. The only other information is that she was based in somewhere in Wales. Does anyone remember her?

    Paul Warren



    Elizabeth "Betty" Deakin

    A moment of leisure

    Elizabeth (Betty) Deakin joined the Womens Land Army in 1946, aged 17. Prior to joining, Betty had worked in the ICI chemical factory, where she worked in the production of the Milk of Magnesia brand of medicine, in her hometown of Washington, Tyne and Wear. She decided to join up along with several friends who worked in the same factory. Her mother, Mary Deakin, told her she could get that idea out of her head, however her father intervened and he made the plea "Oh Mary, if she wants to go, let her".

    Betty signed up in 1946 and was sent immediately to Wallingford, Oxfordshire and billeted in a Land Army Hostel in the same town. She enjoyed her work from the outset, making friends with Joyce Smith, a more experienced forewoman, Patricia Street and Mary Healey. The four became close, and called themselves, the four musketeers.

    Betty took a driving course in Reading shortly after joining, where she was temporarily billeted. She passed the test at the first attempt, which allowed her to drive tractors, trucks and a variety of other heavy agricultural machinery. She went on to become a charge hand, which involved her transporting Land Army personnel from farm to farm, often following around the large threshing machine which was used by the farmers in that area. She also had to work in the fields herself, planting and harvesting crops, etcetera.

    She remained lifelong friends with Joyce, Mary, Kath and Marge and has continued living in the Wallingford area since leaving the Land Army, meeting and marrying Jim Luscombe in the early 1950s and having two sons, David and Paul.

    David Luscombe



    Della "Taff" Davies

    I was in the WLA at Neath from 1946 to 1948. The women used to call me Taff because they said I sang when I talked. Does anyone remember me?

    Della Davies









    Recomended Reading.

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    My Land Girl Years, 1939-1948

    Vera Rattray


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    The Women's Land Army

    Bob Powell & Nigel Westacott


    This book brings together a wealth of black and white pictures which together record not only the operations of the Women's Land Army (WLA) but also scenes of the countryside between 1939 and 1950. Drawn from the worldwide albums of many ex-land girls at a time when film was rationed and photography monitored, this collection offers a fascinating insight into the people and places associated with the WLA. Many of these photographs have never been published in book form and so offer a unique record of the organisation. Every image is captioned, providing names and dates where possible, and revealing historical anecdotal detail which gives life to the scenes and personalities captured through the camera lens. Presenting training, occupations and the social activities of the Land Army women, this absorbing collection will not only evoke many wartime memories, but will also inspire readers through these images of hope, strength and unity.
    More information on:

    The Women's Land Army




    British Women's Uniforms in Colour Photographs (World War 2)

    Martin Brayley & Richard Ingham


    This reference book contains the uniforms of the women's services during World War II. Nearly 200 colour photographs of rare, original uniforms from private collections are featured with detailed explanatory text. This really is an extraordinarily good book if you're looking for details of women's uniforms from the WWII period. Every page has a large, clear photograph of a uniform (worn by a modern model, but with 40s styling), plus detail shots of shoes, insignia, berets and so on.



    The 1940s Look: Recreating the Fashions, Hairstyles and Make-up of the Second World War

    Mike Brown


    "The 1940s Look" tells you everything you need to know about the fashions of wartime Britain and the impact that rationing, the Utility scheme, changing tastes and the demands of everyday life had on the styles people wore. People had to 'Make Do and Mend' - with varying degrees of ingenuity and success. Hair styles, glasses, jewellery, and tattoos were essential in creating your own fashion statement. Women's magazines advised readers on the difficulties of dressing growing children, offered instructions for making clothes and accessories, and hosted debate over whether by dressing up, women were helping or hindering the war effort. Thoroughly researched and lavishly illustrated, "The 1940s Look" tells you how civilian men, women and children dressed - and why they looked the way they did during the Second World War. It draws on contemporary sources including government advice, periodicals and books, and benefits from an entertaining narrative by author Mike Brown.



    Wartime: Britain 1939-1945

    Dr Juliet Gardiner


    Juliet Gardiner's 'Wartime' provides a marvellously rich, and often entertaining, recreation of life on the Home Front, 1939-45, drawing on an enormous range of oral testimony and memoir.
    More information on:

    Wartime: Britain 1939-1945




    Women on the Land: Their Story During Two World Wars

    Carol Twinch


    Women on the Land tells the remarkable story of women's contribution to agriculture and forestry during the two World Wars. It traces the formation and history of the Women's Land Army, and shows how women, mostly untrained and from non-farming backgrounds, helped maintain food production for a beleaguered nation, by filling the places of men away at the war. At the height of the First World War the Land Army had a full-time membership of 23,000 members, a number that was to exceed 80,000 during the Second World War. The book pays tribute to women like Lady Denman, who administered the Land Army during the Second World War and who was its chief inspiration and driving force, and also outlines the part played by other women's groups in wartime. Containing many first-hand reminiscences by the women who served, and a number of evocative illustrations, Women on the Land highlights the years when women were effectively to challenge long-established preconceptions as to what properly constit



    World War II (Who? What? When?)

    Bob Fowke


    'We loved this series. Really good, easy-to-use, exciting reference books, but the size and appearance of a novel. Topics and themes are covered in alphabetical order and there's a simple cross-referencing system which is really easy to use. A good, fascinating selection of information and facts that can be dipped into; helpful and clear 'how to read this book' explanation at the front, and glossary of terms and index at the back. Great, eye-catching covers.' -- The Guide to Literacy Resources 2003 'The series covers eras closely linked to the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority's key stage 2 units. They approach history through the humorous, gruesome facts that KS2 pupils love to know. The cartoons and informal style make them suitable for independent reading - an unsuspecting way of learning about the past.' -- TES Teacher 20030613 'a very accessible reference book.' -- Primary Times 20030331 Product Description As the title implies, the book provides information on the key peo



    The Milk Lady at New Park Farm: The Wartime Diary of Anne McEntegart June 1943 - February 1945

    Anne McEntegart


    Anne McEntegart (1905 - 1984) was a professional artist and wife of an R.A.F. officer, Bernard McEntegart - who eventually became Air Vice-Marshal. Being the wife of an officer she didn't need to work on the land but she wanted to support the war effort and so did the work of a land girl, alongside the land girls on the farm, without becoming a member of the W.L.A. This was possibly because she wanted to be available to be with her husband if this was needed, her husband was working abroad and her only child was in Canada, evacuated for safety. Aged thirty-eight, Anne left London, and her life as the wife of an officer, to work on the land and deliver milk for Walter Gossling at New Park Farm, just outside the village of Brockenhurst, in the New Forest. Though not an official member of the Women's Land Army, Anne milked cows and stacked corn alongisde the land girls on the farm. Engagingly detailing the brim-full days of farm life during the build-up to the D-Day and after, this book c









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