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.

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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Catharine Hind

Catharine's father sent her to live with her cousins in Leek when their home in London was bombed. She felt lucky to be with family and enjoyed life on their farm.

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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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Peter Phipps

Peter Phipps was at Pettman Central School in Margate when his gardening master told the boys they would be evacuated. He also told them they would be away for only 6 months...

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Eileen Faires

When Eileen finally went home from her billet in Onecote, her host called her mother a 'wicked woman' for taking her away.

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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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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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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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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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‘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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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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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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Jean Banks

Jean was evacuated with her family from Colchester to Stoke-on-Trent. She was born in India and her mother found it very difficult to get used to being poor.

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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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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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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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Bettine Saffery

Bettine and her younger brother were evacuated from Margate to Drayton Bassett. When they arrived at their hosts' cottage her brother asked her: "Is this fairyland?"...

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Albert Cross

Albert Cross was evacuated from Manchester on 1st September 1939. He fell in love with Leek as soon as he saw it.

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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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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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