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WW2 - People's War

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Contributed by 
Linda at Sutton Library - WW2 Site Helper
People in story: 
Rosalind Defries
Location of story: 
Background to story: 
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Contributed on: 
19 August 2004

This story was edited and submitted to the site by Brian Cape of Sutton Library Service with the author's permission. The
author fully understands the site's terms and conditions.

My sister attended Rochell Street School in Shoreditch and I was allowed to go together with her during evacuation, as I was the younger sister and had never been apart from her or my parents before.

We were evacuated to Kings Lynn in Norfolk, and for the first four weeks we were billeted with a very strange family- a Mr. Weeks, his daughter Dorreen and her mother. They took all our allotted food parcel, only giving us bread, cheese and tomato- practically starving us. We were two little girls from the East end. Mr. Weeks was a member of the fascist movement. He took us to some of the meetings, when dressed up in all his black clothes. As my sister was four years older than me she remembered the black shirt meetings in the East end, and as we were Jewish we were very frightened.

We wrote to our parents from school. My mother came to Kings Lynn. She could not afford the fare, but there was a special scheme at that time where you could bring a child under five years old out of London, so she brought a neighbour’s child. She found a new place for us to stay by asking the local milkman if he knew anybody who wanted two little girl evacuees. He recommended a Mr. And Mrs. Sherrif. They had no children of their own and were very kind to us.

My sister went back to London when she was 14 years old to go to work. I made a few trips to London when it was quiet, but in 1942 when I was home it was the start of some of the worst and heaviest raids. They bombed the docks, and our flat was hit. We were left homeless and had to go into sheltered housing. After a few weeks I was sent back to Kings Lynn and stayed there until the end of the war.

We often went back to see Mr. And Mrs. Sherrif (Auntie Nellie and Uncle Charlie) and their family who were so kind to us. We could never thank them enough for taking us in. We wrote letters and exchanged Christmas cards until the couple passed away. Now we keep in touch with their Niece and family.

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