Old Enough to Join the Women’s Land Army?
The next obstacle for us to overcome was our age, as we were both under age. We needed to convince the recruiter we were eighteen when in fact I was still fifteen. I need not have worried as she never batted an eyelid. With this obstacle cleared, we were free to join the Women’s Land Army by signing up. September 15, 1939, a Friday marked our commencement of service, less than two weeks after war was declared. We must therefore have been some of the earliest girls to join up. I was beginning to get excited as my plans were taking shape.
I then had to wait a while. Presumably I went back to the convent, for school had probably started again after the summer break, but I could put up with it because of the prospects that lay ahead. Whether I said anything to the nuns I doubt, but all the girls in my class soon knew of my intentions. Some expressed surprise about what I intended to do, but many I think envied me, and the adventurous probably already had plans of their own to join up as soon as they could. Eventually I left the convent mid term and without formally completing my education. What the nuns said about that I do not remember, and I certainly did not care about, for I was set on getting a much wider education through the WLA.
Accepted into the Women’s Land Army
I don’t think I had had to wait in suspense too long, as my formal induction into the Women’s Land Army took place soon after I applied to join. For Veronica and other girls like us in Liverpool, it began with an introductory talk to ensure we knew what we were letting ourselves in for. It didn’t matter to me what was said as I was fully committed to joining whatever the pitfalls and fully looking forward to being a “land girl” come what may. I then more than happily “signed on”. I was given a WLA service number, 10962, and papers documenting my terms of engagement. Then was the biggest thrill of all when I was issued with my uniform. How proud of wearing it I was and took great pride in wearing it, even if then I knew little or nothing about working on the land!
Julie Summers says
What a wonderful and happy story of your life as a land girl. I am more than delighted to have read it and I hope you have had much popular feedback. Congratulations, especially, that you were presented to the Queen. What a proud moment that must have been. Julie
Happy to hear from you and thank you for your kind comments. They were wonderful years for me and I look back on them with much pleasure and pride. And yes, being presented to the Queen was a great honour.