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.

‘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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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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Vera Jenkins

On the way to their evacuation in Staffordshire, Vera's sister June decided to go against their mother's wishes and be billeted with her friend. That was until their mother found out...

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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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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 Cotton

An evacuee called Ken was left on a bus in Chesterton with no billet family to take him in, so Peter cried until his mother took him home...

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Max Reynolds

Max and his mother took in a number of evacuees and lodgers from the nearby RAF base during World War II. He enjoyed sharing his home with this wide range of different people.

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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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Betty Allen

Betty Allen is still friends with the boy her parents took in during the Second World War. The family were very sad when he left.

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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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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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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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Gordon Ellis

Gordon shared his family home with an evacuee from Manchester. He can remember seeing him for the first time, clutching onto a bar of Cadbury's Fruit & Nut!

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Frances Cooke

Frances shared her home with two evacuees from Ancoats who brought nits with them and didn't like to go in the bath.

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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.

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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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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"...

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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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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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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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