Barbara Chapman (née Harris)
First Name(s): Barbara Althea
Unmarried Surname: Harris
Married Surname: Chapman (married 1947)
Date of Birth: 03 August 1921
Place of Birth: Beaconsfield
Date joined WLA: 2.2.42
Date left: 5.9.45
WLA number: 64125
Previous occupation: Secretary shorthand typist
Reasons for joining: Doing something for the country/ war effort
Family’s reaction to joining: Supported as good for war effort
Treatment by farmers: Mum said some were ‘not’ very nice, but many were excellent, providing you did a good days work
Reasons for leaving: War ended
Pre-work training: Believe it was at Beenham Grange
Employed by: Private farmer. Worked from 23/2/45-16.7.45 for the WTC, under the Ministry of Supply, before being transferred back to the land.
Dates with employer: 1942-1945
Farm Name, village and county: Thatcham, Berkshire
Type of work undertaken: Dredging the Kennet and Avon Canal with a Priestman Cub dragline, milking cows, harvesting, tractor driving including traction engines.
Work liked most and least: Mucking out
Any accidents: Dragline snagged on submerged tree and tipped excavator into canal. Not injured, but precious lunch sandwiches were spoiled!
Address: Private Billet, Mr and Mrs Dollamore, Cottage backing onto Coal Yard, The Broadway, Thatcham, Berkshire
Life after the war
Did they return back to their pre-war occupation? Worked in an office, Huntley Bourne and Stevens – Reading
What was their occupation after the war? Office secretary, shorthand typist
Did they stay on the land? No
How did work in the WLA/WTC effect their life? Unforgettable lifetime experience
Any outstanding events or achievements in WLA/WTC or in later life? Tractor driving Proficiency Badge and certificate August 1944. Has armband with 6 chevrons meaning 3 years service.
Any other comments on time in the WLA/WTC? Mum was very proud to have been in the WLA
Name: Mark Chapman
Relationship to Land Girl: Son