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TWO former members of the Women's Land Army have received special awards from Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

TWO former members of the Women's Land Army have received special awards from Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Elsie Morris aged 92 from Plestowes Close in Shirley, and Beryl Hawkeswood, 83 from Blossomfield Road, Solihull, worked on farms during World War II to help keep Britain supplied with food.

Mrs Morris was 25 years-old when she worked on a farm in Wibtoft, just outside Rugby.

"It's a lovely letter from a very important man. I'm so proud," she said.

As an 18-year-old girl, Mrs Hawkeswood worked on farms in Tewkesbury and Malvern between the years of 1941-1944.

"It's nice to receive this award, but the soldiers deserve it more than we do.

"Although we worked hard, they lost limbs and lives so they deserve the recognition."

While men were fighting in the war the Land Girls were helping feed the nation.

The working day often started at 5am when they would milk the cows, before ploughing, harvesting and lambing.

"I remember a cow kicking me over, but I just had to get back up and continue milking him," said Mrs Morris, who's claim to fame is that she planted the first ever sugar beet in England while working on a farm in Northampton.

Mrs Hawkeswood said that the benefit of working so hard was the wide choice of food - at a time when rations were so tight.

"We lived a healthy lifestyle.

I don't think teenagers today would be able to do what we did," she added.

Former Solihull Isolation Hospital ambulance driver, Mrs Morris, admitted that she left her job on 'big bucks' at Cadbury to serve on the farms.

"I wanted to be in the Land Army and do my bit," said the great-grandmother.

The badges are the first official recognition of the contribution made by members of the Women's Land Army (WLA) and the Women's Timber Corps (WTC).

 

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