Land Girls

PUBLISHED: 12:10 19 August 2010 | UPDATED: 17:44 20 February 2013

Land Girls

Land Girls

A special Dig for Victory event is being held in the county this August

Monica Tovey from Wroughton will be chatting to visitors at the Dig for Victory Weekend at Whitehall Garden Centre in Lacock on 21 and 22 August. Eighty-two-year-old Monica said: I joined the Womens Land Army in South Marston, near Swindon, in 1943, when I was 15 years old. When I heard that the organisers of the Dig for Victory Weekend were calling for former Land Army Girls to come forward, I was very keen to get in touch.

I am really excited about attending the event and sharing my experiences with people. I enjoyed my time in the Womens Land Army and made some lifelong friends.

The Womens Land Army worked in agriculture to replace the men called up for military service during the Second World War. The official minimum joining age for the Womens Land Army was 17. However, like many young girls, Monica was keen to help with the war effort and no one questioned her age.
Monica continued: I was born in Weymouth, but my mother decided to move our family inland to Swindon during the war because of the fear of invasion. My father was called up for service with the Ministry of Defence.
I was keen to do war work and I began working at the Vickers-Armstrong aircraft factory in South Marston. However, when I noticed the Land Army Girls going out to the fields every day, growing crops to supply the factorys canteen, I really wanted to get involved.

My grandfather used to own a farm in Dorset, so I often used to help out there, and I felt that I would be very suited to the Land Army. No one asked how old I was, and even my mother didnt find out that I had been part of the Womens Land Army until after the war had finished!
The Womens Land Army was set up by the government in June 1939. At first it asked for volunteers, but this was later supplemented by conscription, and by 1944 it had more than 80,000 members.
Monica attended a special event with more than 90 other Land Army Girls and members of the royal family at Buckingham Palace last October, which marked the 59th anniversary of the disbandment of the Womens Land Army.

Christopher Self, Director of Whitehall Garden Centre, said: We are delighted to be hosting the Dig for Victory Weekend again this year and are very excited about meeting Monica and some of the countys other Land Army Girls. This event is a real piece of living history and something we think will appeal to young and old alike. Lisa


Dig for Victory Weekend
When:"21/22 August
Where: Whitehall Garden Centre, Corsham Road, Lacock. 01249 730204, www.whitehallgardencentre.co.uk.
Highlights of the weekend include:
A tribute to the Womens Land Army, which will take the form of a wall of honour displaying photographs of members who served in Wiltshire during the war years.
Organised by members of the Wiltshire Military Vehicle Trust and other volunteers, there will be a display of historic military vehicles, a field hospital, a Womens Land Army garden and a Home Front exhibition.
Visitors wishing to find out more about 1940s dances, including the London Stroll, can take part in dance lessons and people will also be able to have their hair and make-up done in a 1940s style during the weekend.
Big Band Bash:"There will also be a 1940s dance featuring a 20-piece Big Band on Saturday, August 21, 7.30pm-midnight, at Melksham Assembly Hall. Tickets cost 12.50 and are available from


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