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The Wartime Memories Project - The Second War

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Joyce Watts

Land Army

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.

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