Doreen Kapala (née Keable)
First Name(s): Doreen
Unmarried Surname: Keable
Married Surname: Kapala
Date of Birth: 28.7.23
Place of Birth: Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk
Date Joined WTC: c.1940
Date Left WTC: 14th September 1944
Previous occupation: None. Just out of school. Worked at ‘Boots’ the Chemist in Worthing.
Reasons for joining: Wanted to help the effort and loved the outdoors.
Family’s reaction to joining: The family was happy to see me contribute to the war effort.
About one month at camp training for the Timber Corps to decide which branch, bush or sawmill; I chose sawmill.
Worked in Worthing, Sussex. Then worked at two different Mills in the New Forest near Lyndhurst and Brockenhurst. Worked with another sawyer called Joan.
Work liked most and least: Enjoyed looking after the equipment and especially the log bench.
Any accidents or injuries: Struck in the thigh by a piece of log and a minor cut to a finger.
Best and worst memories of time: Socialising with the other girls. No bad memories, other than a few rain storms and having to ride the bike during those storms. Six girls becoming great friends, two cross cutters, two sawyers, and two stackers. Starting up the diesel engine and whipping off the handle before it kicked back. Sharpening cross cut and bench saws, taking turns to shovel out the saw pit. Hard work, times to laugh, dances at night and being too tired to care about the odd buzz bombs.
Opportunities to meet other Land Girls: None. We were localised. Married a Canadian soldier in 1944, then I emigrated to Sarnia, Ontario, Canada in Dec of 1944.
Life after the war
Reasons for leaving: Married in 1944 and became pregnant shortly thereafter. Emigrated to Canada in 1944.
Post-war occupation: Married, Mother of five boys, then a Librarian in Canada.
Any outstanding events or achievements: In later life, I had five sons and became a Librarian and self-employed in the knitting business, designing and supplying local retailers and individuals with ‘jumpers’.
How did work in the WTC effect our/ their life? Good healthy work making me strong and respectful of the environment. I learned to make quick decisions and implement those decisions as a leading Sawyer. I enjoyed my time as a young woman in the WTC. A great experience for me at a young age.
Name: Doreen Kapla (née Keable) and eldest son Ross William Kapala