The Thurlows

Village News & Information

Helping with 'Dig for Victory'

At school there was a scheme now to allow us to work on farms, which had been worked out by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Education Ministry. We were issued with blue cards, which let us work a certain number of hours on the farms each term. This meant seasonal work, like ‘tatering’ - planting potatoes in the spring, which involved carrying a heavy galvanised bucket (no plastic in those days!) full of potatoes. We walked in the furrows, the instructions being given were: one foot, two foot, tater. This meant that the potatoes had to be roughly eighteen inches apart.

We also did ‘singling’ sugar beet and ‘tatering’ again in the autumn. To pick up the potatoes we were each allocated a strip and we worked that strip after the spinner had been by, using the bucket again and then filling up the sacks. We went quite a distance sometimes – I remember working up at The Tuft and at Deasley, Little Bradley. Both the farmer and our teacher had to sign our employment cards.

Members of the Women’s Land Army were working on the farms to take the place of men who had joined the Forces. Some of the girls were billeted in the hostel, which was Little Bradley House, where the Bedford family used to live. Some girls lived with families, and a lot of local girls worked on the farms. We used to go to Beetle Drives at the hostel.

We had said our goodbyes to the London Irish Rifles who went on to take part in the Italian campaign, where they suffered casualties, including the CO, Lt Col McNamara.

There were several fundraising weeks held,: War Weapons Week, Navy Week, Wings for Victory and Salute the Soldier. In the larger towns, where the amount of money raised was enough to cover the cost of an aircraft, the aircraft was named after that town.

You are here: Home Publications My Childhood Memories of Thurlow Helping with 'Dig for Victory'