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Eva Davies

Womens Land Army

from:Somercotes Derbyshire

My Mum joined the Women's Land Army when she was 17years old and living in a very small town in Derbyshire called Somercotes. She joined up on the 30th May 1946 and was sent to North Wales where she lived for the rest of her life. She left on 30th October 1948, a week before she married my Dad on November 6th 1948. I was born 20th September 1949.

She always used to say that she loved the Land Army and all the friends she made. She said that it was really hard work, but they all knew that they were helping the country and feeding the nation. She used to tell me that she was taught how to milk cows at a farm called Llidiart Fanni Farm in Coedpoeth near Wrexham. She said that it was one of the better jobs that they were given to do. Another job that she had to do was picking sprouts in the winter on a farm in Holt, near Wrexham. She used to say that it was a really hard, backbreaking job and that the girls would be so cold that their hands would bleed. She always said and was convinced that doing this work during that time had given her arthritic knees and hands later on in life.

The two hostels that my Mum was billetted at were called Coed-y-Glyn Hostel near Erddig, Wrexham (now demolished) and a hostel in Gresford near Wrexham (also demolished). I have some super photographs of my Mum and her friends outside these hostels. They all looked so happy and such healthy women. I also have a list of names and addresses that my Mum must have written when she left. I wonder where all these women are now? Some I'm sure must still be alive, I just wish that my lovely Mum was. She passed away on October 18th 2006 just before the WLA was recognised by the Government. She never lived to receive her medal. Something I'm sure she would have accepted with great delight. Some names are just first names such as Hilda from Fleetwood, Agnes from Rochdale, Flo from Sheffield and Joyce Hill from Boncath, Pembrokeshire.

I still have my Mum's badge and armband and I have still got my Mum's WLA issue wellingtons which she always wore if the snow was bad in the winter!!

My Mum during all the years since she left the WLA kept in touch with one of her friends - Marge Babb nee Ellits from Wolverhampton - I still keep in touch with her and still call her Aunty Marge. I know my Mum would want me to do this for her. They always wrote to each other every few weeks through all those years, meeting up from time to time. A long, long friendship.

It would be good to hear from anyone who remembers my Mum, Eva Hutchby or who was stationed in the Wrexham hostels during this time. I am so fascinated by this time in our history and just wished I had asked my Mum about her life in the WLA. I grew up knowing about the Women's Land Army because of the little snippets of information that my Mum would talk about. A couple of years ago I read a book called "They Fought In The Fields" by Nicola Tyrer.I t was a real eye opener to the times. My Mum would have loved to have read it.

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