- Contributed by
- People in story:
- David Phillips, Ida Phillips, Tom Owen
- Location of story:
- Ewyas Harold, Herefordshire
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 30 November 2004
My name is David Phillips. I was at school in Ewyas during the war - I was 14 when it finished, so I must have been 11 or 12 when the evacuees came. Now there were only about 48 children in our school, just three classrooms - but when the evacuees came the numbers went up to more than 120!
It meant that we did shifts at school - the locals went from 8 until 12, and the newcomers from 12 till 4. We were quite pleased, because it meant we had every afternoon off. I can't remember how long it was for, but it must been for a few months. Some people went gardening in the afternoons, but I sometimes went to help in the slaughterhouse. I shouldn't have been there, by rights, and I didn't like it much, but I made a few bob.
I was milk monitor at school. We didn't have cups, and the milk came in a ten-gallon churn - the milkman brought the churn in a special carrier on the side of his bicycle. Anyway, I would pour a measure for each kid, into jamjars - that's what we would drink out of. It cost a halfpenny a day, and the children had to pay for it there and then. There was usually a bit left over for me, for nothing.
We didn't have any problems with the evacuees - they were mostly good kids, and a lot of them cried for their mothers. Most of them didn't know anything about where milk came from, or wasps' nests, or anything about country life - they used to get badly stung, especially in the hot summer.
Another thing I remember was that a soldier was killed, Tom Owen his name was; he was 24. They brought his body back to Dulas, near Pontrilas, but there was nobody to dig the grave. My mother did it - not on her own, but she felt she had to; it was very hot, and the smell was so bad, he had to be buried as soon as possible, so she did it with some other women.
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