Dorothy Chadwick

Dorothy Chadwick was born in 1932 in Bucknall, Stoke-on-Trent. At the age of six her family, the Smiths, moved to the village of Werrington and she stayed there for most of her life. She remembers the village as a very lovely and quiet place – if somebody came through the village driving a car everybody would come to their front gates to see who it was. They lived opposite the church and her father would stand at their gate and make sure they went across to Sunday school. Sometimes she played the organ in the church.  

There were ten of them in her house including her mother and father and although they were poor they were very happy. She remembers how they slept in their bed like sardines in a can. Her mother was the lady in the village who would lay people out and act as midwife and deliverer. She would feed anybody and took in a number of evacuees during the Second World War. Click on the link below to hear her speaking about the evacuees who they shared their home with:

Dorothy speaking about her evacuees

Transcript of Dorothy’s clip

She remembers that both of the London evacuees were covered in nits when they arrived, and so her mother would regularly have to line all of the children up and attack them with a tooth comb. She can still hear the ping of the nits on the platter that would be used the next day as a sandwich plate.

The two London evacuees were fetched home by their mother before the end of the war, and Dorothy remembers feeling like they had lost part of their family. Her mother kept in touch with them for a while after they left, and they visited for holidays.