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Evacuation to Harbury

by Chelmsford Library

Contributed by 
Chelmsford Library
People in story: 
Fred Willis
Location of story: 
Harbury
Article ID: 
A3156419
Contributed on: 
20 October 2004

This story was submitted to the People's War site by Fred Willis and has been added to the site at Great Baddow Library with his permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and cnditions.

As soon as World War 11 broke out,just before my sixth birthday, I was evacuated and I remember being lined up with my case and my name-tag and being sent to Hopton where I stayed for six months, before being sent to Harbury. The last night in Hopton we slept on straw and became flee-bitten etc.

On arriving at Harbury in a deplorable condition, all the evacuees were put on the stage in the Village Hall and then followed the procedure of finding us homes. With just two of left it was like being at an auction and nobody willing to give me a home. Eventually, against the rules, a spinster was persuaded and, although being very strict and not used to bringing up children, she became the best 'mother' I could ever have had. At a small village school, there was a lack of teachers and so about fifty of us were put into the hall and we had half-day education leaving the rest of the time to help on farms and undertaking general village work.

At the end of the war, I hated going home and any spare time, even as an adult, I would go back to visit Harbury, where my heart has always belonged.

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This story has been placed in the following categories.

Childhood and Evacuation Category
Coventry and Warwickshire Category
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