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Milking Jerseys and Guernseys in East Bergholt

Pamela Joan Squirrell (nee Heath) enrolled in the Women's Land Army on September 4th, 1944 at the age of seventeen. She was living on Fletcher Road on the Gainsborough Estate in Ipswich and working as a cigarette machine packer at Churchmans with her friend, Marjorie.

Pam was sent to Columbyne Hall at Stowupland for training in dairy work and fieldwork and was then posted to Vale Farm, East Bergholt to milk a herd of Jersey and Guernsey cattle. She lodged with the Taylor family for two years and got on very well with them.

There were twenty-four cows to be milked. Pam loved milking the Jerseys and Guernseys and looking after the calves. Gerald helped with the milking.

One of the reasons that had attracted Pam to the Land Army was the uniform. She loved her uniform - her white milking uniform and the corduroy and tailored breeches for work and walking out. She wore her hat on the back of her head like a cowgirl.

Pam's working day started very early at about 4.30 am. She would have breakfast at the Taylors after the morning milking and then would be working in the fields doing such tasks as pulling up beetroot and onions or picking up potatoes. She would have potted meat or jam sandwiches at lunchtime and then would go back to milk the cows at 4 pm. She would normally finish work at 5 pm after cleaning up.

She had a room of her own but had to go down the garden to the privy as there was no proper toilet. Pam would go home to Ipswich for a bath and to have her uniform washed by her mum every other week.

Pam enjoyed her service in the Land Army and has happy memories of that time.

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