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15 October 2014
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Working in the Landarmy in Forest Hall

by BBC Southern Counties Radio

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Contributed by 
BBC Southern Counties Radio
People in story: 
Norah Adams
Location of story: 
Background to story: 
Civilian Force
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
29 September 2005

This story has been added to the website by Eleanor Fell, on behalf of Norah Adams, who has given her permission for her wartime memory to be added to the site and she understands the terms and conditions of the website.

I spent most of the war years working for the Landarmy in farms around Newcastle. I could have joined earlier I supposed but I had a good job working in Woolworths and I was married to my childhood sweetheart, so I had plenty to keep me busy. In 1942 my husband was killed in the RAF, which he had been called up into. I was about 28 at the time and I then joined the Landarmy as a supervisor. I worked in a place called Forest Hall about 7 miles north of Newcastle. I lived with lots of the other landarmy girls in a big house, which had tennis courts and everything you could want. It was wonderful, better than living on a farm.

We used to have dances in the house and we’d invite all the local farmer’s lads along. I remember that the mothers were always worried that they would end up with a landarmy girl as a daughter-in-law as opposed to a local farmers daughter! Most of them had high hopes for their sons and that included marrying well and increasing the size of their farm by merging with another family, and not marrying a city girl sent to dig up potatoes as part of the war effort!

My job as a supervisor meant that I didn’t have to do as much manual work as the other girls. I had to work out the timesheets and allocate the girls to work at the farms, depending on where the need was. I also had to collect money from the farmers which I then distributed to the girls — not the easiest job I can tell you!

I did have a turn at all the jobs though, like potato picking, which was back breaking work and driving the plough around a few of the farms, one of them was Bill Ord’s farm. I met my second husband, Stanley, while I was working on one of the farms. He was in the army, but during the harvesting season, he would volunteer in the evenings with his friends to help out and that was when we met.

I learnt many things in the Landarmy, but one of the things that I always remember is that when I joined the Landarmy I was afraid of cows, but by the end of the war I was milking them.

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