Arthur Garner was born in Ringwood, Hampshire. He can remember Anderson shelters being delivered to his home there, and breaking his arm playing ‘high jump’ with his two younger brothers, with whom he was evacuated.
They were first evacuated to Stalham in the Norfolk Broads and lived with a total of three different families in just one street. First of all they lived with a Mr. and Mrs Newman but were moved on to another family because Mrs Newman was expecting a baby. Unfortunately for the brothers, at their new house they were made to live in the shed and barely had anything to eat. Arthur recalls how they might have starved if it wasn’t for school dinners and that after a while, a teacher noticed the boys’ malnourished state and had them moved on to Mrs Mallet, who fed them well on jam sandwiches!
The boys were then told they were going to be moved from Norfolk to Staffordshire and he was billeted with one of his brothers at a farmhouse belonging to a Mr. and Mrs Potts on their poultry farm. They were very happy here, and after getting used to so little food in Stalham, Arthur recounts that when their first meal was placed in front of them, his brother simply stared at it and said: “Is this all for me?”. They thoroughly enjoyed living with the Potts family, and enjoyed helping with the chickens. He was only sad that his other brother didn’t live with them. You can listen to him speaking about his daily routine on the farm by clicking on the link below:
Arthur stayed with them until he was 17, at which time he got a job and persuaded his mother and father to let him stay on. He is now happily married and living in Leek. He loves Staffordshire and can’t think what might have happened to him if he hadn’t been evacuated.