Saturday, March 01, 2008

Digging for victory and diving for cover!

This Mother’s Day I’ll be thinking of my Mum Joan Clark (nee Hide)

I often remember trying to get my Mum to talk about her experiences in the war but she would always say ‘Oh I didn’t do anything very exciting really, you should talk to your Dad about his days in the Navy’.

One story that my Mother told me that will always stick in my mind was the time she had been working as a Land Army girl in West Sussex during the summer of 1941 The Battle of Britain had been raging overhead for several months and rumours were beginning to get about that farm workers were being attacked whilst working in the fields.

On this particular Summer’s day in 1941 it was just like any other, and my mother was working in one of the many large greenhouses situated around the farm tending to the rows and rows of ripening tomatoes. Suddenly the peace was completely shattered by the loud roar of an enemy fighter as it dived towards them opening fire with its cannon. Before my Mother had even time to react her a quick thinking colleague had forced her under one of the tables of tomatoes as glass and shrapnel came showering down all over them. My Mother was lucky but her colleague had been badly cut on his back and was later treated in hospital.


Blogger Boabbie said...

Hi Nick every time I read an article about the women's land army I am staggered at the contribution women made to the war effort.Not content with looking after us kids they kept the factories ,the farms and the forrestry going and that was only the half of it.
By the way your mum was in modern parlance a "Babe" she could have been the model for the poster you show.

Monday, 03 March, 2008  
Blogger Tomcann said...

Joseph -
I was just thinking along the lines of Boabbie - your Mother was areal "babe" and just as well Frank Mee didn't know her at the time or he would have been there dancing her feet off in slow slow foxtrot !

Tuesday, 04 March, 2008  
Blogger Nick Clark said...

Bob - heh heh a 'real babe' my mum would have had a real chuckle at that! She was a real modest one was my mum.

Tom - she was certainly was a great dancer as I've so often been told by my auntie. During the war people would often come to the village hall in Lancing just to watch her dance - mostly Canadians and yanks stationed near by no doubt! I put her dancing skills down to lots of practice, as she didn't have any shortage of partners!

My Dad always called her 'a real smasher'! But to me she will always be remembered as a great mother and someone who could be very brave when life threw up some difficult challenges. I'll always be very proud of her.

Thanks for your comments.

Tuesday, 04 March, 2008  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Village Hall dances were a great place to meet in WW2. It was hard work in the WLA, and hopefully your mother enjoyed her time in the service.

I think it was only relatively recently the WLA 'girls' were recognised and allowed to march in the Remembrance Sunday Parade (Year 2000?). In 2008 surviving WLA 'Girls' could claim a badge as well. At least it is some recognition for a hard job well done.

Tuesday, 11 March, 2008  
Blogger Frank mee said...

That Tom, he thinks I danced every girls feet off.
My Mother worked as an electrician at Goosepool, a Canadian bomber drome during the war.
She was supposed to service the WAAF's quarters though a lot of the time I was told she was up in the hanger roof walking the trusses fitting bulbs and lights. It appears some of the men were afraid of heights, mother was not afraid of anything.
Women helped win the war yet got little recognitoion. Like a lot of those who went through the war she would never talk about it.
I have written her story and some of the escapades elsewhere and was happy to record what I knew about a brave lady as they all were.

Friday, 14 March, 2008  
Blogger Boabbie said...

Last week I saw an old dear on the tele who had done sterling work during the war.She spoke of a new Memorial to those plucky ladies being erected somewhere in the Highlands of Scotland.It only came back to me when I visited the Scottish National War Memorial in
Edinburgh castle and saw the section to those who died in these services.I do have a picture but could not figure out if I could add it to this comment

Thursday, 12 June, 2008  
Blogger Peter G said...


I would be delighted to see the picture you have. Unfortunately you cannot attach photos to Comments, only in Posts. So just start a new thread (a Post) with perhaps a Comment here referring to it.

Hope this helps.

Friday, 04 July, 2008  

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