Edward George Emsley was born in London in 1930. He grew up in Harrow in a street called Rayners Lane and his school was just down the road. Unlike many children in the area, he was not evacuated en masse in either of the first waves of evacuation from London, but remained there until 1944 when it was suggested to his father that it would be best to get the children out of London because of the V-2 rockets, which they couldn’t defend against. At this time Edward can remember there being an air raid nearly every night.
He remembers being taken by coach to Riverway Girls’ School in Stafford, where he was given refreshments before they were chosen by the locals. Edward and his brother Dick asked the boarding officer to be put on a farm, and they were taken to Newguild, near Eccleshall by the boarding officer himself, along with two other evacuees who were dropped off at a farm nearby called Walton Grange.
They stayed with the Evans family: Mr. and Mrs Evans and their two children, along with Mrs Evans’ sister and her children Dick and Audrey. He enjoyed the lifestyle on the farm but observes that it was hard work. He used to clean the animals out, drive the tractor to pick up the potatoes and tie up the sacks when they were full. He also worked on the combine harvester, which he loved! He remembers many Prisoners of War working on the farm, and you can hear him talking about this by clicking on the link below (a transcript follows):
After going home, they both returned to the farm to help out at busy times in the future, and Edward lives in Staffordshire now.