You are not logged in.

The Wartime Memories Project - The Second War

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you agree to accept cookies.

If you enjoy this site

please consider making a donation.

    Site Home

    WW2 Home

    Add Stories

    WW2 Search

 WW2 Features


    Allied Army

    Allied Air Forces

    Allied Navy

    Axis Forces

    Home Front

    Prisoners of War

    Allied Ships

    Women at War

    Those Who Served



    The Great War


    Add Stories

    Time Capsule

    TWMP on Facebook

    Childrens Bookshop


    Your Family History


    Contact us




World War 2 Two II WW2 WWII


Doreen "Bobby" Gill

Women's Land Army

from:Acocks Green

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!

Additional Information:

My mum Helen Vickers born in 1924 also operated a cub excavator in the Northumberland borders. She recalled the Italian pows and how sentimental they all were but that the Germans were organised and kept their military bearing. She met my dad Stan Aniolkowski at a dance in Kelso that the free Polish soldiers went to. She received the commemorative badge and sadly recently passed away. Despite operating an excavator she never learned to drive. Maybe one of the two other girls Doren knew was my mum.

Frank Aniolkowski

Related Content:

    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.

    The Wartime Memories Project is a non profit organisation run by volunteers.

    This website is paid for out of our own pockets, library subscriptions and from donations made by visitors. The popularity of the site means that it is far exceeding available resources.

    If you are enjoying the site, please consider making a donation, however small to help with the costs of keeping the site running.

    Hosted by:

    The Wartime Memories Project Website

    is archived for preservation by the British Library

    Website Copyright MCMXCIX - MMXVIII
    - All Rights Reserved