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.

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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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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Betty Allen

Betty Allen is still friends with the boy her parents took in during the Second World War. The family were very sad when he left.

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Ann Ridout

Before being evacuated, Ann can remember sitting with her granny in their home during the air raids in London. Plaster was falling around them and their neighbours were bombed.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Olga Harvey

Olga and her brother were 'running wild' in the streets of Birmingham during the WWII bombing. That was until arrangements were made for their evacuation.

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