A FORMER Second World War land girl has been awarded a medal for her outstanding contribution to the war effort.

Jane Harris, or Nellie as she likes to be called, is 92 and has lived at Colne View Care Home in Halstead since 2013.

During the Second World War she joined the Women's Land Army (WLA) aged just 19 and was called up to serve for four years in Harrogate, Yorkshire, where she grew up.

The WLA was first established during the First World War so that woman could work to replace the men who had been conscripted to the army, mostly doing agricultural work.

Whilst in the group Nellie described how she would lie awake hearing Lancaster Bombers flying overhead on their way to Germany, before they passed over again on their way home to land.

She even taught herself to knit and made clothing for the soldiers to help keep her mind occupied.

Before the war began Nellie worked in a solicitors and then in the Post Office engineering department, which is where she met her late husband John, a former air ministry engineer.

The award was presented at the care home on Sunday by military veteran Steve Arundell at a special presentation ceremony to which Nellie's family and Second World War re-enactors were invited.

Omar Taylor, home manager at Colne View, said: “When we heard the government was to recognise those who served in the Women’s Land Army during the war, we were delighted – it’s only right she receives the recognition she deserves after all these years.

“We had a great day celebrating Nellie’s achievements with her loved ones and all the residents here at Colne View.

"On behalf of everyone I would like to thank Steve Arundell for presenting Nellie with the medal.”