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Going On Holiday!?

by Essex Action Desk

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
Essex Action Desk
People in story: 
Angela Sapsford (Mears)
Location of story: 
Edmonton, London & Silver End
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
20 December 2005

This story was submitted to the People’s War website by a CSV Action Desk People’s War Story gatherer on behalf of Angela Sapsford. The story was added to the site with her full permission. She understands the sites terms and conditions.

We were living in Edmonton, London, when the War broke out. I remember the day at school when we all had to go into the school hall. I was seven at the time. We were told that the War had started and that we all had to go away.

We all went home, packed our haversacks and had labels to put on our coats. As soon as we all got back to school we were taken to the station and then to Witham - I remember the railings at the station there. We thought it was going to be fun but it wasn't.

From the station a coach took us to Silver End, to the Village hall, and there we sat. I was with my Brother who was five and my Sister who was eleven. Village people came to look at us. My sister was supposed to make sure that we all kept together.

The Lady who chose me, took me to my first billet. Unfortunatly she wasn't well and I was sent to her friend. This didn't last for long - in fact I had six billets altogether. I had news that my Father had died. The Lady that I was living with then, was horrible. She asked why I was crying and told me not to be so silly.

The room above the local co-op store was made into a classroom. Teachers from our old school had come with us and taught us there but they were unhappy and treated us badly. So many of the children were so unhappy that they were allowed to go back to London. My Brother went home because he was badly treated and my Sister went home when she left School at fourteen as my Mother needed the money that she could earn.

With less Children there I was able to go to the local school. Mr Newton was the Head Master and It was a really nice school and I made friends there. But I was still very unhappy and asked to go home when I was eleven.

I was home for V.E. Day. I can remember the celebrations, especially the street parties and the bonfires. Years later I took my own children to see where I had spent the War years. The Lady from my first billet was still alive and she made us very welcome.

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