Ruth Barnett (née Mills)
First Name(s): Ruth
Unmarried Surname: Mills
Married Surname: Barnett
Date of Birth: 17.9.27, Bethnal Green, London
Date joined WLA: 9.1.1946
Date left WLA: 26.10.1946
WLA number: 163417
Previous occupation: Packer
Reasons for joining: Mum says she liked the sound of it – and the uniform.
Family’s reaction to joining: She doesn’t think they cared very much
Reactions of local people towards WLA: Very polite and respectful
Reasons for leaving: According to Mum’s registration card she left and went back again but then left for “Compassionate” reasons. She can’t recall why but thinks it may have been because she had to help look after younger brothers and sisters. Possibly, she may also have been pressured to earn better money to help with housekeeping.
Worked in Sutton Hoo, Woodbridge, Suffolk. Mum’s best friend was Lill but she can’t remember any more than that.
Type of work undertaken: Mum describes it as general land work but she didn’t drive tractors or anything like that.
Work liked most and least: She hated milking the cows!
Mum’s memories are very vague but she has always spoken about her time in the WLA with great pride.
One of Mum’s recollections is how the Land Girls were made to work when the local Italian Prisoners of War refused to work when the ground was hard with frost. The Italians had the protection of the Geneva Convention but the Land Girls had to get on with whatever tasks they were given.
Ruth with the help of her son Michael Barnett.