“I eventually arrived in Buckinghamshire with dozens of girls from all over the country. We were taken to WLA Billets at a hostel in Aylesbury where we were fitted out with uniform etc. We had basic training and we didn’t know what to expect. I fancied being a milkmaid!
After a few weeks I was sent to Bletchley in private billets on a farm miles from anywhere. It was very hard getting up early to learn to milk but I soon got the hang of it.
When I had recovered I was sent to Little Ponton Hostel near Grantham. We had some great fun. The RAF from Spittlegate used to come out to our hostel for dances. It was a treat for us. From there I was posted with a family at Inglesby.
There was a bus every Saturday past the farm to Grantham. By the time it got to Inglesby it was standing room only, but nobody was left, even if they had to stand in the doorway. I think it was the “Silver Dawn” bus.
The next billet I was sent to was at Branston. There was another girl there called Pearl & we had to share a double bed & bedroom. Wouldn’t be heard of now! When we had a bath it was outside in a shed, after the water was heated in a copper. It was freezing cold in winter.
One night when we were in bed a German plane came straight over our row of houses & was machine gunning & some were embedded in our ceiling.
First Name(s): Betty
Unmarried Surname: Rawlinson
Date of Birth: 24 November 1924
Place of Birth: Horbury, Wakefield
Date joined WLA: 1940
Date left: 1945
Previous occupation: Shop work
Reasons for joining: Mother died and needed to get away for a bit and help war effort.
Family’s reaction to joining: Not good as Father wanted her to stay at home to help with family chores.
Treatment by farmers: Treated well.
Reasons for leaving:
Worked for a private farmer at Little Ponton Hostel near Grantham, then Inglesby and Branston. Transferred to Buckinghamshire and Lincolnshire.
No farm names known but milked cows at Bletchley
Shepherdess at Potterhanworth.
Worked with a Land Girl called Pearl at Inglesby.
Work liked and least: Liked looking after sheep, got knocked down by a cow.
Any accidents or injuries: Got a sprained wrist and was sent home, got knocked over by cow.
Best and worst memories: Loved working on farms, was frightened when bombers went over
Lived in Little Ponton Hostel near Grantham, then in private billets, including at Bletchley.
Life after the war
Returned to shop work, then got married. Mum worked on the land, used to take smallest child with her.
Gave her a good start in life, helping the war effort
Angela Mayne, daughter