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Missed the boat - Allowed to Sleep-In

by Guernseymuseum

Contributed by 
Guernseymuseum
People in story: 
MALCOLM WOODLAND
Location of story: 
Guernsey
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A3992349
Contributed on: 
03 May 2005

SHOULD WE EVACUATE?

We were sent home for early holidays with a letter regarding the evacuation. We were informed that children would be evacuated. I believe this was on about the 19th June. My mum had had a letter about what we had to take, so a small case was packed, and we had to go to school in the morning. We were going to go on a boat to England, and we would be billeted, which I didn’t know anything about, with people, and my parents would join us later. So we went off to school that day and well, it wasn’t a normal day’s lessons because we were all there in coats and things, and carrying sandwiches for the journey! Unfortunately, we were supposed to leave about 10 o’clock in the morning I think, but nothing happened, so come around midday we were getting a bit restive and we wanted our lunch, so we started to eat our lunch. We were told that we should not eat it all as we might need some for the journey. Any rate about 3 o’clock all the lunches had been eaten! I think they tried gas mask drill, we had assemblies in the playground, and about 4 o’clock we were told the boats weren’t in fact coming until much later and we were to go home. So I went home, went to bed, and the next morning when I woke up, it was sunshine, a lovely day, “right, we’re off back to school again, where’s this boat?”
“Well,” Mum said, “sorry, you’re not going.”
“What!”
I was furious, I’d got my case packed, I’d got labels, tomato packing labels, I was all labelled ready to go with my friends! And she said, “No, they phoned at 4 o’clock in the morning and I went to look for you and you were sound asleep and I didn’t have the heart to disturb you.”
Well, I was a bit furious about that, she said I didn’t talk to her for the whole morning.

The adults would gather in groups to talk about who was leaving and who was staying, and they would say, so and so is leaving, they’re yellow. And I remember seeing Mr. so and so a few days later, and I looked at him and he wasn’t yellow, he was a perfectly normal colour.
MALCOLM WOODLAND

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