Award for Portishead war veteran

A WAR veteran from Portishead is due to presented with an accolade for her work during the Second World War.

A WAR veteran from Portishead is due to presented with an accolade for her work during the Second World War.

Female war veterans can now apply to have their efforts rewarded with a new badge of recognition.

The badge will acknowledge surviving members of the Women's Land Army and Women's Timber Corps who worked on the Home Front to provide food and timber for the country during the first and second world wars.

Former land girl, Pat Shield, of Clockhouse Mews, was a market gardener during the Second World War and still has her original Land Army badge.


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She said: ""I think it is fantastic that the work us girls did in the Land Army is getting recognised.

"We worked hard during those years and it was important work, keeping the food production going."

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The 82-year-old added: "I joined the Land Army when I was 18 - as soon as I was old enough to get away from home.

"I went to work on a farm in Flax Bourton which had dairy cows and grew various vegetables. I spent most of my time either on a tractor ploughing the fields or planting and picking vegetables.

"We were out working for long hours and it was real physical work, but I enjoyed every minute of my time as a Land Girl.

"They were some of the best years of my life and there was a real camaraderie amongst the girls I worked with.

"The best thing about it was meeting my future husband. The lady who looked after us organised a dance for us girls, inviting the local RAF boys. He came along and the rest is history."

Pat has applied for a badge and is looking forward to displaying it with the memorabilia from her time in the Land Army.

The Government's environment secretary, Hilary Benn, said: "It is absolutely right that we at last recognise the selfless efforts these women made to support the nation through the dark days of the first and second world wards.

"This badge is a fitting way to pay tribute to their determination, courage and spirit in the face of adversity. I hope that as many eligible women as possible will apply for one."

Application forms can be downloaded from www.defra.gov.uk/farm/working/wla/ or people can apply by calling 08459 33 55 77 or by writing to Dermot McInerney, Defra, 5E Millbank, c/o 17 Smith Square, London, SW1P 3JR.

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