Betty Smith (née Dugdale)

General Information

First Name(s):  Betty

Betty Dugdale
Betty Dugdale

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.

Betty Dugdale in Women's Land Army truck with friends
Betty Dugdale in Women’s Land Army truck with friends.


Hawksworth Hall

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.

Contributor Information

Name: Elisabeth Sweeney

Relationship to Land Girl: Daughter

Click here to see photos from Betty’s 90th Birthday celebration.

Land Girl veteran, Betty Dugdale.
Land Girl veteran, Betty Dugdale with her commemorative badge.

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