- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Sylvis Glazier (nee Hopgood)
- Location of story:
- Windsor, Berkshire; Taplow, Buckinghamshire
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 10 December 2005
The author of this story has agreed that it can be entered on the BBC website.
It was in the playground of East Sheen Primary School, London SW14, that my brother Aubrey (aged 7) and myself, Sylvia (aged 10) said goodbye to our tearful parents. We were marched crocodile style to the station to an unknown destination, which turned out to be Windsor.
The Windsorian coach drove us up and down roads with or teachers knocking on doors asking people to take us in. An elderly couple called Mr and Mrs Slaughter took pity on us but I immediately wrote a card to Mum and Dad begging them to bring us home! (I still have the card).
The local school was overcrowded with evacuees so our classes were held in the playground. We had our own teachers from East Sheen and they did the best for us. We stayed in Windsor for 2 — 3 months but thankfully were back with our parents for Christmas.
When the bombs started falling on London again it was decided to evacuate us once more. This time it was arranged to send us to an Aunt who lived in an isolated cottage in Taplow, Buckinghamshire (still not far from Windsor). It had no running water, just a tap outside in the lane. No electricity, just paraffin lamps and candles. No toilet or bathroom, just a small shed at the end of the garden with a wooden seat with a bucket underneath!
We were self-sufficient, growing vegetables and salads. We also kept chickens. Cooking was done on a range, a fire with an oven at the side. There was a radio, which was powered by an accumulator, which was delivered and collected once a week so we roughly knew how the War was progressing. My Mum did a paper round so she was able to send us comics such as the Dandy, Beano and Film Fun, which were very much enjoyed. We finally got into the village school, which was 2-3 miles away and we cycled there or walked if it was snowing. We stayed in Taplow for 18 months to 2 years.
Aubrey was 10 and I was 13 when we were brought back to London. He went back to Primary School and I went to East Sheen Secondary School. Our education suffered and I left school at 14 and I never caught up.
Even so, I managed to get a job at the Air Ministry, Bush House in London, as a Duplicating Operator for 24/- a week. One afternoon a bomb fell very close by and the building rocked and all the windows were shattered. I believe many people were killed. I was sent home alone and travelled by train and bus back to East Sheen. I must have been in shock as my Mum gave me a ‘Sal Vola tile’ (the vallium of it’s day) and made me lie down.
Aubrey was evacuated once again, this time to an Aunt in Wales. He was happy ther (no school) and stayed till the end of the war — May 1945.
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