George Nye was born in Thanet in 1932. When he was two, his mother died, and he was sent to live in a children’s home called Manston Homes. He looked forward to his dad visiting occasionally, and treading on his feet by accident. The children in the home were bussed on ‘bone shakers’ to a school in Margate. Click on the link below to listen to George tell us how he found out about evacuation:
For his evacuation, George had a pillow case with his name on containing some fruit and a clean set of clothes. They were put on a bus, and he was sat next to Walter, a boy at the home he was then to find out was his brother. His brother and two sisters Ivy and Margaret had all been sent to the home together. They were put on a train at Margate and got off at Chatham Barracks where they stayed for two nights, sleeping in army tents. They were then put on another train and they got off at Rugeley and were put on a bus to Blithfield.
His sisters were taken to the Kent’s and Walter and George went to stay with George and Maude Amston. Both were farmers. Click on the following link to hear George talking about the arrival at the Amston’s farm – the happiest moment of his life:
He liked George and used to follow him round on the farm, but Maude was pregnant and the boys were moved on at Christmas to Newton village to stay with a man called Mr. Kent who had a housekeeper called Miss Lane. George remembers that he wasn’t very well, and that the housekeeper in the main looked after them. This didn’t last long, and the boys went to an old lady called Mrs Parsons in the village. He remembers that she must have been 80 and she was lovely to them but they were probably a bit too boisterous for her so her son, who was farming somewhere on the other side of Newton, found them a cottage in Stansley Wood on Lord Bagot’s estate. Here they lived with Henry and Herbert with Mary as housekeeper. The two men were very strict and George and Walter hated it there because of this. They were moved on to Bill and Joan Wardle’s, who had two sons and a daughter. He knows that Joan had to pleade with Bill to take them in. While he was there they received a letter telling them that their father had passed away and he can remember Joan telling him at the kitchen table that it was okay to go outside and cry.
He had to walk passed a British Army Camp to get to Blithfield School, which is where they started. He liked the company at school, and can remember there being a rocking horse and a piano inside. Teachers he remembers include Mrs Cartwright and Miss Charlesworth. There was an old hand pump outside that the children could drink from. He moved on to Colton School, and then went to Colwich School when he was about 10 or 11.