Previous

Vera Carne

(1898–1989) - Land Army girl

In 1917, on a farm at Tregavethan, Truro, women, including Vera Carne (on right), arrived to help the vital war effort as Land Army girls. A local photographer, Mr A. W. Jordan, was asked to document their time at the farm. The end result is a remarkable photographic record of these women, their training and their friendships.

Credit: Royal Institution of Cornwall, Truro and Graham Boyce

Read full story

Between 1917 and 1918 on a farm at Tregavethan, just outside Truro, a number of women arrived to help in the vital war effort: the production of food for the country after successful German naval blockades.

A local photographer, Mr. A. W. Jordan, was asked to document their time at the farm from arrival to departure and everything in between. The end result is a remarkable photographic record of these women, the training they received and the friendships they fostered.

There are over 200 images recording their life in these extraordinary times. Unfortunately, we know little of these women, but in a few instances the photographer has written some names onto the contact prints of the images. So far, we have around 32 names, including Vera Carne from St Columb and Dorothy Phyllis Martin from Falmouth.

Vera Carne (on right) was a farmer’s daughter from Criftoe Farm, Tregonetha in St Wenn.  The family was a large one and ‘chapel’ not ‘church’; they attended the Bible Christian Chapel.  Vera received a framed presentation in July 1916 signed by Lady Ingebor Molesworth-St Aubyn of the Cornwall Women’s War Service Committee when she agreed to do war work.  Her older sister Dollie was also a land girl and may be the land girl on Vera’s right.  Both are commemorated on the St Columb Roll of Honour.

In June 1931, Vera married William (Bill) Morland Holloway (1900-1985), a chemist’s son, at Padstow.  Bill had served in the DCLI and was stationed in Guernsey during the First World War.  He then joined the merchant navy, while Vera worked in the Padstow town council office on the quay.  They lived at 2 Egerton Road, Padstow and had two children, William (Billie) and Anona. Billie died of diphtheria in 1941, aged 8, and Vera never really recovered from the loss.  Anona married Graham Boyce in 1962 and Vera and Bill followed them up to Herefordshire in 1969.  Vera died in 1989 in a care home at Welland near Malvern.  The family kept their Padstow links for many years, buying a cottage, which they used for holidays, at Hawkers Cove.  

Key words: women, home front

Credit: Royal Institution of Cornwall, Truro and Graham Boyce