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Fest talk: Women’s Land Army

In 1943, over 1700 women were serving in the Women’s Land Army and the Women’s Timber Corps in Devon. Living and toiling individually on farms or as part of a gang that lodged in a hostel and worked on the land wherever they were needed, the Land Girls and Lumber Jills were crucial to maintaining food supplies during the Second World War.

Becks Pearson, an ex Royal Naval Officer, who lives locally in Lympstone, is currently creating a Roll of Honour to ensure their contribution to the war effort is not forgotten and is joining us at Toby’s Garden Festival on Friday 29 April 2022.

“These extraordinary women who came from the big cities and all walks of life, volunteering to leave home not knowing where they were going or what they would be expected to do, some as young as 17, deserve to be remembered and honoured in the same way that the regular Forces were,” says Becks. I hope that by continuing to talk about what they did and how they did it, along with retelling some of their amazing stories that the Devonshire Darlings as I like to call them will live on in all our memories.”

Becks is actively searching to find as many of ‘the gals’ who served in Devon during the war and would love to hear from anyone with a WLA connection. Come and hear her talk and have a chat with Becks on Friday 29 April at Toby’s Garden Festival at Powderham Castle, Kenton, nr Exeter.

Talks are free to festival visitors, BUY YOUR ADVANCE TICKETS HERE.


  1. Mike Rodda says:

    Hello, my Mum told me about the article that you were on on Spotlight a couple of nights ago, her name is Norma Rodda, she joined as a land girl in 1946, she is now nearly 95 as indeed all of the girls from that time will be, I don’t believe that she served in Devon but I know that she spent time in Dorset. If you are interested I can forward her details to you, she loves a chat and I think she has a few old photos of when she was serving.
    Kind regards
    Mike Rodda

  2. June Beahan says:

    My sister , who is no longer with us, joined the Land Army in 1948 and was based in Tiverton. She lodged with other land girls in Tiverton with a Mr and Mrs Ellis.
    Being a local Devon girl my sister often brought home for a short break girls who lived further afield. I can remember the names of two of them. She also made a lifelong friend who married and settled in Tiverton. I believe her daughter still lives there.
    My sister went on to s pend a working life in farming.
    I have a few photos from her La nd Army days and can add a bit more to her story. You are very welcome to get in touch with me.

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