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The Wartime Memories Project is the original WW1 and WW2 commemoration website.
- To commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE Day, we are launching a new feature, Second World War Day by Day and also a new Library to allow access to records which have previously been held in our offline archive.
- Looking for help with Family History Research? Please read our Family History FAQ's
- The Wartime Memories Project is run by volunteers and this website is funded by donations from our visitors. If the information here has been helpful or you have enjoyed reaching the stories please conside making a donation, no matter how small, would be much appreciated, annually we need to raise enough funds to pay for our web hosting or this site will vanish from the web. In these difficult times current donations are falling far short of this target.If you enjoy this site
please consider making a donation.
- We are also looking for volunteers to help with the website. We currently have a huge backlog of submissions which need to be edited for display online, if you have a good standard of written English, an interest in the two World Wars and a little time to spare online we would appreciate your help. For more information please see our page on Volunteering.
Research your own Family History.
May 2017 - Please note we currently have a large backlog of submitted material, our volunteers are working through this as quickly as possible and all names, stories and photos will be added to the site. If you have already submitted a story to the site and your UID reference number is higher than 231539, your information is still in the queue, please do not resubmit without contacting us first.
We are aware of the issue with missing images, this is due to the redesign of the website, images will reappear as soon as the new version of the page is completed, thank you for your patience.
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Wanted: Digital copies of Group photographs, Scrapbooks, Autograph books, photo albums, newspaper clippings, letters, postcards and ephemera relating to WW2. We would like to obtain digital copies of any documents or photographs relating to WW2 you may have at home.
If you have any unwanted photographs, documents or items from the First or Second World War, please do not destroy them. The Wartime Memories Project will give them a good home and ensure that they are used for educational purposes.Please get in touch for the postal address, do not sent them to our PO Box as packages are not accepted. World War 1 One ww1 wwII greatwar great
Did you know? We also have a section on The Great War. and a Timecapsule to preserve stories from other conflicts for future generations.
Please select a story link or scroll down to browse all the stories submitted.
If you have any names to add to this list, or any recollections or photos of those listed, please get in touch.
My sister, Hazel Odell, was in the WLA and may have been based in Kent.Pam
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 served with the Women's Land Army in Hasketon, Suffolk from 1944 to 1948. Anyone remember her?Paul Bedwell
Audrey Foster served in the WLA and was stationed in Ripon, North Yorkshire around 1944. Does anyone remember her?K.Guest
Does anyone remember my mother, Norrie Humphreys, who served in the WLA in Bulwark, Chepstow?Jan Wilkins
Ruth Fuller Peddle
Ruth Peddle served in the Women's Land Army.Stephanie Peddle
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
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
Joan Margaret Sutton
My sister, Joan Margaret Sutton, joined the Womans Land Army in 1943 when she was 18 years old. Her farm was in New Barn near Longfield in Kent, and she lodged with a local family, I am sure their name was Todd. She came home to us in Beckenham, Kent every weekend, and when she returned back to her farm, after alighting from the train, station unknown, she had to walk through woods to get to her lodgings. I was 12 when she was called up, and I still remember how smart and proud she looked in her uniform. She said she and the other girls used to eat raw vegetables from the fields because they were always hungry! She met her Husband Bill Bailey at a dance. he was in The Buffs stationed near by. After being demobbed she married Bill and went on to have 3 sons, Michael, Graham and Richard. She died at the age of 90, after suffering years of ill health.Maureen R. Cullen
I arrived in Penzance in the May of 1943 with my good friend Doris Jones and was taken to Collurian Farm near St Earth where we assisted the family of Tregarthen. I was based there for six weeks and then moved on to Binerton Manor Farm to the Giles family where I stayed approximately six months.
From there I moved onto Kennegy Manor (hostel) where I stayed from January 44 until April 46 and made good friends with Alice Finnegan from Bradford, Edna Fuller from Liverpool, Elsie from Newcastle and quite a few others. After the war I returned to my home town of Liverpool to work as a clerk again. I married a Cornishman, Jack Gilbert, from Porthleven so retuned to Cornwall to live in Camborne in 1949.May Gilbert
I've recently got hold of a book that my granddad Luke Kearns wrote about his life for his grandchildren to get to know more about him after he died.
He came over here as an agricultural labourer, and for a period of time in 1945 for about 6 months he worked the land at Lincolnshire with Mick Murray, John Feerick, Mattie Lyons and they drank and sang at The White Horse Inn. They worked Richard 'Dicky' Dennis' farmland until the foreman 'Sulky' replaced them with prisoners or war workers after a pay dispute. The group had to split up and move out, my granddad ended up at Youngs farm the 'other side of Sleaford' with Paddy Byrne. Sometimes the living conditions were good if they got a group going, but mostly lads had to sleep in the barn among the cattle faeces. The Youngs were very kind and helpful though and he and Paddy stayed in a caravan there Paddy and my granddad drank at The White Hart. There was a Land Army Girl, about 20, called Cath Mallison that my granddad had a romance with but he suffered a bereavement and had to leave, and because he was grieving didn't answer her letter, there is a whole chapter on this! They went on dates to The White Hart, and my granddad would sing and play melodeon there. He helped out at the local vicarage garden party and accompanied Mrs Grimshaw who played the piano at dances. Before he left he got them all to bet on a horse at 45-1 following a tip off from an American man. The horse, Kerry Piper, wonClaire Kearns
Lillian Jessie Shrivell
My Mum, Lil Shrivell and her sister, Violet Shrivell, were billeted at Poynings, Sussex. My Mum at Millie Grover's. They both worked at Saddlescombe Farm nr.Poynings, My Mum on the the thrashing machine, my Auntie milking the cows. They cycled the steep hill to the farm daily and also were requested to help on 2 other farms. She often talked about Major Penny but I have no information about which farm he owned or worked on. One of her best friends was Nora Hollingdale who married Stan and became a Hillier. Mum had been engaged to Charlie Hollingdale (apparently no relation to Nora) for 3 years he being the shepherd at Saddlescombe but when Saddlescombe became a dairy farm Charlie and his sheep were sent to Eastbourne where he met and married Betty who is now in her 90's. Charlie has passed away. Mum also knew Stan and Grace Hollingdale the brother and sister of Charlie. Mum met my Dad, George Haines when he came home on leave in 1944 and they had many very happy years together but sadly have both now passed away. Is there anyone out who remembers my Mum or Auntie?Audrey Haines
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Can you help us to add to our records?
The names and stories on this website have been submitted by their relatives and friends. If your relations are not listed please add their names so that others can read about them
Did you or your relatives live through the Second World War? Do you have any photos, newspaper clippings, postcards or letters from that period? Have you researched the names on your local or war memorial? Were you or your relative evacuated? Did an air raid affect your area?
If so please let us know.
Help us to build a database of information on those who served both at home and abroad so that future generations may learn of their sacrifice.
Celebrate your own Family History
Celebrate by honouring members of your family who served in the Secomd World War both in the forces and at home. We love to hear about the soldiers, but also remember the many who served in support roles, nurses, doctors, land army, muntions workers etc.
Please use our Family History resources to find out more about your relatives. Then please send in a short article, with a photo if possible, so that they can be remembered on these pages.
My Land Girl Years, 1939-1948
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 has faithfully recorded these crucial years of her life in this revealing memoir. The war years - a period of hardship for people in a nation under threat - was, for these land girls, a time 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. The author's reward was to make new friends and to meet Queen Elizabeth in London, a moment she treasures. Here are her recollections of a happy time, when people had fewer choices and made the best of what they had.More information on:My Land Girl Years, 1939-1948
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.More information on:British Women's Uniforms in Colour Photographs (World War 2)
The 1940s Look: Recreating the Fashions, Hairstyles and Make-up of the Second World War
"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.More information on:The 1940s Look: Recreating the Fashions, Hairstyles and Make-up of the Second World War
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
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 constitMore information on:Women on the Land: Their Story During Two World Wars
World War II (Who? What? When?)
'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 peoMore information on:World War II (Who? What? When?)
The Milk Lady at New Park Farm: The Wartime Diary of Anne McEntegart June 1943 - February 1945
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 cMore information on:The Milk Lady at New Park Farm: The Wartime Diary of Anne McEntegart June 1943 - February 1945
If you have any tales or photographs of The Women's Land Army during World War Two please get in touch, we would love to record your story.
The Womens Land Army for those who served in England, Scotland and Wales records 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.
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