Audrey Genevieve Paget (née Lancaster)
First Name(s): Audrey Genevieve
Unmarried Surname: Lancaster
Married Surname: Paget
Date of Birth:
Place of Birth: Stockwell, London
Date of Death:
Date Joined WLA: 01/04/1946
Date Left WLA: 09/04/1949
WLA Number: 164624
Previous occupation: Telephonist in Stockwell, London and worked for Neonamic Photo’s in 1942.
Reasons for joining:
- A major change to my life!
- More freedom.
- To serve my country and work on the land, which I considered to be reason for joining WLA.
- Opportunity to leave home and to be independent financially.
- A great opportunity for me.
Family’s reaction to leaving:
- I left living with my mother to join the WLA.
- I wanted to leave home and to do something with my life.
- The WLA was my opportunity to broaden my horizons and do something meaningful with my life.
Reactions of local people towards WLA / WTC: They were alright, nothing really experienced that I can remember, good reputation.
Treatment by farmers or market gardeners: I did work living and looking after an elderly lady and helping out on the farm. My employer, a farmer, was really pleased to have me and respected my experience in the WLA. I left this position and then employed by another farmer to work on the land with tractors, ploughing fields and feeding livestock.
Reasons for leaving: Sickness. I did not pass a medical examination due to anemia deficiency. Unfit for WLA service. Invalided out of the WLA. Convalescent in Rothschild, my last days in Rothschild’s House, Ashtonwold.
Trained at Ravensden, went onto various counties as a driver, farm worker. Passed driving test.
Worked for private farmer, Gerald. R. Davison as a grower and from June 1949 as a poultry maid.
Worked in Bedfordshire. Worked at various locations as driver, and on the land.
- Clophill – 1946
- Clifton – 1947
- Bolnhurst – 1949
- Cockayne Hatley
Any names of other Land Girls worked or shared accommodation with:
- George Copeman
- Joan Taylor – 1947
- Iris – in Ashtonwold House – 1949
- Doris – in Ashtonwold House -1949 (Feb) convalescence home
- Charles – (German) in Clophill – A dear friend
- Stella – in Ashtonwold House
- The Gang : Doreen Wright – 1947, J. Walton – 1947, Velmer Clifton, Sheila Brewer, Nora O’Connor, Mildred, Marjorie – 1948
- Ashtonwold Military Hospial
Type of work undertaken:
- Forewoman Driver at Old Cople House – 1946
- Driving my lorry with supplies and transporting others.
- Working on the land, in the fields, ploughing, driving tractors, making hay stacks, working with horses and combine harvesters.
Work liked most and least:
- Driving my lorry called baby
- Working on the land with other land girls, Best days.
- Tired hard work
- Little rest.
- No support.
- Exhausting, emotionally.
- Labour work.
- Relocation, isolation
Any accidents or injuries sustained by you or by fellow workers and what effect they had: One accident sustained kicked by a bull in a field which damaged my big toenail permanently. Badly injured when two lorries collided in Bedfordshire with two other Land Army Girls.
Best and worst memories of time:
- Times working with other Land Army Girls.
- Better social life.
- Hard work.
- No time for yourself.
- Missing home and parents.
- Little leave time or time off.
- Long hours.
- No support.
Opportunities to meet other Land Girls working elsewhere, locally, during wartime. If so where? Worked with many other Land Girls. During war time never any opportunities to meet other Land Girls working else where or locally.
Any outstanding events or achievements in WLA / WTC or in later life: Passed my driving test. 1946 – Became forewoman driver, Old Cople House Hostel.
- Paxton Hill
- St Neots
- Slept and worked here
- Old Coples House – 1946
Life after the war
Did you return back to their pre-war occupation? No, not possible, no position and my skills required updating or retraining.
What was your / their occupation after the war? Live in housekeeper to a vicar and his wife.
Did you stay on the land? No, required to leave and go back home to find work. I was invalided out of the WLA and had to convalescence in Rothchild House in Ashtonwold.
How did work in the WLA effect your life? Dramatically, I missed working in the WLA. I felt lost and I did not know what I was going to do. No support given to me when I left WLA, life was difficult.
Any other comments on time in the WLA:
- A new venture.
- I enjoyed my time in the WLA.
- Exhausting work.
- A special time in my life and The Gang.
- WLA improved my job prospects and enhanced my independence.
- Responsibility of others I really enjoyed.
I really enjoyed my experience of the WLA, especially working on the land. I felt useful and appreciated. Hard work and responsibility. Very worthwhile experience. Getting the job done, no complaining, no fuss. Proud to serve WLA.
- More acknowledgement of the WLA.
- I never did receive the WLA medal.
- Not enough recognition of WLA, especially after the war.
- Life returned to normal very quickly and was expected of you.
- Best days.
- Poor pay.
Name: Deborah Paget, daughter