Islington Land Girl finally gets her wartime medal

AS Islington falls silent to remember those who have died for their country at 11am today, at least one family will be sparing a thought for the war effort made by the borough’s women.

Lifelong Islington resident Flora Widdicks, 83, was awarded a special commemorative badge by the Government last week recognising her role in the Women’s Land Army during the Second World War.

Mrs Widdicks, a former pupil at Laycock Primary School, in Laycock Street, Islington, was sent to the Isle of Wight during the war after volunteering to help keep Britain producing food and timber.

Her daughter Anne Antoniou, 57, of Beresford Road, Highbury, said: “It was only 2007 when the Government started to recognise women and the effort they made during the war.

“Without them working the land, Britain would have starved.”

Sadly, despite often telling her grandchildren of her efforts as a “Land Girl” during the war, Mrs Widdicks is unable to see her hard work commemorated. She suffers from a degenerative brain disease called Cortico Basal Degeneration (CBD).

Mrs Widdicks added: “It’s very rare and only half a million people have it. She was very proud of being in the Women’s Land Army and she always talked about it. It’s so sad she doesn’t know she’s received the medal, but we’re very proud of what she did as a family.”

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The commemorative medal was issued by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The badge was specially designed by the Garter King at Arms and bears the Royal Crown.

l To find out more about CBD, fundraise or make a donation to help treat the disease, call charity The PSP Association on 01327 322419.