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Ada Proctor's (nee Tennick) War Memories

I was born in Sunderland as a twin and at 17 went to Shildon to work in the Auxilliary Fire Service to man telephones and fire watching at the Bishop's Palace in Bishop Auckland on a Sunday.

At 18 I went to Leeds and worked in an aircraft factory making parts and for 12 hour shifts stood at machines milling and drilling but had to leave on medical grounds because of the noise.

I then joined the Land Army, went to Durham to collect my uniform and was sent to Wolviston.  I  had to put the harness on the horse, yolk up and deliver milk churns.  After that, I  went to a market garden at Egglescliffe and worked with German prisoners. Being in the Land Army was very hard and not as it is portrayed in films and that makes me mad ! We never let on to farmers that we hadn't done something before or it would be even harder! My wrists were always red and swollen and I remember endless tatie picking, potato snagging and one bad job was picking sprouts with ice on.

Our uniforms were very dull and my twin sister Olive and I (she worked on a farm at Elwick and her picture can be seen with a horse) would go to a stall on Stockton market and buy dusters to make knickers and any bits of ribbon we could find and we used to embroider them to make things look a bit more fancy.

We were allowed one jar of jam a month and had to sign for it.

Eventually I ended up on a farm at Hart and married the local blacksmith.

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