She woke up early that morning as ever. The sun was rising quickly, gently warming the Kentish countryside. She breakfasted quickly and set out to go to work, no time to waste.

She jumped on her bicycle. She thought of how her brothers had taught her to ride a few summers ago, tying her feet to the peddles, and smiled remembering the truck drivers face has he had braked to avoid hitting her when she had fallen down. The bluebells were blooming amongst the trees either side of her. Soon she emerged from the trees and then she came to the hop fields where she began the day’s work picking the hops.

She was with her own army of girls that had been left behind. All the men had gone away to war. She did not know it yet but her future husband was preparing to go to Normandy, only a few short miles away. Her and the other girls did not mind though, they were proud to do their part and to keep the country moving along.

It was thirsty work as the sun got higher in the sky. For a moment, the sunlight flickered causing her and the other girls to look up. That’s when they heard the planes. They crisscrossed the sky, their engines whirring and the sound of bullets rattling away. They stopped to watch the dog fight, unable to make out which side was which.

She would think of those pilot’s years later as she herself soared over the Kentish countryside in a glider, though her thoughts were distracted when the pilot’s wooden arm came unstuck, a problem she was sure those other pilots never encountered. How ridiculous that story would have seemed to the girl as she went back to picking the hops.


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