ONE WOMAN was so fascinated by her grandmother’s time working in the Women’s Land Army that she got a tattoo in her honor.
Ellen Donovan, 32, from Brighton, revealed Gwendoline Payne’s past via Ancestry.co.uk and wanted to pay tribute to her.
Not only did she get tattoos, but she also started growing vegetables in an allotment area in the city.
Gwendoline Florence Payne, from Islington, was hired as a farm hand in West Kent in 1941, aged just 21.
Ellen said: “As a young girl growing up in Islington, it’s amazing to imagine Nan being recruited to live and work on farms in the Kent countryside at just 21 – she’s never had so much Green or some of the food and seen vegetables, but she played such an important role in supplying the country with food during the war.
“She had to gear up and get comfortable pretty quickly while sitting on a tractor and working. We have an amazing photo of her in her dungarees on the tractor.”
Ellen says her grandmother told her about the fond memories of her time in the country that have stayed with her throughout her life.
She said: “Like many others, my grandfather did not talk much about the war, but my grandma gave me and my cousin some information about their time as country girls.
“She always shared fond memories of Harry and Elsie running the farm. Her children – my mother, aunt and uncle – referred to them as uncle and aunt and have visited the farm over the years.
“My grandmother’s experiences as a country girl definitely shaped her and accompanied her throughout her life. She had a passion for tending and growing plants and her own food and vegetables – that’s where I draw my love from.
“I got a tattoo in 2014 in tribute to her – I did wartime recruiting pics, one of Rosie the Riveter, a country girl advert and a picture of the medal awarded to the country girls, done to my tattoo artist who did an amazing design worked out.”
Last week, Ancestry released a new online collection of over 90,000 digitized Women’s Land Army maps from the National Archives.
The UK Women’s Land Army Index Cards contain records of the employment of those who served in the Women’s Land Army from 1939 to 1945.
Ellen’s grandmother is part of the collection and has led to Ellen learning even more about her family history.
“Unfortunately, my grandma’s medal for service in the Women’s Land Army has been misplaced, but it’s amazing to find her index card on Ancestry,” Ellen said.
For more information about the collection and to explore the records, sign up for a free trial, visit www.ancestry.co.uk.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/22906871.brighton-womans-tattoo-honour-land-army-granny/?ref=rss A Brighton woman’s tattoo honoring her land army grandmother