24th Aug, 2017

Redditch resident Pearl relives her days digging for victory

A REDDITCH resident, who dedicated many years of her life to serve in the Women’s Land Army (WLA), is receiving a special recognition this week.

89-year-old Pearl Bishop, who joined the Women’s Land Army at the age of 17, was toasted by her friends and carers at Brambles residential care home on International Women’s Day (Wednesday, March 8) to celebrate her many life achievements.

After joining the WLA when her sweetheart Ted Bishop was called to serve in the army, Peal went from being a volunteer in Henley-in-Arden to becoming a forewoman based in Warwickshire’s Atherstone, where seven girls reported to her.

Earning less than £3 per week Pearl worked hard with tasks including maintaining large kale plants, picking fruit, tailing swedes and bundling wheat using a threshing machine.

It wasn’t always plain sailing as Pearl once received a nasty head wound when she was trying to clear a blockage from the threshing machine and a fellow land girl turned the machine on not realising she was underneath it.

“I suffered a nasty cut to the head which needed stitches and home rest so Ted, who was my fiancé at the time, took a three day pass and as soon as we saw each other again he applied for a special license to get married. We got married the next day on 12 April 1947 – I remember it as if it was yesterday,” she added.

The same year as her wedding Pearl left the WLA in the autumn to raise a family with Ted. The pair went onto have three children – Lesley, Malcolm and Linda – and the family has since blossomed into four generations with six grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.

“I am so proud of my time in the Women’s Land Army,” said Peal.

“It was filled with hard times and happy memories and is something I will never forget.”

The team and residents at Brambles Residential Care Home in Birchfield Road hosted a celebratory tea party for all their female residents to mark the achievements they have made throughout their lives.

The Sanctuary Care home’s activities leader Fiona Morsy added: “All our residents are so special to us, they have fascinating stories and we are proud of every single one of them. When special days like International Women’s Day come up we jump at the chance to celebrate and showcase the amazing people we have in our home.”

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