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15 October 2014
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Handing out Chocolate to the Evacuees

by BBC Southern Counties Radio

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
BBC Southern Counties Radio
People in story: 
John Keating
Location of story: 
Haywards Heath, West Sussex
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
13 July 2005

This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Sue Manning-Jones on behalf of John Keating with his permission. Mr Keating fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.

I was a young boy during the war and, like most boys, saw the war as something very exciting. I joined the Scouts where I lived in Haywards Heath and at that time we were asked to various things to help the war effort. One of the first was to help fill sandbags which were used to sandbag all the public buildings — Town Hall, post office etc up to perhaps 8 ft high.

One day I was helping to receive the evacuees from London. I was 12 at the time, much the same age as some of the children were we receiving. I was given a table and 2oz bars of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk chocolate and I was supposed to give out one bar to every child that filed past. Another Scout was giving them all an orange. It didn’t occur to me till years later that I didn’t think of keeping one of those bars of chocolate for myself, even though they were rationed. I was so intent on doing my duty!

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