Norah Whitaker

The Women's Land Army badge. This is a brass badge with a sheaf of corn in the centre and a King's crown at the top. Around the edge it says Women's Land Army.Women's Land Army page

Norah Whitaker

Women's Land Army


Norah was born on the 12th February 1916 in Keighley. Her father was a stone dresser called Feather Whitaker, and her mother was Emma Whitaker (nee Boocock). Norah had a younger brother called Jesse born in 1920.

In 1921 they were resident at 18, Marsh, Oxenhope. Feather was 35 years and 11 months old and employed as a stone quarryman for Charles Barrett at Field Head Quarries in Oxenhope, which were opposite Field Head Farm on Field Head Lane. His wife Emma was 37 years and 7 months old. Their children were Norah aged five years and five months and at school, and her little brother Jesse aged just ten months old.

By 1939 the family lived at Briarfield, Higher Marsh in Oxenhope. Norah was working as a burler and mender in a silk worsted mill, and her brother Jesse was working as a woolsorter apprentice. A year later the family had moved to 14 Upper Marsh in Oxenhope.

War Service:

In 1942, aged 25 years old, Norah joined the Women's Land Army (WLA). There is no mention on Norah's card as to where she was posted, but two years later on 19th May 1944 her card states she resigned on medical grounds. Norah married John Neville Laycock in 1943, there is a second WLA card with Norah's married name which is cross referenced to her original card.

Later Life:

Norah and John lived in Haworth for their married life. John died in 1992 aged 79 years and Norah lived until she was 97 years, dying on the 26th June 2013. They are both buried together in a family grave in Haworth Cemetery. Following the war Norah gave a number of talks about her life and experience in the Women's Land Army.

Information Sources

England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1916-2007.
1939 England and Wales Register
World War II Women's Land Army Index Cards, 1939-1948
England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1916-2005

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