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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 June, 2005, 13:54 GMT 14:54 UK
Photo sparks land girl's memories
Violet Bass and Eva Griffiths with a man on a milk float
Every morning we would have to milk the 25 cows by hand before doing the deliveries and then in the afternoon we would do other jobs on the farm
Violet Bass, former land girl
A black and white photograph triggered off happy memories for a former land girl and put her in touch with the family of a long-lost friend.

Violet Bass spotted the photograph of herself and friend Eva Griffiths aboard a milkfloat when she visited an exhibition on WWII.

But the friends lost touch over the years and Eva passed away.

Exhibition staff in Chepstow were able to put Violet in touch with Eva's family after they left their details.

The pair struck up a close bond while working as land girls during the war.

They worked alongside each other for seven years and Eva was even Violet's bridesmaid at her wedding to husband Tom.

Violet, 78, who lives in Tutshill, Gloucestershire, said: "I joined the Land Army because my father said I wasn't allowed to join the forces.

Close up of Eva Griffiths and Violet Bass with a man on a milk float
Eva Griffiths and Violet Bass became firm friends

"So I went and learned the skills - like how to milk a cow by hand for six months in a farm in Abergavenny.

"Then I went to work at another farm, where Eva was working and we became friends."

Violet and Eva were joined by another girl from Liverpool and two German prisoners of war.

"Every morning we would have to milk the 25 cows by hand before doing the deliveries and then in the afternoon we would do other jobs on the farm like muck spreading.

"It was hard, physical work but we had a great time."

Violet said that despite the closeness of their friendship, the pair had lost touch over the years and only heard from each other at Christmas time.

"Two years passed when I didn't get a card from Eva and I thought it was a bit strange and then I found out she had died. That was about 11 years ago," said Violet.

Memories

But an exhibition held at Chepstow Museum and Drill hall called Their Past Your Future rekindled some fond memories for Violet.

"I heard there was an exhibition so went along and saw the picture of Eva and me on the milkfloat," she said.

"I got chatting to one of the ladies there and she said that Eva's sister had been in the day before and gave me her contact details, so I rang her up and it went from there."

Eva's sister Frances, 79, who lives in Newport said she was "over the moon" to hear from Violet after such a long time.

"I learned a lot of things - I never knew that Eva was Violet's bridesmaid for instance," she said.

The exhibition is a part of a 10 million year long programme of commemorative events led by the Imperial War Museum to mark the end of WWII.

Their Past Your Future runs at the Chepstow Education Resource Centre at the Drill Hall until 27 June.


SEE ALSO:
Hero pigeon's WWII medal on show
01 Jun 05 |  Hampshire
WWII exhibition opens at museum
14 May 05 |  Hereford/Worcs


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