Sheila Jean Hope (née Stephens)
First Name(s): Sheila Jean
Unmarried Surname: Stephens
Married Surname: Hope
Place of Birth: Enfield, Middlesex
Date Joined WLA: 30.3.1948
Date Left WLA: 13.8.1949
Reasons for joining: A friend wanted a companion to join with her.
Family’s reaction to joining: I often wonder just what my parents did truly think? I had an excellent job and my boss (the doctor) was really cross and upset. My parents didn’t try to stop me.
Reasons for leaving: To care for my mother, who was very ill. I’m happy to say, she fully recovered.
Pre-work training: W.L.A. Hostel, Ravensden House, Bedford. One Month Training.
Employed by: County War Agricultural Committee
Dates with employer: 30.3.1948
Accommodation in: Bolnhurst Hostel
Information on second / third employment and employer/s e.g. farm name/s, village/s, farmer’s name/s, type of work carried out: When hostel closed (April 1949) we (Hazel and I) had accommodation at Manor Farm, Thurleigh.
Any names of other Land Girls / Lumber Jills or others you worked or shared accommodation with: Hazel Filsel (married mame) my main friend, now dead. Many girls in the hostel.
Life after the war
Did you / they return back to their pre-war occupation?: I returned home on ‘compassionate grounds’, my mother was very ill and dad applied for my release to go home to help look after her.
What was your / their occupation after the war?: I was secretary to a doctor, then on my return home I became secretary in a large firm. My father was in essential work at the power station.
Did you / they stay on the land? I eventually married the farmer’s son and we had our house built on the farm.
How did work in the WLA / WTC effect your/ their life? My husband died 1975 (aged 49) and we had to vacate the farm we were renting. I had three children. Two are happily married and I have grand and great-grandchildren.
Name: Sheila Jean Stephens
Read Sheila’s entry on Stuart Antrobus’ roll call of Bedfordshire Land Girls.