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If you have any memories, anecdotes or photos please let us know and we may be able to use them to update the site - contact details at the bottom of this page.

The Lake family lived at Itteringham House, later known as White House Farm, for many years.

The Lake family Arthur Thomas Lake's wedding
The Lake family at Itteringham House.
Arthur Thomas Lake is standing on the right
Arthur Thomas Lake's wedding

There is a story about my great grand father Thomas Lake 1864-1924. After Agnes died, apparently from a broken heart following the death of son Herbert in WW1, another women came on the scene and somehow took most of the money and went to Canada with her son (no names known) and apparently the Lakes lost the farm which I believe they rented from Lord Walpole, the big local landowner. I met the wife of the present Lord Walpole in the churchyard approx 5 years ago when I was looking for graves.

Richard Lake - 8th January 2008

Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Thomas Lake Mrs. Lake
Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Thomas Lake
outside Itteringham House
Mrs. Lake

Herbert John Lake died in France during the first World War.

Mr & Mrs Lake with Tommie & Mary at White House Farm 1942 Mrs Lake with Tommie & Mary
Mr & Mrs Lake with Tommie & Mary at White House Farm 1942
Mrs Lake with Tommie & Mary
at White House Farm - 1942

White House Farm - March 1942 White House Farm dairy - October 1942
White House Farm - March 1942
White House Farm dairy - October 1942

We had to pump the water, and wash the buckets in the outlet pipe from the cooler.
Eileen Stone - 1941

I called in at the village_shop in early October and mentioned that my mother Eileen Stone was a Land Girl at White_House_Farm, from November 1941 till February 1943. I promised I would send copies of the snap shots but there are so many of them, most with descriptions on the back, that it has taken me a while to sort through! Some are of the farm, others of the area and one or two of local people: Mr & Mrs Lake with children Tommy and Mary at White_House_Farm, Mrs Curtis the Post Woman, Mr & Mrs Douglas of 64 Woodgate and the Regis family (Mrs Regis, Lois, Peggy, baby Reggie, Lynn, Mike and young Lou) from the Mill House.
There are two group photos of the Searchlight Boys but they are only given first names.  There is also a photograph of Daisy and Rosa Heward at their home, O'Fids, Hall Road Cromer. One of the Miss Hewards ran the YMCA at Cromer.
I have three letters Mum wrote to my father from the farm, and I have extracted relevant bits from those. It is pity there are not more letters from Itteringham, as I have a huge archive of wartime letters and diaries from both my parents but those three are the only survivors from Norfolk. 
Mum, at her request, was transferred back home to a farm in West Sussex in 1943. My father was a PoW in Stalag Luft III, involved in a very minor way, in the Great Escape. Theirs is quite a love story and they were married a month after his return to the UK in June 1945.
Leigh Lawson - 1st December 2011

Eileen Stone - 1941
Eileen Stone - 1941

Nancy Lusher, Eileen Stone & Kay Denyer milking - 1942

According to a recording of my father talking for an oral history project in 2003, on leaving Plumpton Agricultural College in Sussex, Eileen Stone and Kay Denyer requested to go to an isolated farm. Their wish was to be as deep in the countryside as possible.

They were first billeted with Mr & Mrs Douglas who lived at 64 Woodgate, Blickling. It was so cold and damp in the beds that sometimes the girls slept in their mackintoshes. They used the tepid water from their hot water bottles to wash in, when there was ice on the washing water in the jug.

They were very relieved when a month later, a room was found for them to share in the farmhouse at White House Farm. It was a ground floor room, and they used to go in and out through the window rather than use the front door and go through the house!

Some of the men working on the farm made it hard for them at first, deliberately leaving things lying around for them to trip over etc, but the girls took everything in good part and were eventually accepted. Eileen remembered being told to go into the pen with the bull to brush his coat - which she did without hesitation. She wasn't one to give up easily and I think she impressed the men with her spirit.

Leigh Lawson - 31st December 2011

The following are extracts from letters written by Eileen Stone, from Lyminster, West Sussex, a Land Girl billeted at White House Farm, Itteringham, to her boyfriend Flt Lt Leslie Speller from Littlehampton West Sussex, serving with the RAF in the Middle East.
Eileen and her married friend Kay Denyer trained at Plumpton Agricultural College in East Sussex and went straight from there in November 1941, to Norfolk where they stayed for the first month with Mr and Mrs Douglas at 64 Woodgate, Blickling. They lived and worked at White House Farm until February 1943 when they got a transfer to Lock Farm, Partridge Green, West Sussex Kay’s husband Freddie, spent his leave with them at White House Farm before going to Africa.
Leslie was shot down in 1942, captured and sent to Stalag Luft III where he remained for the next three years. He married Eileen a month after arriving home in 1945.

18 January 1942
If the Postwoman doesn’t bring me a letter [from you] tomorrow, I shall take it out of the old cows. They certainly “go through it” when I feel bad tempered. I had a marvelous time at Mr. & Mrs. Dennis’ last Sunday. They live 9 miles from us and have got a really lovely farm house. There was home-made farm butter, chocolate sponge with real cream in, date and walnut cake etc. etc. for tea. Gosh it was good.
At last we have found someone to do our cleaning and so we don’t have to rush around quite so much when we get in from work. Mrs Glister is her name and she scrubs and polishes our room until it shines like a new pin and then does our ironing. It is a treat to see the place look clean again. We feel far too tired to set down to scrubbing and polishing when our day’s work is done. As it is, we usually have a tree to saw up, quite twice a week, to keep the jolly old fire alight.
There hasn’t been any more snow the last few days but it has been damned cold. It is real torture to drag oneself out of bed in the mornings. It has been later every morning before Kay and I can summon up enough courage to take the plunge. 6.15 this morning! And it should be 5.30!!! When we do get up, we light the fire and make a pot of tea so that the next torture is leaving the fire. We still haven’t got a wireless – I wish we had – it is so dull without one.
Don’t tell a soul but I think we may be getting a weekend soon. It sounds too good to be true. We have made several friends at Cromer and one very nice lady has invited us to her house if we can get a weekend. Fancy being able to go to a dance again and the pictures, and best of all, not have to get up at 5.30.
I don’t think I will marry a farmer after all! Life is far too much like hard work on a farm, and no holidays.

3 February 1942
Our lovely snow has turned to rain today and it has been pouring all day long. Rather mucky in the cowstalls – milking dripping, steaming cows. The trees looked like Spring yesterday. The snow on them was thick just like white blossoms. But the sun didn’t come out and it was rather dull so I couldn’t take any photos. We had a super snowball fight though. I had the advantage as I was on the top of a hay stack.
For the past fortnight our “Wallie” has had to take the milk down for us as the fields are too dangerous for us. We have beaten the record and have now got icicles 16 ins long. And I ain’t exaggerating – no Sir.
We managed to get in to the flicks on Saturday and what should be on but ‘Victory’ and we had both seen it and didn’t like it any way. That is the second time that has happened. It is a queer place this Norfolk – we had to knock the manager up in order to buy the tickets. I suppose so few people go in on Sat. afternoons that they don’t bother to keep the box open.
So you don’t like our Norfolk don’t you? Well it is rather unfair to judge it from the air isn’t it! But I know it is very flat around Cambridge – here though it is exceptionally hilly and I simply love the trees. We have got quite a collection of wild birds too which come to our window sill for bread. There are 6 Goldfinches which are often outside the cowstalls too. They are driven in by the wild weather of course, in search of food.

2 March 1942
Hurrah for March! It was quite warm today and we were able to work in “next to nothings”. It is Heaven working on a farm in the warm weather. Unfortunately we shall have to take the milk
down the meadow ourselves again from tomorrow as the ice has at last gone.
Went to Norwich on Friday and saw “Hatters Castle” Do you remember I read the book?
I asked about going home at Easter for Joyce’s wedding the other day and Mr. Lake is going to see if he can manage it. Oh boy oh boy – if I can. Just think of seeing the old faces again. I shall have been in the W.L.A. six months, excluding the month’s training, by then so am entitled to a few days and traveling expenses are paid. I am also entitled to a half diamond then for my arm band. Whoopee! I hope the war is not long enough for me to have more than one diamond any way.
We haven’t produced any more calves lately. I must send you a photo of them some time. Oh gosh. Time for bed again. All we do is eat work and sleep. Hell. To hell with Hitler and all those blokes who keep this war going.
Eileen Stone, from Lyminster, West Sussex

If you have any memories, anecdotes or photos please let us know and we may be able to use them to update the site. By all means telephone 07836 675369 or

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