This morning, the Upper Junior children arrived in school dressed as World War II evacuees with their satchels and suitcases of essential items, name labels and gas mask boxes. They looked amazing!
The evacuees were gathered in the school hall where they were chosen by hosts who took them away to their new home. For some this was a very pleasant experience – those evacuated to North Wales played games and drank homemade lemonade! However, many of the children found themselves having to work hard for their keep by peeling potatoes, polishing brass (with homemade ‘polish’ made from flour and vinegar!) and darning socks. Some of the boys were made to do exhausting army drills on the school field while others helped out in the garden, weeding and digging.
After returning to class they wrote letters to their families:
The train journey was very bumpy and noisy, children Maisie’s age were crying. I looked after Maisie, she was crying too. Sorry I couldn’t wave, I tried, I just couldn’t. When we got off the train me, Maisie and form 6 went to a hall of the church and slept there for the night. It was quite frightening, the loud noises, you know. In the morning we lined up ready to get chosen. Maisie went off to live on a farm. Have you got her letter? She sent one to me. I miss her. I got chosen by the housekeeper of Morton House. We got sent to work brass polishing. It was hard work but it helped me through my home sickness. My host family I haven’t seen, just the housekeeper she is nice, but strict. I polished an egg cup with my friend. We did not do very well and we nearly got separated!
I miss you. Will you come and visit please. Are you OK? Is nanny OK? I heard from Maisie that her house was bombed. I’m in the countryside though I don’t see it. Is Daddy alright? Has he written? Have you seen him?
I love you. Please visit. From your loving daughter, Jessica xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
P.S. Please reply so I know you’re alright. Love you.
Dear Mother and Father,
I’m writing to you to say that I am okay. I quite enjoyed our first few days on the farm, that is until I discovered how strict Mrs Whales really was. She beats them mother, she’s so cruel and I wished I could have been assigned to someone nicer. Mrs Whales has been forcing us to pull up weeds with our bare hands! My fingers are so red and blistered that I’m shaking as I write this. But enough about me mother, how are you? I feel awfully uncomfortable with you being in London and all. Please write back and tell me how you are, please, please, PLEASE! How is Nan and Grandad, Aunty Jean, please write!
Love Joshua xxx
Dear Mum and Dad
I have been having the most wonderful time here in Yorkshire. The train journey was fine with me and my friend (playing some games helped the journey quicken up). My host family is lovely and we are always going out for walks or going to different places with their dog Whisper. Also my host family is not as poor as I would of thought. Me and my friends are normally helping make the dinner if not we are playing some games upstairs or outside. I think that tomorrow we are going to see their horse Misty and maybe even have a ride on him/her. Currently Mrs Honey is a tutor teacher so every day we get up, have our breakfast and she would give us some things to learn for the day. Then when she would come home she would check if we had learnt anything. I hope you are OK and well. Hopefully I will see you soon.
Your loving daughter, Sophie xxxxxxx and more kisses and cuddles. I love you loads.
P.S. Mrs Honey isn’t that strict and we always learn!
P.P.S. Please thank granny and grandpa for the sweets!