Land Girl reminiscence: “We, a band of jolly land girls” Poem

Unknown Land Girl on a tractor.

Mary Bennett on a tractor. Courtesy of Stuart Antrobus.

This extract won the third prize in the newspaper competition for land girl memories:

“Farmers had their little laughs at the expense of the Land Army Girls, raw from the towns.

When I started to plough I was told to keep my eyes fixed on something in the far distance which would enable me to keep a straight line. When I finished I found that I had a very crooked furrow indeed. I had been keeping my gaze fixed on a grazing cow as it had moved around the field.

I had started my Land Army service at Milton Ernest hostel and we used to go off to the fields every day singing a song [we had composed]:

We, a band of jolly land girls
Oh, how happy are we
Rising early every morning
To dig our way to victory
With a smile upon our faces
With a song we ride along
Out into the open spaces
To the farms where we belong”

[To the tune of the hymn ‘What a friend we have in Jesus’]

Mrs B. Hartwell [maiden name unknown]

Source: ‘Bedford on Sunday’ newspaper, 24 April 1977, p5

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