Bell tents and marquee, Uttoxeter schoolboys Farm Camp, Lower Cowley Farm, Gnosall

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Date:16th of August 1941 - 17th of August 1941 (c.)

Description:In 1941 during WWII there was a general shortage of labour, which affected farms as well as many other industries. Already women had been recruited to work on the land (they were known as the Womens' Land Army or the Land Girls), but at harvest time there was a need for extra labour. The idea was proposed that schoolboys could be used as workers. They would live in camps under the charge of their schoolmasters.
Edward Wilson, the chemistry master at Thomas Alleyne's school, Uttoxeter (and member of the Home Guard and ACF leader) was asked by his headmaster to organise such a camp. It was to last for two weeks and be self supporting. The boys would receive pocket money form their earnings after expenses had been paid. Mr Wilson was given minimal equipment: two bell tents, palliasses, blankets, groundsheets and a few pots and pans. Luckily Sam Elkes, proprietor of the local biscuit factory and fellow ACF leader provided further tents and equipment without which the camp would surely have struggled!
The tents and marquee were erected on the campsite with the help of Mr Malpass the owner of Lower Cowley Farm. Mr Wilson the camp leader remembers that the day was wet and windy!

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Creators: Mr E. A. Wilson - Creator

Donor ref:Rw9 (50/10879)

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