When WW2 started I was almost nine years old and living in Tooting, S.W. London. My mother had registered me with the authorities for evacuation and so on the 4th of September I left London for Chichester in Sussex.
I can't remember the journey at all, but I obviously reached there safely and fostered with a nice family at No.8, Washington St. There was the mother, a teenage daughter and older son awaiting his call-up papers. I stayed with them, attended school, and was quite happy for about five months, but as no bombing had started and all seemed quiet I returned home.
We had a Anderson shelter in the back garden but we weren't able to use it as it was about a foot deep in water until the council workers returned sometime later and laid a concrete liner, after which it stayed dry for the remainder of the war. Schooling was a bit haphazard as children and teachers were away, then in June France fell and a new evacuation scheme was started. This time I was sent a bit further afield, to Barnstaple in N.Devon, there to be picked, at the "cattle market" as we called it, by another friendly family, the Gammons, who owned a nice, modern house, No.11 Ashleigh Crescent. They had one son, Ronald, who was a year older than me. Mr.Gammon was a Corona soft drinks driver and salesman and also a member of the newly formed Home Guard.
I stayed with this family for six months until my mother came down from London, for a rest from the Blitz, so naturally I stayed with her in some rooms she rented. I attended four different schools whilst so my education didn't progress very much, however I was quite happy there.
We remained in Devon for a further year until January 1942, when again bombing had virtually ceased, returning once more to London, where I resumed schooling at my old school, when the V1 Flying Bomb attacks started in June 1944, when we were extremely glad of the shelter in the garden. With the attacks my school closed completely, before it re-opened I had reached my 14th birthday so never returned but started work. We still had the V2 Rockets to face in the coming months, the winter of 1944/45 was a miserable one, severe weatherwise, shortages of everything and the constant arrival of the rockets until about March. I worked in central London until the wars end and after. Looking back on it, as a youngster in London, most of the time I found it exciting despite the black-out, rationing, bombing etc. I wouldn't have missed it for the world.