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.

Vera Jenkins

On the way to their evacuation in Staffordshire, Vera's sister June decided to go against their mother's wishes and be billeted with her friend. That was until their mother found out...

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Beryl Alderson

Beryl's parents took on two evacuees during the Second World War. One of these girls, Muriel, was a very lovable character, who spent an age getting ready for school in the morning.

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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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Bill Badham

Bill was first evacuated to Norfolk from Bethnall Green in London. From Norfolk they were supposed to be sent to Wales, but ended up in Leek!

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Irene Parry

After hop-picking in Kent, Irene and her family were moved on to Stoke-on-Trent. When her mother saw the pits, she thought they had arrived in Wales.

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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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John Doughty

John Doughty was evacuated from Margate, Kent to Gentleshaw. He was the last to be picked of the evacuees that day, and he still has the chip on his shoulder now.

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Hazel Robinson

Hazel was evacuated privately to live with her grandparents in Alton. Her uncle drove her up in his car, and she was sick all the way there.

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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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Robert Prett

Robert Prett's brother had been evacuated to Stafford, and he begged his mother to let him go too. He ended up living next door to his mother in Fazeley Road before being moved to several billets in Stafford.

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Peter Haynes

Peter's father was appointed Billeting Officer for Stoke-on-Trent and he remembers the pressures associated with the sudden arrivals.

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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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Gordon Baker

Gordon Baker was evacuated to Shooting Butts along with his fellow boarders Morris Pell and 'Oxo' Bates.

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Lily Nye

Lily was evacuated at the age of 4 from her home in Everton to Leek. She told her friend next door she was going to be 'evaporated'!

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Gerald Haslam

Gerald was a young boy growing up in Wilnecote during World War II. He enjoyed playing with the evacuees, and later married one.

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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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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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Peter Phipps

Peter Phipps was at Pettman Central School in Margate when his gardening master told the boys they would be evacuated. He also told them they would be away for only 6 months...

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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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Norman Jones

Norman Jones was one of the last to be evacuated from Essex and went by train to Stoke-on-Trent. He stayed with the Rowley family, and shared a bed with their son Kenneth.

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