"But I to learn all that business because I’d been growing up in a big city, I didn’t know anything about cattle."
There was men that came looking for girls to go to work in the munitions factories. And this was, as I said, at the end of 1939, just after the war started. So there was a bunch of us [in Glasgow] all landed at the munitions. It was dipping gun cotton in nitric acid and I worked there for four and a half years. And then I went to the [Women’s] Land Army because, well, they had to pile piles of munitions or whatever and they were going to send some of us to England and I said, no, I’d had enough of the munitions. But you had to go to war work because that was essential. So I went around and I joined the Land Army [a British civilian organization that recruited women to replace men who had left their jobs in for military service].
Hard work, that’s for sure, working in the fields some but mostly milking cows. I had 30 cows but there were machines, they had machines for them, the farmer did. But I to learn all that business because I’d been growing up in a big city, I didn’t know anything about cattle.
But then we had to go out and work in the fields in between times to help out with the produce and stooking the hay, so it would dry out, you know, for the cattle. It was quite an experience after living in a city. But when you’re young, you can handle anything I think. But I rather enjoyed it and I met my husband. He came in early 1940, just after the war started, he joined up here at the end of 1939. He was with the 8th Battery, [Royal] Artillery. And he was in the war up until 1945, he came back here 1945.
It was hard work but it was very good as far as food. I mean, there was lots of food and that was something I was very thankful for because we were rationed pretty hard. It was very tight, rationing was very tight. In my family, there was another three girls, my aunts, three girls. I lived with my aunt because my mother died when I was born. So I lived with this aunt and she had three girls. And so there was six of us altogether in the house and you would get eggs when they could give you eggs. One time we didn’t get eggs for about three months, so then we had a dozen eggs due to us and there was nine of them bad. But that was it. You couldn’t take your eggs back, they wouldn’t take your eggs back. My aunt always broke hers in a saucer before she added them to anything and there was nine bad eggs out of the dozen.
After three months, we’d never had an egg. So I don’t know how long it was before we got some more eggs, you know. The rationing was very tight, very tight. But it was nice to go on the farm because there was lots of eggs and there was lots of everything in the line of food, so it was kind of nice in that way. But it was hard work.