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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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1939 and Growing Up

by BBC Southern Counties Radio

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
BBC Southern Counties Radio
People in story: 
George Turner
Location of story: 
Eastbourne, Hertfordshire, Cotswolds, Gloucestershire.
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
08 July 2005

This story was submitted to the Peoples War site by Jas from Global Information Centre Eastbourne and has been added to the website on behalf of Mr Turner with his permission and he fully understands the site’s terms and conditions

I was just twelve when the Second World War was declared, and I remember well a Sunday morning after the service standing at the side door of St. Elizabeth’s church in the Old Town; It was 11am, and the vicar, The Revd. Wallace Bird, caught hold of the hands of Stan and myself as the air raid sirens were sounding, he said “God bless you both”.

I am convinced that this man played a great part in my future.
Soon after we were sent away, from Eastbourne as evacuees with the school to Radlett in Hertfordshire; Hubert and myself were billeted in a very “Posh House” with servants, a very large garden that included an aviary.

We had to take our meals and sleep in the servant’s quarters. I was so very unhappy there, it was decided that I should return to Eastbourne and my family, only to be sent away again to Temple Guitings in the Cotswolds.

There was only the one village school, and that was not suitable for a thirteen year old. So I spent my days doing the rounds with the local gamekeeper. After a time we moved on to Churcham in Gloucestershire.

This time we were placed in a large farmhouse. Once again there was no suitable school. On reaching the age of fourteen, I was sent out to work in Gloucester as the Editors messenger at “The Citizen Newspaper”.

Then at the age of fifteen we returned to Eastbourne, and St Elizabeth’s Church, where I became assistant Youth club Leader for the Old Town Boys Club.

I also volunteered to be a messenger with the Eastbourne Civil Defence and there found a job in the office (Full Time).

To be continued “George the messenger”

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