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a motorised hand plough.

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"I thought: I can't believe this," says Rita.

"I was a country girl and I wanted to do land work Mens Skechers Black

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But last Wednesday, she and her daughter Jan set off for London.

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"I nearly went through the floorboards," she says.

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She had joined up in 1941 just as she turned 18, keen to stay near her home in Boveridge and near a young serviceman in the searchlight regiment based at Cranborne, (with whom she was going out

'Thank you ladies' From Salisbury Journal

and to whom she has now been married for 65 years).

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He invited them all to tour the cabinet room and the gardens and made a point of speaking to each of them individually, Rita said.

IT was, says Alderholt grandmother Rita Smith, a wonderful day and one that Prime Minister Gordon Brown said was long overdue.

so I joined the Land Army before I could be called up.

The day started at DEFRA House where the women were welcomed by Hilary Benn before being shepherded on to coaches and taken to Downing Street.

the Land Army Association a few weeks ago invited her to Downing Street.

In December last year, Environment Secretary Hilary Benn announced that former members of the WLA and WTC could apply for the badge of honour and was overwhelmed by the response.

"We owe you a huge debt of gratitude."

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"I haven't been on a train Vans Sneaker Boots for 30 years and I'd never been in a London taxi cab, so that was a novelty I couldn't stop giggling," says Rita.

"At the end of the row, you had to lift the plough onto your shoulders, not let the engine die and turn very quickly and let it go down to do the next row, but the engine invariably cut out and

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Rita, 86, was one of 50 former Land Girls invited to Downing Street last week to receive a badge of honour in recognition of the war work undertaken by the Women's Land Army.

"I tended the fruit, cleaned out the pigs and tended the ferrets."

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When war broke out, some of them had never seen a cow before, let alone milked one, but before the war was over, thousands of women were pulling pints in a way they had never previouslyOthers had learned to plough a straight furrow, plant potatoes, tend pigs and other livestock, and make hay while the sun shone and even when it did not.

"At 18, you could be called up anywhere and to any service.

She learned how to grow strawberries, how to thatch and how to plough a field with Skechers Flex Appeal 2.0 Insights

Another 6,000 worked with the forestry commission as part of the Timber Corps.

Across the land, the Land Girls and Lumber Jills became familiar sights in their uniform dungarees, filling the places in the fields and farms left by the men conscripted into the services.

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"I started work just down the hill from my home on a fruit farm at Biddlesgate.

"We went through the famous door and up the stairs with all the lovely photographs of prime ministers.

After Hilary Benn presented each of them with their medal, Gordon Brown arrived.

"We could have done this years ago but I'm pleased that we can do it now.

"We have been slow to thank you," he said.

Rita was one of them and thought no more of it until a phone call from Vans Old Skool Black Bone

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