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Bertha "Betty" Williams

Womens Land Army


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.

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