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.

George Nye

George was evacuated from a children's home to Staffordshire. It was only on the day of his evacuation that he found out he had a brother and two sisters.

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Leslie Kendrick

Les's sister Elsie played host to two evacuees from the south east coast and Les got in a number of scrapes with the mischievous boys.

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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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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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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 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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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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Reg Williams

Reg was one of five siblings evacuated from Westgate-on-Sea to Colton and Blythbury, Staffordshire. He had a great time, aside from being caned at school!

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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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Marjorie Clowes

Marjorie was evacuated to Leycett from her home in Manchester at the age of 9. Her mother told her she would be "back by Tuesday".

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Daphne Slade

Before being evacuated to Norton Canes, Daphne's parents nearly put her on a steam passenger ship sailing to Canada with 90 other evacuees. The ship was torpedoed and 77 children died.

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Ernest Chadwick

Ernest was evacuated to the Chadwicks in Brown Edge from Ancoats in Manchester. Before his evacuation he had never seen a chicken, or played with a ball...

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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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Peter Allen

Peter Allen was taken by his host because he was crying and about to set off the other children. Thankfully, he was very happy in his billet in Onecote and is still in touch with the family today.

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Ethel Rice

Ethel was evacuated with her family to Burton upon Trent after picking hops in Kent. She remembers the taste of hops on her fingers made her sandwiches taste funny...

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Jean Wilks

Jean Wilks was evacuated to Leek where she stayed with the Keaseys and helped in their sweet shop on Stockwell Street.

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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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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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‘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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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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