Dorothy Singleton (née Smith)
First Name(s): Dorothy
Unmarried Surname: Smith
Married Surname: Singleton
Date of Birth: 4.3.1931
Place of Birth: Crigglestone
Date left WLA: 1948/9
Previous occupation: Shop assistant
Reasons for joining: To work outdoors
Family’s reaction to joining: Horrified as mum was a petite 8 stone, dripping wet – “WLA was not a fit or proper job for a young lady”.
Reactions of local people towards WLA: Initially skeptical, then grateful – especially when they got hard workers
Treatment by farmers or market gardeners: Generally good, although there were some that took advantage by sending them to the fields furthest away at the end of the day and giving them the worst jobs, not to mention a farmer or two who had problems keeping their hands to themselves.
Reasons for leaving: Disbanded, end of service.
Employment & accommodation
Pre-work training: None whatsoever, worked in a saddlers prior to joining up
Employed by: County War Agricultural Committee. Worked for Ellis/Ellwis, and possibly Stringer. Worked on various farms in Wentbridge, Smeaton, Upton, and South Elmsell in West Yorkshire.
Accommodation: Lived in hostel, Hillthorpe Thorpe Audlin.
Met her husband whilst living in one of the boarding houses.
Type of work undertaken: All sorts of land work, digging, weeding, hoeing, driving horse and cart, harvest, ploughing, hedging, ditching, working with livestock.
Work liked most and least: Out in the fields behind a team of horses was her favorite job. Least liked was turnip picking – hard/cold and back breaking
Best and worst memories: Team spirit, just loved the life outdoors.
Life after the war
Went into nursing and then worked on the land alongside my father.
Post-war occupation: Housewife but also worked on the land doing a man’s job.
Opportunities to meet other Land Girls: WLA dances, Blue Bell Inn at Wentbridge where the girls of the hostel congregated.
How did work in the WLA effect their life?: Best years of mum’s life – she also met my dad
Any other comments: Mum always blamed the Land Army woollen socks for giving her hairy legs! She was so disgusted that that the efforts of the WLA had gone unrecognised for so long. She kept her certificate and the badge hidden in a drawer and only every wore her working badge.
Name: Kathryn Singleton
Relationship to Land Girl: Daughter