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Rushden Echo, 6th February 1948, transcribed by Kay Collins
Italians want Work on Farms

Opinion is divided locally as to whether there is scope in farm work for Italian ex-P.O.Ws. who are anxious to return to this district to work. Advertisements in the local press which have originated from Italian ex-P.O.Ws. now in Italy have aroused interest.

The men, having worked in this district for three or four years, are apparently keen to make a return trip to England and resume agricultural employment where they left off. Invariably the advertisement includes “to live in...”.

This speaks well of their former employers, but what the farmers now think is contained in this representative cross-section of opinion.

Mr. W. G. Holt, Higham Park Farm, Rushden: Agricultural work is seasonal work and there is plenty of available labour. Extra is only required at potato setting and harvesting times, and then there are the W.L.A. Hostels and Displace Persons Camps. I have had one German ex-P.O.W. working for me in civilian status for 14 weeks. He married a Land Army girl and is living in one of the Bencroft cottages. I should not think there is sufficient scope for the Italians

Mr. W. Smith, Poplar Farm, Wymington: There is plenty of available labour if you can offer the accommodation. Evacuees have just vacated one of the farm cottages, and 15 people applied for it – all willing to do farm work in return. I employ one Pole from Sharnbrook, but I would definitely not think there is much opportunity existing for the P.O.Ws.

Mr. Bert Wildman, Grays Farm, Podington: I do not employ outside labour, but from what other farmers have told me, I should think they would be agreeable. Those who have employed P.O.Ws. who have been really good workers, think highly of their services. Labour may be sufficient at the moment, but a difference will be felt as the German P.OWs. return home.

Mr. J. G. Harris, The Cottage, Newton Bromswold: I have never employed any P.O.Ws. I am quite all right for labour here.

We learned from Mr. Humphrey Castle’s Middle Farm, Yelden, that they had lost one German P.O.W. in the last week, but labour appeared to be sufficient.

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