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Bedfordshire Women's Land Army

Roll Call of Bedfordshire Land Girls
Mary Beatrice Pakes

Bedfordshire Women's Land Army > Roll Call > P
Name Pakes, Mary Beatrice
Date of birth 27 September 1918
Born Luton, Bedfordshire
Joined WLA 15 December 1941
Left WLA 28 February 1946
WLA No. 58931
Trained On the job.
Employed Employed by Beds War Ag. at Milton Ernest hostel.
Married name Smith
Further information Former shorthand/typist clerk, aged 23. Demobilised. Was the first Forewoman at Milton Ernest hostel (qualified January 1944). After the war, Mary married Eric Smith.
Mary Pakes 1942

Mary Pakes, 1942

Mary Pakes with work horse

Mary was injured one day when ploughing around a potato clamp using two workhorses and was dragged under the ploughshare. The resultant injury meant that, for the rest of her life, she could never play tennis, because of cartilage damage.

Mary Pakes with the hostel lorry

After becoming the Forewoman at Milton Ernest WLA hostel in January 1944, she drove the hostel lorry to take out up to 40 land girls and drop them off at outlying farms each day. She worked in the fields with those she dropped off last and then collected them all to return to the hostel in the evening.

Mary Pakes with a packed lunch

After a hard morning's field work, Mary has decided to give her feet a rest, while she sits at the side of the field to have her packed lunch.

Mary Pakes 2002

Mary Pakes, 2002

Milton Ernest Get Together, 2010

(left to right) Ann Haynes née Brodrick, Kathleen Cox née Hopkins, Dawn Filby née Skeggs, Mary Smith née Pakes (cutting cake) Trixie Schreiner née Saunders, Irene Saunders née Cook, Peggy Albertson née Davis, Hilda Hicks née Bright.
See more about the Milton Ernest get together (August 2010) on the Recent News page.


Stuart Antrobus Historian/Author

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Page last updated: 3rd August 2015