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.

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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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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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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Max Reynolds

Max and his mother took in a number of evacuees and lodgers from the nearby RAF base during World War II. He enjoyed sharing his home with this wide range of different people.

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Dorothy Jarvis

When Dorothy Jarvis was evacuated to Alton from Longsight, Manchester, she was awestruck by the beauty of the buildings and thought she was in 'fairy land'.

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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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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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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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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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Ivy Field

Ivy Field had returned from her first evacuation when her teacher told her about Pipewood Boarding Camp. She couldn't wait to go...

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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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Shirley Webb

Shirley was billeted in a huge house in Colton with her younger brother. Here, she received very little warmth from the host family, and spent most of her time with the servants, who were lovely.

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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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James Dutton

James remembers his large family of six were squashed even more when two Kent evacuees joined them. He cheered when they left.

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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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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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Elizabeth Barker

Elizabeth Barker was evacuated with her two younger sisters first to Norfolk and then Dilhorne, Staffordshire. The cousin of her two friends in Dilhorne was to be her future husband...

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Gordon Warren

Gordon Warren was born in Ramsgate and was evacuated to Staffordshire where he lived in a number of billets. He absolutely loved living in the countryside and helped on the farm.

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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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