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Beatie Alexander

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A GREAT TIME

I joined the Australian Women’s Land Army in March 1943. The Women’s Land Army members worked for farmers and orchardists while their sons and daughters were away fighting for Australia.

I was sent to work on an orchard down at Bridgetown, the property of Mr and Mrs Frank Hewett. I used to rise at 5am to feed the chickens and then go to the paddock to bring the horse up and put it in the stables to be fed before going to the house for breakfast.

We picked red apples and put them in dump cases which held 40 pounds. You could not pick the grannies or cleos whilst the dew was on them.

I was also shown how to make dump cases and I helped to feed some of the calves. I enjoyed working in the orchard. When I left they packed one of my cases with apples. I was scared because in those days the Apple and Pear Board was very strict and people were searching all the cars leaving Bridgetown – and there I was in the old steam train with all those apples! But they did not search that train.

My life in the Land Army was great.

 

Acknowledgement of Country

The Government of Western Australia acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.