In February 2022, former Land Girl Elizabeth Randolph e-mailed me to share her memories of working as in the WLA in Hertfordshire. This page shares her stories and accompanying photographs.
I joined the WLA on May 13th 1946. I was sent to a model farm in Hertfordshire to learn animal husbandry. There I met my lifelong friend, Pamela. We were berthed in a dormitory with bunk beds. We had to rise at 5’oclock and fold all bedding up separately and place at foot of bed. Then down to kitchen for a cuppa and on to the milking parlour, where we learned to hand milk the cows.
After we finished, back to dorm to make bed then down again for breakfast and afterwards other farming chores. We found the rising at dawn extremely hard but-the six weeks we were there was great fun and we all bonded.
After lunch, we were obliged to rest on our beds for an hour, but of course, at 18 years of age we were too giggly and silly to want to nap and we assed around including pillow fights.
On my 90th birthday Pamela sent me two pillow slips in memory of our meeting and becoming forever friends. We then went back to our farm work. This model farm hosted visitors from all over the world who came to see how farming methods were practiced in the UK. The farm was run entirely by experienced land army girls.
I worked in various parts of the country until the Land Army was disbanded in 1950, when I was privileged to be chosen to join in the commemorations in London. We were housed in the old wartime underground shelters, once again sleeping in bunk beds. We were taken to Wellington Baracks to be schooled in formation marching, then on to Buckingham Palace courtyard to be inspected by the Queen, later Queen Mother. After this, a tour of the Royal Mews and then a march to St. Pauls’s cathedral for a service of thanksgiving attended by the Princess Royal.
A very memorable occasion never to be forgotten. I have in my possession a copy of the last issue of the monthly magazine which we received during the Land Army years, plus photos of the occasion.