- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Ken Hammond
- Location of story:
- Bovingdon, Hertfordshire
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 10 November 2003
In 1939 I, with my older brother and best friend Sid, both Sid and I were 11 years old were evacuated. We all came from working class families, our parents could not afford suitcases and the 3 of us had, home made, canvas bags. The school was split into groups, about the size of a class and were dropped off at various villages. Our group finished up waiting in the Bovingdon Memorial Hall. I found out later that this was to give 'the gentry' first choice of the children.
After some time a rather small lady arrived, she looked the children over, pointed at my brother and I and said "I'll take those two". We left the hall, a chauffer opened the boot of a Rolls Royce, put our bags in and opened the car door, we were sat down, a blanket drapped over our knees and the lady said "Home Vaughn". She looked at the two of us and said, "My name is Alsie Stroud, whats yours ?".
Her house, Bovingdon Lodge, was unlike the flat we lived in, it had grounds the size of our local park. There was a small farm that supplied the house with milk, fruit and vegetables and, to my suprise and joy, she had her own library. Mrs Stroud was a member of the Bradbury-Agnew family, who owned PUNCH. For the two of us it was a cultural change that gave me a different slant on life. I stayed in touch until both Mrs Stroud and Helen, her parlour maid, both died the last one in 1980. In 1939 my surname was Hamovitch, it was cahnged by deed poll in 1949.
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