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.

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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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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Eileen Faires

When Eileen finally went home from her billet in Onecote, her host called her mother a 'wicked woman' for taking her away.

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Lily Wilson

Lily was one of the teachers at Pipewood boarding camp, and remembers how excited the girls were when her husband came to visit dressed in his uniform.

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Ernest Chadwick

Ernest was evacuated to the Chadwicks in Brown Edge from Ancoats in Manchester. Before his evacuation he had never seen a chicken, or played with a ball...

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Reginald Walsh

Reginald was evacuated from Ramsgate in 1940. During his time in Staffordshire, he stayed with a total of 13 different families.

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Ethel Rice

Ethel was evacuated with her family to Burton upon Trent after picking hops in Kent. She remembers the taste of hops on her fingers made her sandwiches taste funny...

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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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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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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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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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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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Daphne Slade

Before being evacuated to Norton Canes, Daphne's parents nearly put her on a steam passenger ship sailing to Canada with 90 other evacuees. The ship was torpedoed and 77 children died.

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Sydney Cox

Sydney Cox was moved to Swythamley from his first evacuation in Norfolk. He was very happy to live in the countryside and only returned home because his grandfather found him a job.

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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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Roger Pell

Roger Pell was billeted in a hall with his older sister Shirley. He spent most of his time exploring the grounds and became "an insufferable little snob"...

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Margaret Hancock

Margaret was evacuated to Stockton Brook from the East End of London. She was taken in by all those living in the village and became 'one of them'.

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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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Irene (Gladys) Jones

Irene was evacuated to Gloucester from her home in the centre of Birmingham before being sent to Pipewood, a boarding camp for girls in Staffordshire. It was the best day of her life.

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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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