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Evacuation to a North Devon Farm, 1939 - 1944

by Torbay Libraries

Contributed by 
Torbay Libraries
People in story: 
Patricia Tidmarsh
Location of story: 
North Devon
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
18 March 2005

This story was submitted to the People's War site by Paul Trainer of Torbay Library Services on behalf of Mrs Patricia Tidmarsh, and has been added to the site with her permission. Mrs Tidmarsh fully understands the site's Terms and Conditions.

We had spent holidays on a farm between Bideford and Clovelly. As my father was an officer in the Royal Air Force, he had asked the farmer’s wife to look after us (when — not if - war was declared). Within days of September 8th 1939, she telephoned to say several people were asking to come, so the decision was made very quickly. All my toys were given to the local hospital and I was allowed to keep one doll and my teddy. My mother, small brother and I caught the train to Bideford.

I have memories of a harvest supper and a concert party with the local doctor singing a song from Noel Coward’s “Red Peppers” called “Has anybody seen our ship?” Eventually the village hall was commandeered to make camourflage nets, which were suspended from the ceiling. I remember wearing my Girl Guide uniform and weaving a different coloured webbing through the large mesh. Another activity for the childrens’ war effort was to pick Rosehips from the hedges to make rosehip syrup.

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This story has been placed in the following categories.

Childhood and Evacuation Category
Devon Category
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