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Beatrice Anne Brown

Women's Land Army

My Mother came into this world in 1927 weighing exactly one stone and was christened Beatrice Anne Brown. She was born in Scarrington Nottinghamshire to William Henry Brown and Harriet nee Cobb. The Family moved to Sandiacre, Derbyshire in 1930 as her father had secured employment there. Her dad’s job was in the delivery department of Bouyant Upholstery which was at the top of the street. In those days the deliveries were done via horse and cart and her dad’s horse was called Diamond. Every morning her dad used to take Diamond down the street to the front window of his house, where mam, aged 4 fed it bread. The horse got that used to it that it refused to move until mam fed it. Aged 5, mam started William Lilley School in Stapleford and aged 7 she moved to Sandiacre Girls School on Town Street. Mam left school at the age of 13 as her mam passed away on 18th March 1940, aged just 45.There were 4 sisters living at home and her dad couldn’t cope so Mary went to stay with mam’s Aunt Doris and Ivy moved in with Kath the eldest sister. Sheila, the youngest, was adopted but mam looked after her until the adoption was arranged. Afterwards, mam looked after her dad and a kind of normality came into being so she applied for a job at Lace Factory at Sandiacre and was successful.

She was there for two years until she decided that she wanted to “do her bit” to help win the war and she joined the Land Army. Her training took place at Repton, Nottinghamshire and took 6 months. She was then sent on to be based at Lyddington and was boarding in a hostel along with a number of other young ladies. They were sent out to various farms to carry out essential work to keep the farms running whilst then men were out helping to win the war. I wasn’t always hard work though and they had a little time to play. Every Tuesday night mam, her best friend Winnie and the other girls would be picked up by the RAF lads and taken to the dance in their NAFFI. Not to be outdone, the Army lads would pick them up on a Thursday for the same reason. It was at one of these dances that mam met David Schofield who was in the RAF. They often went to visit mam’s sister Kath. Their relationship lasted for nearly 2 years and then he was posted and they lost touch. Her sister Evelynn had also joined the Land Army and was stationed only 2 miles away so they would cycle over to see each other once a week and every Sunday they would get together with Evelynn’s friend Mary to attend a Songs of Praise service.

Mam stayed in the Land Army for 3 years and then at the age of 20, she left and returned to the Lace Factory. Not long afterwards her Father passed away, just under a month before her 21st birthday. It took nearly a year before she started to feel like going out but one fateful night her next door neighbour persuaded her to go with her to the Plough pub on Town Street in Sandiacre. It was there that her eyes fell upon a handsome young man playing darts with his dad. Mam turned to her neighbour and said “I am going to marry that man” even though she didn’t even know his name. Her neighbour took her over and introduced her as her daughter to the young man and he told her his name was George. During the prolonged conversation that she had with him, she, for some reason, asked him if he liked comics and he said that he did. The following night, when she returned to the Plough to meet him, she had a Dandy comic tucked under her arm. Their life together had begun! They became inseparable and George eventually moved into the house on Gas Street with her. He had been married but was waiting for the marriage to be dissolved so they set up home together and their own family started to arrive.

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