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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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Evacuated to Western-Super-Mare Somerset

by BBC Southern Counties Radio

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
BBC Southern Counties Radio
People in story: 
Patricia Ellen Mantell (nee Bryant) Victor George Bryant,Louisa (Charlotte) Bryant and George Bryant
Location of story: 
St Leonards Sussex
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A4314746
Contributed on: 
01 July 2005

On the 3rd of September, when my brother and I heard that war was declared, we ran up and down the street excitedly, shouting "War has been declared" with all the other children in the street doing the same. We had no idea of the implications

Later in 1940 our family was whisked away on a train with other families, gas masks and all; to some unknown destination. My Father stayed behind in Hastings doing compulsory work for the government.

After many hours on the train, eating our packed sandwiches and playing games with the other children, we arrived at a pitch black railway station. Men with torches helped us off the train and put my mother, brother and myself into a car which took us to a place where we would be living until further notice.

A very nice lady opened the door to her house and invited us in. She told us her little boy was in bed as we had arrived very late. We discovered that we had landed in Western-Super-Mare,somerset. A safe place to be, we thought.

That night was very noisy, aircraft, bangs and gunfire. We were staying opposite a Shadow Factory. I'm not sure what that was; but it was bombed that night and our front door was blown off.

Next day we were moved to another address into the town and resided with a very elderly lady and her two middle aged unmarried daughters, who really did not want us there. They had a choice of billeting soldiers or evacuees, so there we stayed for a year or so and went to the local school, where there really no room for us evacuees.

When we all came back home to West St Leonrds again, my brother and I went to school part time and our class room was inj a shelter under the school.

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