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" WOMEN'S EFFORT IS TREMENDOUS."

War Work Praised

By New Zealander. To have been county organising secretary in Surrey for the Women's Land Army in the Great War and again in this war was the unique experience of a New Zealand woman, Miss Noeline Baker, of Stewart Isiand. daughter of one of the pioneers of the Dominion, the late Mr. John Holland Baker, who arrived in New Zealand in 1856 and occupied the position of assistant Sur-veyor-General. Miss Baker lias a home in Surrey as well as on Stewart Island, and has lived most of her life in England. She returned to New Zealand in 1934 but made a trip to England before the war, and when hostilities opened was called upon to fill the voluntary post she had held during the last war. "I did all that it was possible to do before leaving," said Miss Baker this morning on her arrival in Auckland. "The main organising work is now over and the necessary lists prepared so that when the call comes the women can be quicklv drafted to the farms. I have come back to New Zealand and do not expect to cross the ocean again until the war is over." Miss Baker said tliat her father had do.ie surveying work on Stewart Island and in the South Island, and when she was born had bought a piece of land at Half Moon Bay in her name, and on this she had built a home. Many Women Volunteer. Referring to the women volunteering for land work in England. Miss Baker said that applicants were interviewed and if it was thought that they were «uitablft for the work were sent for three months to a training college. Up to the time she left England these women had not been availed of to any great extent, as farming was a reserved occupation and men engaged in the industry were debarred from joining the forces. As many as 20,000 women had been recruited and as the war progressed and additional land was brought under cultivation they would be gradually absorbed. This year England was bringing under the plough another two million acres, so that it would not be long before all the women volunteers would be engaged.

"Almost every young woman in Kngland responded to the call when war was declared and volunteered for national service," declared Miss Baker. Many joined the A.R.P. organisation; others preferred to drive ambulances, while large, numbers joined the nursing profession. Not a few volunteered to drive fire engines and were accepted. The women's effort was tremendous. Beyond learning their jobs, however, they have littlei to do beyond "stand by." The aura ids over the cities have not eventuated and, of course, there has been nothing for the ambulance drivers and nurses to do so far. The organisation is com plete., however, and the women are attheir posts day and night waiting for the call that all feel must come sooner or later. "A friend of mine has spent four hours a day since the declaration sitting in the driver's seat of a motor car with tin hat on waiting to bring to headquarters stretcher bearers —when they are wanted. The country is fully prepared for anything, but the people are calm. They never have made a fuss. They take everything as a matter of course. No one growls. The women of England as well as the men have certainly shown the grit of their forebears."

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AS19400424.2.104.1

Bibliographic details

" WOMEN'S EFFORT IS TREMENDOUS.", Auckland Star, Volume LXXI, Issue 97, 24 April 1940

Word Count
579

" WOMEN'S EFFORT IS TREMENDOUS." Auckland Star, Volume LXXI, Issue 97, 24 April 1940

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