- Contributed by
- CSV Solent
- People in story:
- Mrs Violet Jean Kitchener
- Location of story:
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 25 May 2005
This story was submitted to the People’s War website by Marie on behalf of Violet Kitchener and has been added to the site with her permission. She fully understand the site’s terms and conditions.
I was only 5 when war broke out and, with my brothers Eric who was 7 and Gordon 11, we were evacuated to Oxford by train from Ashford, Kent. It must have been a long journey and, as it was late when we got there we were given straw palliasses and I remember sleeping on the balcony of what I believe was Oxford Town hall before we were chosen. A bit of a job as there were three of us!
We were “chosen” by a couple from Cowley who, if memory serves me right, were named Gant. Mr Gant was one of the Managing Directors of Morris Motor Works, my older brother told me. I went with my brothers when Mr Gant showed them the bits and pieces of aircraft that were stored at Morris Motor Works. It wasn’t far from where we lived - I think I could find my way to the house, it was behind a row of shops. We were told not to tell anyone what we’d seen.
Mr and Mrs Gant were very good to us, turning out their front sitting room to make a play-room for us. The only stipulation they made was that they had their evening meal on their own, but we were very well looked after.
After a while though, there was a problem in the family and we had to be “moved on”. My younger and brother and me to one place, and my older brother to another. This wasn’t a happy place - the lady had my long hair cut off because she didn’t want to be responsible for it and when my mother and father came up to see us “on spec” they said we were to go home to Kent with them. I think we were away for about a year, and I remember we arrived back in Ashford in the pitch dark, and I was bought a very large yellow straw-stuffed Dolly from the row of shops.
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