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Daughter’s glowing tribute to Holbeach Land Army legend Doreen (94)

A Holbeach Drove mum-of-six who kept alive the memories of World War II Land Girls in her village has died, aged 94.

Doreen King, whose funeral was held in nearby Whaplode Drove last Monday, was a much-loved figure in Holbeach Drove where she lived for more than 70 years.

Organiser of a Land Girls reunion at her home which started 25 years ago, Mrs King’s life was celebrated at St John the Baptist Church, Whaplode Drove, where amongst those in attendance were most of her five surviving children, 12 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.

Patricia Brooks, now of County Durham and Mrs King’s eldest daughter, said: “Mum just loved everybody and she always welcomed everybody into her home because she was such a warm, loving and giving person.

“My mum just gave everything and she was the one responsible for keeping all the Land Army reunions going, inviting all the other Land Girls to come round to her house for tea.”

Born in Millbrook, Huddersfield, Mrs King had a “very, very hard upbringing”, according to her daughter, starting work at a textile mill where Patricia said her mum did “dirty, dangerous work” from the age of just 14.

Mum just loved everybody and she always welcomed everybody into her home because she was such a warm, loving and giving person
Patricia Brooks, eldest daughter of Doreen King

Five years later, Mrs King was recruited to the Women’s Land Army where she did agricultural work in Gedney Hill, picked strawberries, carrying onions and hay stacks as the men were called up to fight in World War II.

Speaking to our sister newspaper, the Lincolnshire Free Press, in November 2013, Mrs King said: “I’m little now but I used to be a lot bigger than this because we had to be strong to do the work.

“There was nothing else to do and I didn’t realise when I left the Land Army that I wasn’t going to go back, but I have no regrets.”

Mrs King left at the age of 21 to marry her husband of nearly 56 years, farmer Fred King, who died in 2001.

She was awarded a Land Army medal under ex-Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s government in July 2008 and spent the rest of her life in Whaplode Drove until her death on March 20.

Badge brings recognition at last for Land Army girls

Last of the Land Girls of Holbeach Drove

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