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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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Archive List > Childhood and Evacuation

Contributed by 
BBC Southern Counties Radio
People in story: 
Peter Willesden, Barry Willesden; Derek Willesden
Location of story: 
Reigate, Surrey
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
16 August 2005

During World War II I was a kid at school in Reigate, Surrey

Once day during an air raid we all took shelter in an air raid shelter, in those days we used to leave school at around 14 years old. Some of the older boys, who were in the top class, were ‘messenger boys’. When the siren went off, and the phone lines were brought down by the bombs, they would put on armbands with messages on them and then they’d jump on their bikes and ride round to the A.R.P base. They used to ride through the blitz delivering messages to other posts.

My brothers Barry and Derek were both messenger boys and remember the times well. We were evacuated to Westhartlee Pool, were we stayed with good people and had a good time.

During the last months of the war, POW’s used to walk the streets and there were better chances of some decent food! I remember that the US and Canadian Soldiers were very generous and kind to us kids.

This story has been submitted to the People’s War website by Eleanor Fell, from
BBC Southern Counties Radio, on behalf of Peter Willesden, who accepts the terms and conditions of the website and is happy to share his story with the BBC.

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