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War Work in Llandrindod Wells

by AgeConcernShropshire

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Archive List > Family Life

Contributed by 
People in story: 
Anne Griffiths (nee McCaffery) George Griffiths
Location of story: 
Llandrindod Wells and Atcham, Shropshire.
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
31 January 2006

This is Mrs. Anne Griffiths' story, submitted by volunteer Pat Yates on her behalf and with her understanding of terms & conditions of the site.
I left Manchester to join the Land Army when I was 16, and never went back. For 60 years I have made Shropshire my home; it is a place I love and I can't imagine ever leaving. Looking back down all these years, the war remains fresh in my memory.
I'd never seen a cow before I left home except on the films and only saw horses when they were used by the coalman, the milkman or at funerals.
Once you got to 16 you had to do something for the war effort and they wanted to send me to Coventry to work in munitions. I didn't want to do that but got the chance to join the Land Army. So I was sent to a depot near Llandrindod Wells and 26 of us lived in hostels. I was on the machinery side rather than doing fieldwork and we would go out to small farms who wanted someone with a tractor or plough or threshing boxes. It was a good life and to be honest, a lot of the time, we wouldn't have known a war was on.
But we knew it for sure when we went to the Metropole Hotel in town, taken over for troops coming back from Burma. They had been in the jungle for 5 years and we were told to keep away from them in case of infection! But we went anyway to see for ourselves. Thank goodness we did because that's how I met my husband, George.
Like thousands of others we'd had no chance to save when we married, and we began married life squatting in the Atcham army camp buildings. We were tipped off how to work the system. By saving 10/- a week for rent we'd get to stay, and that's what we did and that is where our daughter, Sheila was born.

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