EVACUEES - were your parents or grandparents evacuated during the 1939-45 war?

(48 Posts)
MrsBates Mon 22-Sep-08 17:04:43

What was it like for them and how did it affect their feelings for their parents? My parents were evacuated and I have been reading a lot about it recently. What would you happen these days - would parents let their children go to live with unknown strangers again? What has changed? Just musing really.

KristinaM Mon 22-Sep-08 18:50:08

my mother was evacuated and she hated it so much she came home. her parenst sent her to live with cousins in teh country instead

she is a very mixed up person , I dont knwo if being evacuated coudl be part of it

interetsing question

Beetroot Mon 22-Sep-08 18:51:02

Have you see the play The End Of Everthing Ever? By NIE theatre company

Fantastic

ivykaty44 Mon 22-Sep-08 18:53:14

Could be similar to the going to boarding school thread last week - mixed up where they any way or was it being sent away that did it?

My dad stayed in London all through the war, a friedn was sent away from Birmingham to the country and at the end of the war his parents didn't want him back so his foster parents adopted him so sad and happy....

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Mon 22-Sep-08 19:03:10

My father was evacuated to Sherborne in Dorset. It was one of the happiest times of his life as he came from a very deprived environment in Portsmouth. He was only three when he went, six when he returned. However.. his mother died while he was away (of TB) and he never saw her again, had no memeories of her. We have ONE photo of her with him when he was a a baby. He had a terrible childhood, fatehr who drank, stepmother who hated him and his older sister.# The epople who looked after him in Dorset are obviously now long gone, but I sometimes think about trying to seek out theit relatives to off a bealted thanks for providing a very happy episode in an otherwise unhappy childhood.

MrsBates Mon 22-Sep-08 19:05:52

My mum was evacuated to Suffolk. She never said she hated it but I think she was with kind people and absolutely loved the countryside - she was from the East End. But my nan hated the whole thing so she left London too, with my auntie who was a baby, and got them a house together with my great aunt and mum's cousins. My grandad was in the army. Mum says when she got on the train (feeling quite excited) she saw him in uniform at the back of the crowd with tears pouring down his face.

On the whole it sounded as if my mum had a fantastic time although my nan, who was only in her early 20's was a sassy lady. She went to a manor house and pretty much demanded use of their lodge which she was eventually given. I've been to see it and it's gorgeous now. My auntie asked for her ashes to be scattered in the village so I guess for her it was all a wonderful time.

My dad though was only 4 when the war started and was senf to Sussex with some of his sisters. He lived in a big house with kind adults but children who bullied him and made his life a misery. Then he moved to live with an old woman who gave him a bible for his birthday present and nicked all his Red Cross parcels to give to her grandson. He couldn't wait to get back to London. It gave him an independence and sense of adventure though, he thinksm, but distanced him from his dad.

I looked at photos of mothers at the station - they weren't allowed onto the platforms usually and were pressed up to the railings of a locked gate. Imagine seeing my babies sent off to who knew where with their little cases and gas masks. Devasting. I wonder what the mothers did when they left the station? Cried, pulled themselves together and put the kettle on I suppose. I couldn't bear it. Think I'd have been like my nan and gone too.

I haven't seen the play. I will google it. Thanks.

ComeOVeneer Mon 22-Sep-08 19:06:50

Parents weren't born yet, grandparents were either fighting in the war (grandfathers both in RAF, paternal grandmother a nurse) and maternal grandmother was in the french resistance. (she helped smuggle my greatuncle to the coast of occupied france to a boat back to england and came and visited him after the war, meet his younger brother and the rest is history! grin

MrsBates Mon 22-Sep-08 19:07:16

or devastating even...

brimfull Mon 22-Sep-08 19:10:06

My mum was evacuated from Glasgow to Aran.

She was just telling me about it the other day,it wasn't for long and she went with her two brothers and her Auntie who was a teengaer so she never felt abandoned luckily.

Habbibu Mon 22-Sep-08 19:11:20

My grandmother housed an evacuee - don't know how he felt, I'm afraid, but his parents were very grateful. They ran a sweet factory, and sent many many packages of sweets for him to share with the family. So endless sweet supplies, together with living on a farm, having milk, eggs, cream and bacon on the doorstep, meant rationing rather passed the family by...

ivykaty44 Mon 22-Sep-08 19:13:30

Always makes me think of Goodnight Mr Tom, such a lovely but sad book sad

pgwithnumber3 Mon 22-Sep-08 19:15:32

My Grandmother was evacuated and her mother told her not to let them be separated. Obviously, nobody wants to house 6 unruly kids, so they got the shitty end of the stick and ended up in an awful house with awful guardians. They were not allowed to eat with the family etc. Really sad for a child to have to deal with at such a young age. We don't know we're born.

Nbg Mon 22-Sep-08 19:16:38

My nanna was evacuated to her Auntie in Devon, from Hull.
She was lucky that she had someone she knew and also had her sister too.

She has very fond memories of going down there and still loves to go back.
Tbh I think she thinks of Devon as her real home.
Although she finds it upsetting when she thinks of what her mum went through without her children and being stuck in Hull whilst it was being bombed.

Mercy Mon 22-Sep-08 19:17:28

I recently did a school history thingy and it was fascinating to read and hear the (few remaining) stories of those school children who were evacuated from London. Some of them were evacuated twice during the course of the 2nd WW. it seems many stayed though.

My mum grew up in Devon and still remembers hiding under the kitchen table and hearing bombs landing and going off in the distance.

Peachy Mon 22-Sep-08 19:20:30

There's a BBC programme on about this Christmas, Michael Aspel is hosting (only know becuase DH's Aunt was hs (girl?) friend then LOL, they're making the programme where they all still live)

You might find it interesting

MrsBates Mon 22-Sep-08 19:55:55

Thanks Peachy - I will look out for it. My nan had a few flings with GIs which upset my mum she she worshipped her dad. But my mum had a romance when she was 13 with a black yank. Can't imagine what that was like in those days! My brother and I have found a load of letters and his dog tags which I can't wait to read, but we are going to look at them together. Think some of these experiences gave my mum a difficult attitude to men - maybe the long separation from her dad (5 years with a few visits on leave). And my nan was a bit of a goer, as they say, so a bit unsettling seeing your mum get up to all that. Mum was very attractive but was needy for male attention - set huge store by blokes fancying her so never really had any male friends who weren't gay.

MrsGuyof G - one of my grandad's jobs in the army was digging bodies out of rubble in Portsmouth after heavy bombing. I'm glad your Dad wasn't there.

Peachy Tue 23-Sep-08 09:18:22

I know what it was like n those days- we're pretty sure my FIL's Dad was a black GI: FIL was abandoned as a small toddler because, as far as we can work out, of the stigma.

I mean, if you dont want the baby you give it up at birth right, not 18 months - 2 years down the line?

must have been hellish.

Sadly FIL finally tracked his birth Mum down but missed her death by a few months; her family refuse to communicate with him.

Peachy Tue 23-Sep-08 09:19:33

(oh and we have other similarities- my Grandad's job was rescuing the bodies of airmen from crashes)

tallulah Fri 26-Sep-08 18:13:58

My dad was evacuated from Portsmouth several times during the war. He was 6 when it started and 12 when it ended. One time he was sent with the school (the whole school from what I can gather) and I think this was towards the end of the war. Earlier he went with his mother and sister to the IoW to stay with his mum's relatives. Apparently they didn't stay too long because gran found it "boring" !

It didn't seem to have affected him in any way (apart from endless tales about walking 5 miles to school in a Pythonesque manner hmm )

Celia2 Fri 26-Sep-08 18:59:12

Tallulah, my Dad was evacuated to Portsmouth and then to Weymouth! I am sure the person organising it must have made an error!

tallulah Fri 26-Sep-08 20:26:52

shock

PortAndLemon Fri 26-Sep-08 20:30:10

My mother wasn't born yet; my father was too young, but his three elder brothers were evacuated (from Birmingham). One of his brothers was placed with a childless couple who were apparently desperate to adopt him when the war finished, but his parents (understandably enough) wanted him back!

Heated Fri 26-Sep-08 20:35:00

My mother was evacuated from the Norfolk coast (site of 1st doodlebug bomb) with her older brother and mother to the countryside. My grandfather was in the navy.

They came back after a few months as my grandfather broke his ankle on the docks & couldn't sail with his ship. His ship was later torpedoed with huge loss of life. He became a warden instead.

Whilst walking along the front, my grandfather and my mum had to dive into a gully when a plane machine-gunned the road.

Califrau Fri 26-Sep-08 20:42:32

My Nan was pregnant with my aunt so she and Dad got evacuated from the Isle of Dogs to SLOUGH - a place people get evacuated from these days! My Grandad stayed behind. My Nan was like Gran from the Giles Cartoons. When I got married, my aunt gave me a love letter that Grandad had written to her. They wrote to each other every day. The letter is breathtaking. You would never believe the woman he was talking about was my Nan. I think it was easier for Dad as he had Nan with him. I am not sure how long they were away. Dad is in the process of writing down all this kind of stuff on the computer. My bro and I are itching to get our hands on it.

yourke Fri 26-Sep-08 21:07:04

Both my mum and dad were evacuated from Liverpool. My dad went at first to a large house in Hoylake (the Wirral), where only the chauffeur and housekeeper were in residence as the family who lived there had gone to Canada. He and his brother were chauffeur driven to school every day and were really enjoying themselves until my grandmother turned up 3wks later saying the war was over and she was taking them home! Needless to say they ended up being evacuated again, this time to North Wales. During his time there he was taught to sing All Through the Night in welsh which he can still sing but has no idea what it means.

My mother and her twin brother were only 3, so were evacutated with their mother and 5 brothers and sisters to Bets-y-coed and Tall-y-bont (apologies for spellings here!). Year's later we all visited the house in Bets-y-Coed and Tall-y-Bont, and the same family still lived in both houses. We ended up staying for tea!

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