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.

Nora Landon

At the outbreak of war Nora was 20 years old and a volunteer at the Congregational Church in Hanley.

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Albert Cross

Albert Cross was evacuated from Manchester on 1st September 1939. He fell in love with Leek as soon as he saw it.

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June Cowper

June was evacuated to Uttoxeter with her classmates from Withington Girls' School. Her hosts treated her like part of the family, and she wasn't homesick at all.

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Ivy Wilson

Ivy Wilson was billeted in Hints, a tiny hamlet with just six houses and six other children. All of these were boys, so she often got into mischief!

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Barbara Hewitt

Barbara was billeted in Gloucester before coming home and being evacuated with classmates from Tilton Road School to Pipewood...

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George Emptage

George was evacuated from Margate to Tamworth. He was billeted on a farm in Clifton Campville and expected to do much work to earn his keep.

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John Woodward

John Woodward was extremely happy to be told he was going to be billeted on a farm in Elford. His favourite toy as a boy has been a toy farm!

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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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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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Barbara Gull

Barbara Gull stayed with the Mellor family on their farm with her sister and cousins. She had stayed with the Mellors before war broke out, so knew that she would be well looked after.

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Edna Upton

Edna Upton lived in Weoley Castle as a young girl before getting the opportunity to be evacuated to Pipewood. She jumped at the chance.

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Theresa Peters

On the way to be evacuated from Birmingham to Woodville, Theresa's bus driver got lost and they ended up enjoying a lunch that wasn't meant for them!

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Margaret Thurman

Margaret Thurman was a child local to Burton upon Trent when families of evacuees arrived. She made good friends with many of them.

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Maureen Haslam

At the outbreak of war, Maureen was evacuated to Norfolk with her two sisters before being moved again to Wilnecote when invasion was feared.

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Ken Maple

Ken was orphaned as a very young child. At the orphanage he was wrapped in a blanket and thrown down a shoot during an air raid. He was then evacuated to Admaston.

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Betty Rose

Betty was evacuated with her two sisters from Essex to Norfolk before being moved to Wilnecote. Here, their family joined them and she never went back.

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Rob Weston

Rob was a young boy in Alton when evacuees from Manchester arrived. They didn't stop long but he had a crush on one of them, who he would have walked through fire and water for!

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Joyce Smith

Joyce was evacuated to Knightley with her brother and sister. They didn't understant 'evacuation', and thought they were going to the countryside to pick flowers for their mother.

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Michael Whitebrook

Michael's parents were told they had room for 1 evacuee in their two-roomed cottage. Little did he know he would soon be sharing his home with 4 evacuees and extra lodgers!

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George Nye

George was evacuated from a children's home to Staffordshire. It was only on the day of his evacuation that he found out he had a brother and two sisters.

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