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.

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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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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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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Peter Mirams

Peter Mirams was evacuated from Ramsgate to Uttoxeter. He did not have a happy billet, and was made to get ready for bed in his host's garage.

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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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Joyce Sidebotham

Joyce was evacuated with her brother to Wetley Rocks from Longsight, Manchester. Her I.D. number was OTDB184/5, and she was given a banana and some milk for the train journey.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Barbara Gull

Barbara Gull stayed with the Mellor family on their farm with her sister and cousins. She had stayed with the Mellors before war broke out, so knew that she would be well looked after.

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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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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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Norma Hadley

Norma was evacuated to Pipewood Boarding Camp from Small Heath, Birmingham. Her house was burnt out whilst she was away.

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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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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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Jean Dowd

Jean moved up to Kidsgrove from South East London with her family when her father moved with work. Although not an official 'evacuee', she received the same sort of attention at school for speaking funny...

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