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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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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Tony Atkinson (Towner)

Tony was evacuated from his grandparents' home in Westgate-on-Sea to Colton where he lived with the Norman family. Here he nearly drowned in the pond at Colton...

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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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Maisie Hamilton

Maisie Hamilton was evacuated from Bethnal Green first to the Norfolk Broads and then on to Leek where she hoped it wouldn't be 'leaky'.

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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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Mervyn Jones

Mervyn Jones went to live in Milford with his mother and father, who was head teacher at a school in Margate. He can remember seeing soldiers and gypsies on Cannock Chase.

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Michael Whitebrook

Michael's parents were told they had room for 1 evacuee in their two-roomed cottage. Little did he know he would soon be sharing his home with 4 evacuees and extra lodgers!

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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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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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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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‘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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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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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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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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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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Evelyn Green

Evelyn was born in India, and moved to Colchester when she was 6 months old. From here the family were evacuated to Stoke-on-Trent, and lived in many homes.

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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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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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