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.

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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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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Reginald Walsh

Reginald was evacuated from Ramsgate in 1940. During his time in Staffordshire, he stayed with a total of 13 different families.

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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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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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‘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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Norman Jones

Norman Jones was one of the last to be evacuated from Essex and went by train to Stoke-on-Trent. He stayed with the Rowley family, and shared a bed with their son Kenneth.

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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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Joyce Bailey

During WWII, Joyce's family shared their home with Maureen and Dougie, two children from Manchester. They were very poor, and had lice...

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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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Frances Cooke

Frances shared her home with two evacuees from Ancoats who brought nits with them and didn't like to go in the bath.

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Harry Martin

Harry went with his mother to Riverway Girls' School to collect their Kent evacuees before taking them back to their semi-detached home in Rickerscote.

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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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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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Jean Shone

A teacher from Margate stayed with Jean and her parents. She was soon followed by her mother and father, who couldn't bear to be without her!

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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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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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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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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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Irene (Gladys) Jones

Irene was evacuated to Gloucester from her home in the centre of Birmingham before being sent to Pipewood, a boarding camp for girls in Staffordshire. It was the best day of her life.

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