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Oct 112017
 
Dorothy Clayden

Dorothy Clayden

This series of posts charts Dorothy Clayden’s time in the Women’s Land Army form 1942 to 1946. This final post in our series brings together some documents concerning VE Day and the end of Dorothy’s service in 1946.

Dorothy’s daughter Judi Wilkinson recounts how her mother’s time in the WLA provided her with the skills to grow and maintain a successful and productive vegetable and fruit garden for over 30 years.

In later life, Dorothy had a successful career as a college lecturer in hairdressing.

Many thanks to Dorothy’s daughter Judi for sharing with me the photos and correspondence of her mother’s time in the WLA.


A letter sent to Dorothy about VE Day.

A letter sent to Dorothy about the giving of holiday for VE Day.

 

A letter sent to Dorothy about a dance happening at the reopening of the WLA club.

A letter sent to Dorothy about a dance happening at the reopening of the WLA club.

 

Dorothy's WLA Certficate

Dorothy’s WLA Certficate


 

Oct 092017
 
Dorothy Clayden

Dorothy Clayden

This series of posts charts Dorothy Clayden’s time in the Women’s Land Army form 1942 to 1946. This fourth looks at Dorothy’s transfer to Pest Destruction in Shrewsbury in 1944.

Here, she was issued with extensive advice on rat catching and the different protocols which could be followed. Be sure to scroll to the end of this post to see a newspaper article on Dorothy’s work as a ‘Lady-Killer of Vermin’!

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Dorothy Clayden Ratcathching

Dorothy Clayden Ratcathching

 

Dorothy ratcatching!

Dorothy ratcatching!

 

Letter sent to Dorothy in March 1944 with instructions on rat catching.

Letter sent to Dorothy in March 1944 with instructions on rat catching.

 

Rats and Mice Destruction instructions.

Rats and Mice Destruction instructions.

 

Employment conditions relating to rat catching.

Employment conditions relating to rat catching.

 

Newspaper article on the 'Lady-Killers' of Vermim

Newspaper article on the ‘Lady-Killers’ of Vermim


 

Oct 072017
 
Dorothy Clayden

Dorothy Clayden

This series of posts charts Dorothy Clayden’s time in the Women’s Land Army form 1942 to 1946. This third looks at Dorothy’s first billet in Shropshire.

We don’t have as many documents on this stage of Dorothy’s journey. However, we do know that Dorothy lived with a couple called Kit and Eva in Shropshire in 1942 to around 1944.

 

 

 


Dorothy's first billet in Shropshire.

Dorothy’s first billet in Shropshire.

 

Kit and Eva's House - Dorothy's very first billet

Kit and Eva’s House – Dorothy’s very first billet

 

Kit's and Eva's ducks.  Dorothy writes on the back of the photograph how 'they were for Xmas, but we couldn't kill them'.

Kit’s and Eva’s ducks. Dorothy writes on the back of the photograph how ‘they were for Xmas, but we couldn’t kill them’. It was very easy for people to get attached to animals!

 

Farm workers at Kit's farm?

Farm workers on Kit and Eva’s farm?


 

Oct 052017
 
Dorothy Clayden

Dorothy Clayden

This series of posts charts Dorothy Clayden’s time in the Women’s Land Army form 1942 to 1946. This second focuses on Dorothy’s attendance at a WLA parade in Preston and shows the process of how the WLA allocated items of uniform.

 

 

 


 

WLA Rally Invitation, 30th May 1942

 

WLA parade in Preston, May 1942?

WLA parade in Preston, 30th May 1942?

 

Presumably by the time Dorothy attended the parade, she would have been issued with a WLA badge, as this undated letter states.

Presumably by the time Dorothy attended the parade, she would have been issued with a WLA badge, as this undated letter states.

In the Archives: Click here to see the different types of WLA badges.

Letter sent on 1st June 1942 regarding the rationing of clothing in return for Dorothy's WLA uniform.

Letter sent on 1st June 1942 regarding the rationing of clothing in return for Dorothy's WLA uniform.

Letter sent on 1st June 1942 regarding the rationing of clothing in return for Dorothy’s WLA uniform.


 

Oct 032017
 
Dorothy Clayden

Dorothy Clayden

This series of posts charts Dorothy Clayden’s time in the Women’s Land Army form 1942 to 1946. We will be looking at a range of primary sources including correspondence and photos to trace Dorothy’s journey.

Dorothy was born in 1921, so she was twenty years old when she enrolled in the WLA in February 1942. She originally worked as a hairdresser in Morecambe in Lancashire. Dorothy’s daughter, Judi notes how her mother joined the WLA as she wanted to make a contribution to the war effort.

This first post looks at Dorothy’s interview and the procedures to allocate her to work at the Morecambe Parks Department, co-ordinated by the Lancashire County Committee.


Dorothy Clayden Invitation to WLA letter, 3rd January 1942

Dorothy Clayden’s invitation letter to join the WLA in January 1942

Invitation to Dorothy Clayden to work with Morecombe Parks Department, 2nd February 1944.

Invitation to Dorothy Clayden from Edith Whinnenah (Lancashire County Committee) to work with Morecambe Parks Department, 2nd February 1942.

 

Letter confirming Dorothy Clayden's upcoming work at Morecombe Parks, 7th February 1942

Letter confirming Dorothy Clayden’s upcoming work at Morecambe Parks, 7th February 1942

 

Letter from Morecombe Parks inviting Dorothy Clayden to begin work.

Letter from Morecombe Parks Superintendent inviting Dorothy Clayden to begin work, 10th February 1942.

 

Letter from WLA confirming Dorothy Clayden's work at Morecambe park, 17th February 1942.

Letter from the Lancashire Committee Organising Secretary,  confirming Dorothy Clayden’s work at Morecambe park, 17th February 1942.


 

Oct 012017
 
Nights Out and Dancing Collage

A Night Out and Dancing Collage

 

From left to right, top to bottom:

  • Land Girls and Lumber Jills, some in uniform, some in mufti, dance with British soldiers at a dance in a large hall, near to their camp in Culford, Suffolk. The dance band plays and Union flags, and the flags of America and Russia decorate the walls above the musicians. A poster to the right of the stage advertises another event to be held at the Corn Exchange on Thursday 6 and Friday 7 May. Source: IWM D 14123
  • Land Army holiday camp, Cookham, 1942. Source: Mirrorpix

  • Lily Harrison, Barbara Wilson, and Mona Feather (l to r) from Milton Ernest WLA hostel in Bedfordshire ready for a ‘night out’ after a hard week’s work, c.1940s. Source: Stuart Antrobus

  • British Land Army girls and members of the Women’s Royal Air Force (WAAF) dance with men of the US Eighth Army Air Force in Suffolk during 1943. Source: Pinterest
Sep 292017
 

‘Director Fiona Williams’s production is cleverly set in 1943 during the Second World War. The action takes place on a farm where two young women, Fiordiligi and Dorabella, have just completed their Women’s Land Army training. Their fidelity is tested by their soldier lovers, Ferrando and Guglielmo, as they pretend to leave for battle.’ To read more, please click here to read an article by the Henley Standard.

Così Fan Tutte at Fawley Barn

Sep 282017
 

Mona K McLeod was just 17 years old when she joined the Women’s Land Army. In this interview for the BBC, Mona discusses how the war diverted her from applying to study at Cambridge to undertake valuable work as a Land Girl on farms in Scotland.

For more interviews with Mona, please see the following articles:

Sep 262017
 

Certificate of Discharge on Demobilisation for Ingrey Clarice, who worked in the WLA from May 1917 to November 1919. Ingrey clearly did well; the WLA noted her excellent service and personal character. Ingrey also received a Good Service Ribbon. This document could have been used by Ingrey as a reference in her post-war occupation.

Certificate of Discharge on Demobilisation Source: Catherine Procter Collection

Certificate of Discharge on Demobilisation for Ingrey Clarice. 
Source: Catherine Procter Collection