- Contributed by
- Croft Castle WW2 event
- People in story:
- Jo Young
- Location of story:
- Background to story:
- Civilian Force
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 27 July 2004
I joined the Land Army in 1941 at the age of 19 — a very naïve 19 I might say and the first farm I was sent to was miles from the nearest road and I was to live with the cowman and his wife in the most terrible cottage you can imagine — it was festooned with cobwebs in every window with wasps and flies captured in the webs.
The toilet was at the end of the garden smelled terrible and when I went to bed that night the other land girl told me to put on my dressing gown as we would sleep on the floor — I wondered why — about half an hour later she switched on the torch and the walls were moving with bugs Ugh!
The food was almost non-existant — after twelve hours work we came back to a couple of sticky buns and a piece of bread and marge
After four days I decided to go home — my mother burned all my clothes in the garden- and my father took me to the county headquarters of the W L A and I was then sent to another farm where I worked from 5 am — fetching in the cows which were sometimes in fields two miles away — milking about sixteen or more — by hand of course then dismantling the cooler etc and scrubbing all the equipment stools buckets and finally the floor One of the other two cow men always went to sleep against a cow so never did his share of milking My next job was to make up milk and feed the calves — usually by hand then to the large barn and mix up feed for 200 poultry take it in buckets up through the orchard let out the poultry and fill up water — Then guess what — I could go to breakfast - There were all the usual jobs during the day — repeat of milking in the afternoon and in the summer we were off to the fields for hay making or harvesting till 9 or 10
I was transferred to a large estate for my last year — working in the kitchen garden It was such a change — The house belonged to a Mr Joel who as a horserace owner and owned diamond mines in South Africa He won the Thousand Guiness and we all had two weeks wages — this was 28 shillings- I think that is £1.40
I remember D Day seeing all the planes and gliders going over and realising it was the beginning of the second front -
Was at home for one night when a V1 fell opposite my parent’s house I woke to see the sky above me and was given the job of taking my mother plus the deed box to a friend nearby — and remember having to step over the dead bodies. I was at least given a week off.
One of the really horrible jobs on the farm in the winter was having to take the horse and cart to the kale field and waist high in kale which was solid ice we had to bend each piece and chop it down low before tossing it into the cart — it was a freezing job
I was often given the job of taking the bull — on a rope and pole — to the other farm which was a mile away Don’t think I could do this now — his other farmhouse was let to Elizabeth Allen who was a well known actress and film star and she always asked me in and gave me orange juice — which was well worth the trip down across the fields with this enormous angry bull.
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