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.

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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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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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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Brian Howard

Brian Howard was separated from his siblings when he was evacuated from Margate to Gentleshaw. He can remember sitting on the school bank singing them 'Cockney' songs.

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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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Audrey Hemming

Audrey Hemming had been reading novels about boarding schools, and so jumped at the chance to be evacuated with other girls from Birmingham to Pipewood Boarding Camp.

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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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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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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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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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Tony Longdon

Tony was 8 when he was evacuated from Bexhill-on-Sea to Stoke-on-Trent. He had his first oatcake in 1941 and has been stuck on them ever since.

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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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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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Leslie Kendrick

Les's sister Elsie played host to two evacuees from the south east coast and Les got in a number of scrapes with the mischievous boys.

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Gordon Ellis

Gordon shared his family home with an evacuee from Manchester. He can remember seeing him for the first time, clutching onto a bar of Cadbury's Fruit & Nut!

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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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Nev & Alma James

Alma and Neville James were growing up in Staffordshire at the same time and can remember evacuees coming to Rugeley and Colton respectively.

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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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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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