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.

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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Dorothy Chadwick

Dorothy was part of a large family living in Bucknall when the evacuees arrived. They became great friends and kept in touch after they had returned to London.

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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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‘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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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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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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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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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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Norma Hadley

Norma was evacuated to Pipewood Boarding Camp from Small Heath, Birmingham. Her house was burnt out whilst she was away.

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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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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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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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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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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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Jim Homer

Jim was evacuated to Shooting Butts, a boarding camp for boys near Cannock Chase. He loved it, and was free to roam...

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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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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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Gordon Baker

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

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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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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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