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June Napolitano

Womens Land Army

from:49 Byron Road, Wealdstone, Middlesex

I joined the Women’s Land Army in 1947 age 18 Not letting my mother know, as she was very upset. My life was hard at home being the eldest of 10 children. Thinking life would be a bed of roses & free & easy life at last! Was I wrong! Lights out at 10 pm said our Warden at the Potters Bar Hostel I first went too. I thought out of the frying pan into the fire the first week. Also the first job potato picking was awful & hoeing, Oh dear! The only nice part was the land girls I made friends with. Also our Saturday night extra time out for a dance. That was great until my friend Honar & I overstayed our time & were caught by the warden climbing through the window. I was sent to another hostel & Honar & I was split up, what a shame.

I went to a remote village called Sandy in Bedford, a 2 mile walk to a village pub that was the only highlight of the week to play table tennis with the young farmer's boys. We only drank 1 shandy as we could not afford anything else. My £3 wage was halved as I had to send half to my mother. The Hostel (Hassles Hall ) was a bit spooky I thought, but we had a nice crowd of girls. Again the work was so boring again hoeing & weeding. I am afraid I put my hand up. Come & see me Monday for a trial Oh dear! I asked a German POW to please teach me to drive & over the weekend I mastered it. I then had the best job, much to the jibes I had from my friends. From then on I spent the next 2 years enjoying the Land Army. I left in 1950 & met my husband Richard & married had 6 children. Now 24 grandchildren. I ran a rest home for the elderly till I was 72 yrs & now enjoying my twilight years with my daughters. Not bad for 84 so far.

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