BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

BBC Homepage
BBC History
WW2 People's War Homepage Archive List Timeline About This Site

Contact Us

A Chilly Dorset winter

by BBC Southern Counties Radio

You are browsing in:

Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
BBC Southern Counties Radio
People in story: 
Margaret Yellop
Location of story: 
Isle of Wight, Dorset
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
07 July 2005

When we were unable to return to our home in Madeira as the war had started, we arrived in England and had to stay with relatives for a while.

My mother answered an advertisement to be a temporary caretaker at a house in the Isle of Wight, where we spent Christmas 1939.

Then, in January 1940, she was appointed Head Teacher at a village school in Dorset, where we lived in the house allocated to the Head. We had no furniture but the villagers kindly lent us one bed and a mattress to go on the floor, which I shared with my sister, and a few Windsor chairs to sit on in the kitchen. It was an extremely cold winter and some water left in the bath overnight was frozen by the morning. Our only heating was a kitchen range, where we cooked our food. Eventually, my mother could afford to get some furniture of our own on hire purchase.

Having come straight from Madeira, we had brought very few woollies and I wore all that I had with me until I realised that some had got to be washed. Our washing had to be done either by hand or in an old-fashioned copper.

Returning from Dunkirk, five soldiers were billeted with us for a few weeks. They all slept on the floor in what had been our dining room.

This story was submitted to the People’s War website by Sue Craig on behalf of Margaret Yellop and has been added to the site with her permission. Margaret fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.

© Copyright of content contributed to this Archive rests with the author. Find out how you can use this.

Archive List

This story has been placed in the following categories.

Childhood and Evacuation Category
icon for Story with photoStory with photo

Most of the content on this site is created by our users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please click here. For any other comments, please Contact Us.

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy