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Land Girls at the Old Rectory

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Caret Down
It was 1942 and Britain was running out of food. Twenty-year-old Irene Gibbs had always fancied working on the land rather than in the cigarette factory so she volunteered for the Women's Land Army. She was billeted with 30 other "town gals" at the Old Rectory, Halesworth in Suffolk. Irene and her land-army friends had had no farm experience and were unable to distinguish a bull from a cow - something they soon learned. Irene describes with wry affection how they came to terms with back-breaking weeks of hoeing, the dusty work of threshing and the more relaxed days of harvest. The land girls were high-spirited and adventurous. Besides farm work they took in their stride the army on maneouvres and the US airforce, not to mention hitch-hiking, wall-climbing and some long-suffering hostel wardens. They also had to deal with a wide range of farmers who varied from the hospitable to quite the opposite.


Caret Down
Pages 104
Publish Date 2020-10-01
Size 0.0" x 0.0" x 0.0"
Author Irene Grimwood
Product Form Paperback / softback

About the Author

Irene was born in a family of six girls and two boys at Bury St Edmunds in 1922. Her father William Gibbs, an acetylene welder, was secretary of the local Labour Party and her mother Lily was a lieutenant in the Salvation Army. When Irene was fifteen the family moved to Ipswich where she worked in Churchman's cigarette factory before joining the Women's Land Army.After 'demob' Irene worked in Ipswich at Grimwade and Ridleys, food and drug packers. She married in 1948 and had two children. She spent a further spell packing at Grimwades, then 'worked on all the counters' at Footman's Food Hall (Lloyds Avenue, Ipswich, where Debenhams now stands) and as a deputy collector for Prudential Insurance.In 1995 her second marriage was to Taffy Grimwood. They live in Ipswich

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