WW2 Land Girl: Betty McCarthy (née Parker)

General Information

Betty Parker portraits

First Name(s): Betty Louise

Unmarried Surname: Parker

Married Surname: McCarthy

Date of Birth:  26/5/1920

Place of Birth: Leyton

Date Joined WLA: 31st August 1942-18th January 1946.

Pre-war occupation: Cardboard box maker

WLA number: 92048

Family’s reaction to joining: Surprised, I think, because Mum had no experience of countryside life (born and lived in East London) and was shy in temperament.

Employment

Private farmer, 1942-1946 in Ringwood, Hampshire. Worked with Grace ‘Kroese’ (married name) who married a US soldier and emigrated to California. Mum exchanged letters with her every Christmas for rest of her life.

Life after the war

After the war, worked in Woolworth’s, Barkingside.

My mother showed a great interest in gardening (until she got too ill to cope) and grew many of the vegetables required by the family. I am sure that this was influenced by her time in the WLA.

I think it is sad that Mum didn’t live to see the later recognition given to Land Army girls (she died in 1992). 

Contributor Information

Name: Colin John McCarthy

Relationship to Land Girl: Son

Betty Parker with her colleague. Betty is at the front, third from the left, holding a pitch-fork! c.1944
Betty Parker with fellow Land Girls. Betty is at the front, third from the left, holding a pitch-fork, c.1944.

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