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Irene Grimwood

After Irene and Lily left the land army
they found working indoors very
frustrating. When the weather
warmed up they took afternoons
off to go for cycle rides into the country.
Before long they were summoned to
the office for a severe reprimand and
that was the end of their trips out.

Irene was born in a family of six girls and two boys at Bury St Edmunds in 1922. Her father William Gibbs, an acetylene welder, was secretary of the local Labour Party and her mother Lily was a lieutenant in the Salvation Army. When Irene was fifteen the family moved to Ipswich where she worked in Churchman's cigarette factory before joining the Women's Land Army.

After 'demob' Irene worked in Ipswich at Grimwade and Ridleys, food and drug packers. She married in 1948 and had two children. She spent a further spell packing at Grimwades, then 'worked on all the counters' at Footman's Food Hall (Lloyds Avenue, Ipswich, where Debenhams now stands) and as a deputy collector for Prudential Insurance.

In 1995 her second marriage was to Taffy Grimwood. They live in Ipswich.

Land Girls at the Old Rectory, Old Pond, 2000

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