Les Kendrick grew up in Newton, near Blithfield Hall. It was a quiet farming village where, until the evacuees arrived, the children were mainly boys. The evacuees came from the south east coast and were brought on a bus by two ladies from the Women’s Institute who distributed them between the locals and promptly left. Les’s older sister had two evacuees: Arthur Page and Ken Maple (click here to be taken to Ken’s story). To hear him talking about the two boys click on the link below to open an audio clip:
Les can remember many of the evacuees by name, and recalls simply how much fun it was to get into trouble and scrapes with a big bunch of new friends. He remembers setting fire to bullets from a crashed Wellington Bomber with an evacuee called Max Bayliss and getting told off by the farmer. On another occasion he was with Arthur Page, another evacuee, when they were caught scrumping crab apples by Lord Bagot, and another time he managed to get Arthur stuck in a fowl pen while they were stealing eggs. Arthur screamed his head off until they managed to pull him out. He really did have some fun with the evacuees and tells of how it was quiet when they left. He remembers the worst part of the whole experience was having to get them up to walk to school because they weren’t used to it.