Interview with Olive Sparrow
The interview with Olive Sparrow was recorded on 13th May 2014 at 3 Church Lane, Tonbridge. Mrs Sparrow’s granddaughter, Linda, was present for the last part of the interview. The interviewer was Ann Kneif.
Olive Sparrow was born Olive Capworth on 9th January 1926 in New Eltham. Her father was a bus/coach driver.
Elementary school until age 14. Once war started she was evacuated to a school in Dartford and after a few weeks went with her mother and brother to relatives in Somerset, where she stayed until she finished school in 1940. She then returned to New Eltham.
Worked in a draper's shop for 3 years. In 1943 volunteered for the Women's Land Army so that she would not be called up for the Forces. Started first week of September 1943.
Sent to a farm in Andover, Hampshire. No training given so learnt on job. Enjoyed the company.
Lived in an old mansion that had been turned into a hostel for 100 girls.
Return Home and New Employment
After some time in Andover, she returned home because she was ill. Milk round for the Co-op.
Women's Land Army Again
Reapplied to join the Land Army and was sent to Meopham.
Talks about work on the farm and the American forces stationed there.
Meopham and the WLA
Lived in a hostel at The Lances and worked at Luddesdown Farm (Jacksons). Lunch at Golden Lion pub and dances at the church hall. German POW and work on the farm.
Bombers over Andover and D-Day.
Meeting Future Husband
Met husband 1946 and married 1947 so had to leave the WLA. Husband was at Vigo camp where he was sent after service in Burma. Husband was a pig farmer so Olive worked on farm and also did casual work for the council. Had two sons but they did not want to take over farm when husband died.