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15 October 2014
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Land army- Sylvia Whyman (nee Scott) view point on life 1939-1948

by sylviawhyman

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Contributed by 
People in story: 
Sylvia Whyman (nee Scott)
Location of story: 
Wales - Bridgewater, Abergavenny, Little Mill near Usk and Llandevaud
Background to story: 
Civilian Force
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
30 January 2006

Sylvia( on left) and Doreen. Taken Spring 1942 at Bridgewater Landarmy Training College

This account has been added to the website by Michelle Whyman-Williams on behalf of Sylvia Scott, who has given permission for her wartime memory to be added to the site.
I was aged 17 and working in Hodges Gents store in Newport when war broke out. It was another 2 years before I was called up. I intially worked in the Ammunitions factory (Stuart and Lloyds Newport)for a short time. Following the bombing of Coventry many of the girls were transferred to Coventry. I was lucky as my parents moved back to Shirenewton in 1942(to take over the Tan House pub again ) so I volunteered for the Land Army aged 20 in spring 1942.
I spent a month training at Bridgewater (see picture) where we were issued with our uniform - breeches, pullover dungarees, shirt and tie, hat shoes and coat. I met girls from all over the county. I was amazed that some of the girls had never been to the countryside and some had never seen the animals(cows or horses) before. Following the training I was sent to work on a small farm in Abergavenny. I had a very small basic room in the attic. I was the only Land Army girl at the farm working with the husband and wife team.
My fiance George(later to became my husband)used to come and visit me at the weekends.George was an apprentice electrical engineer and was exempt from National service.
I used to help out with farm duties such as mucking out, milking the cows and delivering the milk. The milk was sold not bottled or pasturised as we have today but fresh from the cow , I called on local customers to sell the milk. The milk was poured into their own jugs or bottles.
During my time at the farm I contracted impetigo and had to be sent home for a short while to recover.
I was then sent to Mamhilad, Little Mill near Usk to the Land Army hostel. I had great fun here as I was with lots of other girls. This is where I had my tractor training (see picture). Other tasks I recall were filling up the sacks of wheat after the wheat had been through the thrashing machine, this was very dusty and dirty work.
I remember being sent to Trinant up in the valleys and driving the tractor (small light weight Furguson)unfortunately I had a accident when driving the tractor and was sent home for a short time following the accident.
I was then sent to Llandevaud Hostel where I was a tractor and lorry driver at the Langstone depot. Some of the girls were sent to work at the Llanwern depot.I really remember these times at Llandevaud as the happiest as I was with lots of girls and I was nearer my home.
I got married March 1947 but remained in the Land Army until the end of the year.

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