Mary Ellen Dorothy Glaves (née Platts)
First Name(s): Mary Ellen Dorothy (went by the names Dorothy or Dolly)
Unmarried Surname: Platts
Married Surname: Glaves
Date of Birth: 10/05/1925
Place of Birth: Barnsley
Date joined WLA: 1940
Date left: Possibly 1945 (photos of land army work in 1944)
Previous occupation: Left school and went to a big house in Pontefract to work as a nanny but did not stay long as she left to join the land army as soon as she could.
Reasons for joining: Wanted to do something to help, as her brothers had joined up and were serving in the Army and RAF. She joined the land army as he brothers did not want her to join the army or RAF.
Family’s reaction to joining: Mother and Father were not very happy about her leaving but became supportive over time. They particularly liked the fresh eggs and bacon that she was able to send back on the train to them in Barnsley.
Reactions of local people: Friendly
Treatment by farmers: Worked them hard but fair
Reasons for leaving: End of the war.
Worked at Ruston Farm (YO13 9QE) for farmer Frank Temple, in Wykeham, North Yorkshire until at least 1944.
Upon joining in 1940 worked at Strensall near York and was based at the hostel there, then following an appeal for volunteers moved out to Wykeham near Scarborough at some point with her friend.
Not sure of the date of the move to Wykeham but a few photos are taken in 1944. Main work at Ruston farm, but also worked at Wykeham Grange Farm with the Glaves Farmers and other farms in the area.
Worked at Ruston Farm and Wykeham Grange Farm and other farms near the old Wykeham abbey.
At Strensall, she did lots of carrot planting and picking. At Ruston Farm and Wykeham grange, shown how to use the tractor and did a lot of ploughing and harvesting of crops. Harvest work at Wykeham Grange farm.
Worked with one Land Girl called Kathleen Watson, of Pontefract (right-hand photograph). Believe she went by the name Kathy and possibly left the Land Army to become a nurse. She moved from Strensall Hostel with Dorothy to Wykeham.
Type of work undertaken: All types of farm work from carrot picking to hay making and planting and harvesting cereal crops. Planted a woodland in Wykeham and feed livestock.
Work liked most and least: She enjoyed driving the tractor and working with the horses most of all. She really disliked picking carrots and other root crops as it was back breaking work. She jumped at the chance of moving away from Strensall to the coast as she liked the seaside and hoped she would be doing some different work.
Any accidents: When learning to drive the tractor at Grange Farm, she accidentally drove through a field hedge but managed to get the tractor back into the field. But, to the dismay of the farmer, she drove it back through a different part of the hedge creating another gap.
Best and worst memories of time:
- Worst memory: carrot picking.
- Second worst memory: getting chased by a bull which put her off working with cows.
- Third worst memory: the sandwiches at the youth hostel in Strensall were horrible/hardly eatable.
- Best memory: meeting her future husband.
Opportunities to meet others: There were other Land Girls based in the area as well as Italian Prisoners of War who she said were very happy to be working the land and not fighting.
Stayed at the Strensall Hostel (near York) in 1940 then at a later date moved to a private billet with another land Girl (Kathleen Watson) at Wykeham Lane near/next to the old post office.
Life after the war
Farmers wife (house wife) also did house work at the Manor House in Hutton Buschel for the local doctor. She also carried on doing cleaning work for the farmer Mr Temple at Ruston Farm. Stayed on the land for quite a while at Grange Farm in Wykeham, in 1945 she got married to the farmer’s son of Grange Farm Wykeham.
How did work in the WLA effect their life? She got married and settled down and had a family in Ruston/Wykeham bringing up her new family in the village she had been posted to.
Name: Robin Siddle
Relationship to Land Girl: Grandson