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Joan Florence Wines

Women's Land Army

My mother, Joan Wines, served in the Women's Land Army. She spent her time on a farm just outside Exeter, Devon. She was originally from London and finally settled in Newton Abbot. She married and had 5 children, 4 boys and a girl, she passed away in 1996 aged 66.

She often spoke of her days in the Land Army and obviously enjoyed her time there. In the early 70's we went for a drive in the car and found the farm. The farmer and his two sons remembered her and we spent a very pleasant morning with them.

She recounted a story to the farmer who remembered it. The farmer brought a bull to the farm for mating with one of his cows. The cow was secured and the bull introduced to her. My mother said she could not bear to watch and hid behind a wooden fence. She did however peek through a fence gap and watched some of the proceedings. When she could stand no more she ran up to the farmer telling him that he was a very cruel man. She said she refused to speak to him for several days. The farmer was very understanding and said, "Well these London maids never seen nowt like it afore so let the maid be." They eventually parted the best of friends though.

A neighbouring farm had Italian prisoners of war. Of course the Italians had this romantic image and Joan along with fellow Army girls wanted to meet up with them. The Italians started working at one end of a field and the girls started working from the other end. Apparently they all worked much faster than normal and eventually met up in the middle of the field. I remember her saying that the girls were not disappointed. Her comment was, "Ooh they were handsome men and those Italian accents!"

On the off chance that anyone knew Joan Wines, I'd love to hear from you.

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