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.

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!

Read more

Tony Longdon

Tony was 8 when he was evacuated from Bexhill-on-Sea to Stoke-on-Trent. He had his first oatcake in 1941 and has been stuck on them ever since.

Read more

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.

Read more

Theresa Peters

On the way to be evacuated from Birmingham to Woodville, Theresa's bus driver got lost and they ended up enjoying a lunch that wasn't meant for them!

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

‘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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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...

Read more

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...

Read more

Shirley Webb

Shirley was billeted in a huge house in Colton with her younger brother. Here, she received very little warmth from the host family, and spent most of her time with the servants, who were lovely.

Read more

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'.

Read more

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.

Read more

Lily Nye

Lily was evacuated at the age of 4 from her home in Everton to Leek. She told her friend next door she was going to be 'evaporated'!

Read more

Roger Pell

Roger Pell was billeted in a hall with his older sister Shirley. He spent most of his time exploring the grounds and became "an insufferable little snob"...

Read more

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.

Read more

Sydney Cox

Sydney Cox was moved to Swythamley from his first evacuation in Norfolk. He was very happy to live in the countryside and only returned home because his grandfather found him a job.

Read more

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.

Read more

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...

Read more

Eileen Faires

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

Read more