Veteran Stories:
Eileen Booth

Army

  • Eileen with her future husband William Booth before their wedding. October 1943.

  • Eileen Booth marching with the Women's Land Army in Croyden, England, October 1943.

  • Mrs. Booth and her husband visit schools to share their wartime experiences with children. After a visit to Fraser Heights School, they received this thank you card from the students.

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"England was putting together a land army because the food was needed, and the farms weren’t being handled."

Transcript

During the Second World War I was an office worker, and the girlfriends got together and decided that we needed to do something to help. England was putting together a land army because the food was needed, and the farms weren't being handled. I volunteered and some friends volunteered too, and we went into Maidstone. That's quite a train ride from where I was living. We got billets, and we were put to work every day. We were keeping up the gardens, and of course there were cows to milk, and there was no machinery in those days. So we were doing that, and cleaning out the barns. We had other people that were on the farms, and we had to stick up for ourselves because we were given all the heavy jobs and some of the men that didn't want to go to war and were made to work on the farms were getting the easy jobs. So we had to stand up for ourselves in those days and say, "Listen, we volunteered! We get to drive the tractors and do the easy jobs, not these guys!" I was from the outskirts of London, and we were getting bombs that were meant to go to London, and they were dropping earlier on my town, in Surrey. I wasn't supposed to go with any Canadians, but I ended up with a Canadian. Bill was stationed in my hometown. We have a lot of fun with this stuff, because I always say that he captured me.
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