WW2 Land Girl: Kathleen Fawell

General Information

First Name(s): Kathleen Mary

Unmarried Surname: Fawell

Date of Birth:  28/7/13

Place of Birth:  Sandhutton near Thirsk

Years spent in WLA: 5

Pre-war occupation:

  • 3 years physical training
  • 3 years teaching boys school
  • 3 years teaching girls school
  • Played hockey for Yorkshire and North of England
  • Also cricket for Yorkshire and The North

Reasons for joining: Physical training was changing so much and needed more training.


Trained by the farmer’s daughter and employed by the North Riding of Yorkshire County War Agricultural Committee. Worked in Yorkshire and then Somerset for 6 months.

ShSent to find B&B for Land Girls who had no license to drive on roads also move all their machinery.

Type of work undertaken:

  • 6 months helping a farmer who only had horses.
  • Joined to teach girls to drive a tractor and use machines they pulled.
  • Liked harvest time the most and pulling flax the least.
  • The work was hard, but what I liked doing best.

Any accidents or injuries sustained by you or by fellow workers and what effect they had: I nearly lost a thumb in machine that had not been put out of gear.

Opportunities to meet other Land Girls / Lumber Jills working elsewhere, locally, during wartime. If so where?: At local dances when living in Easingwold or Thirsk.

Reactions of local people towards WLA / WTC: Did not see them – at work all day.

Treatment by farmers or market gardeners: Saw little of farmers – never mixed with gardeners.

Reasons for leaving: After war finished, I started playing hockey and cricket for Yorkshire and North of England again.

Any outstanding events or achievements in WLA / WTC or in later life:

  • My trained girls pulled all the flax in the Vale of Mowbray.
  • Kept a factory at work developing it for Hemp.
  • Played golf – handicap 8.
  • President of Ripon Golf Club 27 years and still president.
  • Taught dancing and still president of Old Time Dancing in Ripon.

Any other comments on time in the WLA / WTC

  • Poor sandwiches for lunch.  
  • Jam sandwiches taken out at 7am to last you until 5pm usually got squashed in your pocket.


Lived in hostels with 32 Land Girls in Strenval (York), Easingwold – Thirsk.

Life after the war

Returned to pre-war occupation working in a clothes’s shop.

Contributor Information

Name: Kathleen Mary Fawell

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