Veteran Stories:
Eileen Tindall

Army

  • Eileen Tindall studio portrait in 1943.

  • Eileen Tindall (believed to be 2nd from right, back row) and 'gang' during harvesting in the fall of 1944.

  • Eileen Tindall in uniform as a member of the Women's Land Army for England and Wales, 1944.

  • Eileen Tindall (left) and friend Peggy on top of a haystack while harvesting in the Land Army, 1944.

  • Eileen Tindall's Women's Land Army (England and Wales) Release Certificate, June 9th 1945.

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"And we absolutely knew what was happening because the sky was just full of planes."

Transcript

My name is Eileen Tindall, and I was in the Women's Land Army during the war. The Women's Land Army was a unit formed to replace men who worked on the land and on farms to replace them for war duty, and we went in and took over. We worked... various ways of working - some worked dairy farms. I myself worked in what they called the Agricultural Committee in Surrey. We went out to farms who needed various things done, such as weeding a field, or doing the harvesting, haymaking - we did a lot of that. Tree felling, and general farm work. We traveled around in a group of six with a foreman, and we had a great time. We were billeted in the country and we... we had a lot of fun locally. The way I met my husband was because we would go to the village hall and have dances. And so that made for a very good life. I was situated in the south of England where, of course, we were subject to air-raids. So there were many times we spent running to the ditch to avoid buzz-bombs and things like that. We had one day when - you've heard of buzz-bombs, of course, the flying bombs - there was one day I think we counted sixty, and we were in the ditch more than we were out working (laughing). I know that we would... we had to run to the ditch to hide, because these things were dropping around anyplace, and you never knew where they were going to fall, so that was another thing. But the one thing I remember particularly was the morning of D-Day. And we were naturally out early in the morning. And we absolutely knew what was happening because the sky was just full of planes. Everywhere you looked, they were just droning on and on, you know, for the longest time, to see these planes going. So we knew exactly what was happening without even being told. And that was a sight I'll never forget.
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