Betty Smith (née Dugdale)
First Name(s): Betty
Unmarried Surname: Dugdale
Married Surname: Smith
Date of Birth: 29.12.1925
Place of Birth: Ambleside, Westmorland
Date joined WLA: 1.7.1942
Date left WLA: 13.9.1947
WLA number: 86896
Previous occupation: Working in a hotel in Cumberland
Reasons for joining: My sister had joined the A.T.S so I gave the wrong age and said I was 17 instead of 16. I wanted to escape the boredom of village.
Family’s reaction to joining: They were agreeable as it was hard to find work in a small country town.
Reactions of local people towards WLA: Ok
Treatment by farmers or market gardeners: Ok
Worked for private farmer and county war agricultural committee in Kirby Londsdale, Cumberland, Westmorland, and Hertfordshire (transferred 6.4.1946).
Worked with Beryl Head, similar age, from Sussex (possibly East Grinstead).
Type of work undertaken: Hand milking cows, delivering milk with pony and trap, haymaking, harvesting corn and wheat, potato packing, snagging turnips, working on threshing machines, baling hay, muck spreading.
Worked liked most and least: Enjoyed working with threshing machines, specifically cutting the bands on the sheaves.
Best and worst memories of time: I have no bad memories. Best memories: the comradeship.
Life after the war
Drove a mobile canteen for the NAAFI in England for a short while in Germany.
How did work in the WLA effect your/ their life? Enjoyed working with livestock and in particular horses.
Any outstanding events or achievements: Lasted long enough to receive the commemorative badge.
Any other information: The film The Land Girls did not show sufficiently the hard work or mucky conditions girls had to work in – bit too clean.
Name: Elisabeth Sweeney
Relationship to Land Girl: Daughter
Click here to see photos from Betty’s 90th Birthday celebration.