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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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"I Had Muscles Like Popeye"

by BBC Southern Counties Radio

Contributed by 
BBC Southern Counties Radio
People in story: 
Edna Tree, Harry Lawrence
Location of story: 
Swanley Ag College and East Farleigh
Background to story: 
Civilian Force
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
09 May 2005

I was in the Women's Land Army at the beginning of the war and I went to Swanley Agriculturqal College to train. I wanted to work with animals but I had to do market gardening.

When the backaches were finished I started to enjoy it. The first place I went to was East Farleigh. I had to take out apple trees so they could plough the field below and I didn't know how to do it as I was only 18.

An old man called Harry Lawrence came to show us what to do. He had one eye, was deaf and suffered from wind both ends. He was also coughing and blowing all the time an d would often ask me what I had said when I had said nothing.

I was swinging a mattock all day to get the trees out and when we did there was rock underneath so I was swinging a sledgehammer. I had muscles like Popeye.

This story was submitted to the People's War site by Amanda Wilkins on behalf of Edna Tree, and has been added to the site with her permission. Edna fully understands the site's terms and conditions.

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This story has been placed in the following categories.

Land Army Category
Gloucestershire Category
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