Farmers Guradian
Topics
Nine ways to keep your farm vehicles safe

Nine ways to keep your farm vehicles safe

Arable Farming Magazine

Arable Farming Magazine

Dairy Farmer Magazine

Dairy Farmer Magazine

CropTec

LAMMA 2018

New to Farmers Guardian?
Register Now
Login or Register
New to Farmers Guardian?
Register Now
New to Farmers Guardian?
Register Now

Lest we forget: Snippets of wartime farming stories

As Remembrance Day approaches, we take a look back at what farm life was like during war time across the UK.



Twitter Facebook
Twitter Facebook
Share This

Lest we forget: Snippets of wartime farming stories

Life was tough during wartime and farm work was vital in order to feed the nation.

 

Here are some personal recollections of what people remember from that time, or from those who have heard the tales of family members over the years.


Read More

Artist pays tribute to Remembrance Day with striking poppy covered tractor Artist pays tribute to Remembrance Day with striking poppy covered tractor
Farming Women who shone through Britain's Darkest Hour Farming Women who shone through Britain's Darkest Hour

Doug Wanstall reveals the story behind this picture...

 

When Doug Wanstall posted this legendary picture of his Grandfather on Twitter, it rightly attracted much attention.

 

 

It captures a poignant moment in history- anything could happen in wartime, whether you were out in the countryside or not.

 

Doug explains that the plane came down and ended up in his Grandfathers field near Adlington, Kent, on September 5 1940.

 

Although faced with an enemy aircraft, Doug said his Grandfather was much more concerned with the fact it tore through the fences which were keeping his sheep in.

 

He escorted the pilot to the local POW camp, but the pilot later escaped and made it back to mainland Europe having hijacked a light aircraft.

 

 

Clare Arnold, 93

Clare Arnold, 93

At 91 she radiates optimism, a lesson of life which she has learnt along the way saying: “It’s easy to see the negative in situations but it’s just as easy to see the good things too.”

 

Speaking of the moment she decided to join the Land Army in 1942, Clare remembers the feeling of thrill which came along with it.

 

“I was cycling home from work when I passed the WLA office. It had the recruitment poster in the window and it just suited me. I went home and said, 'by the way I’ve joined the Land Army’, but my parents were not happy. I was their youngest and was expected to stay at home, but I just couldn’t. I had to do something for the war and anyway, it was an adventure.”

 

Clare was posted to a farm in Stafford, three miles from her home. She says she takes pleasure in the memories she holds and tells of her fondness for the ‘warmth of the animals on a winter morning’.

 

Healthy

“It was the making of me – not only physically but mentally.

 

"I was slight when I joined, 5ft 4.5in, I remember. Although rationed, you ate better on-farm as you had hens and, of course, the cream on top of the milk.

 

“I worked hard all day, milking and out in the fields with the men and, after three months, I had put on two and a half stone and some muscle. I was healthy. I even split my breeches one morning when I jumped back in to the milk float.”

 

Early mornings came hand in hand with the job, but this did not stop her from enjoying her youth to the fullest.

 

“I used to finish at the farm, get washed, put a dress on and go dancing until 11. I was only 18 – I wanted to have fun.”

 

Clare’s lust for life still resonates in her voice with much of who she is today derived from her time as a Land Girl.

 

“It was very, very hard and we worked all hours in all weather, but it is the best thing I have ever done.”

 

Here, Guy Smith remembers the tales his Father told him...

"This weekend is Remembrance Day where we remember the sacrifice made by our forbears in the defence of our liberty and freedom.

 

"It's at this time I also remember the tales my father told me of his time as a schoolboy growing up on our Essex farm during WW2.

 

"Although the German Luftwaffe targeted the British cities in their bombing raids, they often returned back to Germany low on fuel and would randomly discharge any left over bombs on rural areas as they approached the channel or the North Sea.

 

"Farmyards and farmland could often find themselves under attack from the sky. Many farm fields still show the scars of these raids in the form of bomb-hole depressions that can still fill up in times of very wet weather.

 

"Later in the war as the Luftwaffe was contained it was the self propelled V2s that peppered south and East of England. Dad referred to them as buzz bombs.

 

"The irony was if you could hear them buzzing over-head then he knew he was safe but if you heard them stop buzzing, you needed to take cover as they were beginning their descent.

 

"One curiousity that was one of his favourite war time tales was that the loyal family Jack Russell, that would usually spend its days ratting in the yard, could be found taking cover under the kitchen table a full fifteen minutes before any V2s could be heard in the sky.

 

"Dad reckoned the dog was the best form of air raid warning and if he saw the dog running for the house he would run for the Anderson shelter in the garden.

 

"As an example of gallows humour in amongst all the fear of the bombs Dad used to recount that at the village primary school they would bet on which farm would get hit next - cigarette cards were the betting stakes. It was a coping mechanism that helped keep spirits up in what must have been a stressful time.

 

"Amidst these light hearted stories we should remember that for many wartime farming families these were very, very dark days.

 

"My Dad also remembered vividly the unbearable family grief at the news his elder brother had been killed at El-Alermein. For many of us lucky enough never to have directly experienced the horrors of war, on the eleventh of the eleventh we should always remember the sacrifice of brave young men such as the uncle I never met."

A WW1 tip off

Farming in wartime Canada

Tractor poppy

This stunning project was created in honour of those who worked the land during wartime.

 

Twitter Facebook
Post a Comment
To see comments and join in the conversation please log in.
Facebook
Twitter
RSS
Facebook
Twitter
RSS