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The Wartime Memories Project - The Second War

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Joan Blackburn

Womens Land Army


My mother Joan Blackburn was in the Women's Land Army from 1939 to 1949. She was based at Sturton-By-Stow near Scampton in Lincolnshire for a year and then on Tresco on the Scilly Isles. My mum is now 94 but often talks about the Land Army days. She remembers riddling potatoes in the snow, and weeding onions with a bottle of cider in the bottom of the hedge to keep them going in the baking summer weather.

Tresco was an idyllic posting because of the mild weather and the beautiful sea. On Tresco the land girls had the use of a boat and a room where there was a piano, courtesy of the Dorian Smith family who owned the island. They formed a concert party and went to the other islands to give concerts. One day they were machine gunned on the beach by a passing German plane and had to make a run for it.

Joan received her 10 year medal at Buckingham Palace and had tea at the Mansion House in London.

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