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Mary Connell-Jarrett

Land Army

from:Maidstone, Kent

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

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