By Audlem Webteam - 5th January 2006 7:01am
(The website link that was here no longer works) Audlem resident Jack Nield celebrates his 100th birthday today! We are sure everyone will wish Jack a very happy birthday and heartiest congratulations. We understand there has been a congratulatory telegram from the Queen.
Last year, Jack gave an interview to the Audlem History Society for the VE/VJ Day display and the photograph of Jack shown here was used in the exhibition. This is what he said: "I've lived and farmed all my working life here at The Ash, Woodhouse Lane. For me V.E. Day itself wasn't anything particularly special. As I remember, I went to Crewe with the Vernon brothers for a lecture on farming. But when I got back my brother Charlie had put up a flag on the front lawn.
But I remember the end of the First World War pretty clearly. I was twelve at the time and at school in London. It was a big school. A bell was rung at 11 o'clock (it was November 11th in 1918) and we all rushed down the school stairs in great excitement to hear the announcement that the War was ended.
During both the wars we had German prisoners of war working on the farm. In the First World War, they were based at Broomlands (Hankelow) and four were brought over daily to Vernon's farm. It was my job to collect our two men from there and escort them back to our farm for duty. Imagine that, putting a lad of ten in charge of prisoners! But there was no trouble. In those days we had to tie the corn sheaves by hand. Everyone in the family had to help, including my mother, a land girl, the German prisoners and me, and we had to work our way across the field, tying up the sheaves.
By the time the Second World War broke out I'd got myself a self- binder and a tractor. I didn't have to walk behind the horse and cart any more. The German prisoners were brought over from Crewe Hall. They seemed grateful for the chance to work and made a good job of whatever they were asked to do. We weren't supposed to give them anything, but one man had found a piece of well seasoned cherrywood. He had a penknife and he asked if I would let him have three pieces of sandpaper. So I did and he made a beautiful cigarette box which he gave me. I've kept it ever since. During the Second World War I was in the Home Guard. We were based at Norton in Hales. By now I'd got myself a motor bike, so I became the despatch rider of the patrol. There was just one moment when I was really scared. A German bomber had been shot down near Woore. We got the message "AIRMEN HAVE COME OUT OF THE 'PLANE AND ARE ON THE LOOSE. RIDE OVER TO WOORE AND TELL THEM TO MAN EVERY CHECKPOINT." I have never felt so naked in all my life as I rode along the lanes between Norton and Bearstone. There was very little light on the motorbike.... I had to take my guide from the hedges on either side. I thought at any moment I might be set upon....... When I reached Woore H.Q. I was told it was all over. The men had given themselves up at a nearby farmhouse. What a relief. "
Congratulations once again to Jack.
Sunday 13th Oct
Scout & Guide Hall
Scout & Guide Hall