Dorothea French

Joining the Land Army

Dorothea French talks about why she joined the Land Army.

'I was as green as grass'

Dorothea French recalls how her time in the Land Army opended her eyes to the world.

Edenbridge

Dorothea French recalls her time on a farm in Edenbridge.

Leaving the Land Army

Dorothea French talks about leaving the Land Army at the end of the war.

Recollections of war work in the Women's Land Army.

'A good war'

Dorothea French, a Land Army veteran had in her own words 'a good war'.  Certainly the war, which coincided with her adolescence, exposed her to new experiences and opportunities that she is able to recall in considerable detail and with great candour.

When war broke out Dorothea was living with her parents and siblings in Sidcup, Kent – just over the boundary which meant that she wasn’t eligible for evacuation. She recalls the terror of the early raids and how as they continued they became commonplace.

The Women's Land Army

In 1942 aged just seventeen, Dorothea joined the Women’s Land Army and was sent to a 'lovely farm' in Edenbridge, Kent. The long hours working with the dairy herd had its compensations and Dorothea remembers it as a sociable time, commenting how 'we used to have a good laugh'. From Kent Dorothea moved north of London to work on various dairy farms in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, and in Luton she became part of the renowned Luton Girls Choir.

For Dorothea the hard physical work, long days and privations she experienced during the war were accompanied by a relatively high degree of choice and personal freedom. This contrasted sharply with Dorothea’s subsequent career in the Women’s Royal Air Force.   Serving between 1946-49 Dorothea recalls that while she thoroughly enjoyed it, '…it was a different life...you were supervised more or less all the time...You had to do as you were told or else!'

Downloads

Interview with Dorothea French.
Interview with Dorothea French. (168k)
To read the full transcript of Dorothea's interview.

Joining the Land Army
Joining the Land Army (74k)
Transcript of audio clip with Dorothea French.

'I was as green as grass'
'I was as green as grass' (76k)
Transcript of audio clip with Dorothea French.

Edenbridge
Edenbridge (96k)
Transcript of audio clip with Dorothea French.

Leaving the Land Army
Leaving the Land Army (76k)
Transcript of audio clip with Dorothea French.

This page was added by Sarah Macri on 10/03/2012.

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