Meet the Evacuees

We have interviewed over 90 people for the Children on the Move project. These include not only former evacuees, but also members of host families and local people who remember evacuees coming to their areas and filling their schools. Many still live in Staffordshire and the Midlands and were interviewed in their homes or at local libraries. Others now live as far away as Kent, Bournemouth and Wales, and were interviewed over the telephone about their experiences of evacuation.

To find out more about a particular person’s memories of evacuation and hear clips from their interview, simply use your mouse to click on their name or the Read more link and you will be taken to a separate page with information including photographs and audio clips from their original interview. Once you have selected a story, you can come back to this page or read all of the stories using the ‘Next’ and ‘Previous’ links at the top of that page.

This page only shows twenty stories at a time, so if you can’t find a story you want to read simply refresh this page to see a different selection. Or, if you know the name of the person’s story you would like to read about, type their name into the search box at the top right of this page.

Esther Carpenter

Esther Carpenter didn't enjoy her billet in Betley, and could not get on with her host who drank and smoke. She was ecstatic to be reunited with her family.

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Bert Bugden

Bert lived in Ramsgate before being evacuated to Stafford where he stayed with three different families, some pet rabbits and a dog called Elysium.

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Jean Shone

A teacher from Margate stayed with Jean and her parents. She was soon followed by her mother and father, who couldn't bear to be without her!

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Jean Wilks

Jean Wilks was evacuated to Leek where she stayed with the Keaseys and helped in their sweet shop on Stockwell Street.

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Arthur Garner

Arthur Garner was evacuated to Staffordshire after first being billeted in Stalham in the Norfolk Broads. He went with his two younger brothers and ended up on a poultry farm, which he loved.

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Peter Allen

Peter Allen was taken by his host because he was crying and about to set off the other children. Thankfully, he was very happy in his billet in Onecote and is still in touch with the family today.

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James Dutton

James remembers his large family of six were squashed even more when two Kent evacuees joined them. He cheered when they left.

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Jeffrey Goodwin

Jeffrey Goodwin was evacuated at the young age of 3 to live with the Goodwin family on the Keele estate. He was later adopted by the Goodwins, after his birth mother realised he had a better life in Staffordshire.

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Frances Cooke

Frances shared her home with two evacuees from Ancoats who brought nits with them and didn't like to go in the bath.

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Jean Banks

Jean was evacuated with her family from Colchester to Stoke-on-Trent. She was born in India and her mother found it very difficult to get used to being poor.

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Douglas Wood

Douglas Wood was billeted with two extremely kind ladies in Rolleston-on-Dove. He didn't want to return to his family home in Birmingham, and was ridiculed by his peers for having lost his Birmingham accent.

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Doreen Foreman

Doreen was biletted with the Bentley family in Rugeley after being evacuated from Margate. Before long, her mother and father had joined her in the Bentley's home.

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Marjorie Clowes

Marjorie was evacuated to Leycett from her home in Manchester at the age of 9. Her mother told her she would be "back by Tuesday".

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Peter Mirams

Peter Mirams was evacuated from Ramsgate to Uttoxeter. He did not have a happy billet, and was made to get ready for bed in his host's garage.

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Catharine Hind

Catharine's father sent her to live with her cousins in Leek when their home in London was bombed. She felt lucky to be with family and enjoyed life on their farm.

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‘Tommy’ Thomas

'Tommy' Thomas was billeted with a number of families in Stafford after first living with relatives in Hednesford and South Wales during WWII.

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Reg Williams

Reg was one of five siblings evacuated from Westgate-on-Sea to Colton and Blythbury, Staffordshire. He had a great time, aside from being caned at school!

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Edward Emsley

Edward Emsley wasn't evacuated until 1944 when the V-2 rockets were used as a weapon against the Allies. There was an air raid nearly every night and he was happy to be billeted on a farm.

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Gordon Warren

Gordon Warren was born in Ramsgate and was evacuated to Staffordshire where he lived in a number of billets. He absolutely loved living in the countryside and helped on the farm.

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