South Shropshire MP Philip Dunne has presented a badge of recognition to a local woman who served in the Women’s Land Army.
Mrs June Lee from Church Stretton, who recently celebrated her 90th birthday, served with the Women’s Land Army from 1947 to 1949, helping to drive tractors and harvest crops. The WLA was revived during the Second World War, to encourage women to work in agriculture given the shortage of working age men and the need to produce more food at home. It continued until it was disbanded in 1949.
Mrs Lee lived with 13 other volunteers sleeping in Nissen huts on a farm in Lincolnshire, and would work from 9am to 5pm five days a week, before going home for the weekend. It was there, at age 19, Mrs Lee met her husband to be Peter, who was serving in the Royal Tank Corps.
The commemorative badge was launched by Defra in 2007, and has since been presented to over 45,000 women who served in the WLA.
Mr Dunne said: “I was delighted to meet June, and to present her with her Women’s Land Army badge. The WLA played an important role in increasing the amount of food grown in this country, in the face of supply disruption due to the War. So it is important we recognise the contribution of all those who served.
It was good to hear how much she enjoyed her time, being outside and with her friends, even when taking on the more difficult jobs like potato picking and cleaning the threshing machines.”
Photo: Philip Dunne MP presenting the Women’s Land Army badge to June Lee with her foster grandchildren Zac and Marcus Clements