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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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John Wesley
User ID: U551342

At the outbreak of the war, I was 8 1/2 years old, and had a baby brother of 10 months. My parents were in their mid thirties.

We lived in Bedonwell Road, Belvedere (Kent) opposite Bedonwell Hill Junior School, which I attended.
Memory is rather suspect now, but I think that I can remember sitting by the radio with my parents and listening to Chamberlain's broadcast stating that Britain was at war with Germany.

Within a matter of days it was arranged for pupils from the school to be evacuated. Dressed in school uniform and cap, and carrying a small suitcase and a gas mask in a small cardboard box, and with a parcel label tied to the lapel of my grey raincoat, we taken to Waterloo Station. We were accompanied by two young women teachers from our school. Parents were allowed to go as far as Waterloo, where there were many tearful partings.

With what must have been military efficiency, we were loaded on to a train and set off. As far as I know, neither the school, or the accompanying teachers, nor our parents, knew where we were bound for.

Stories contributed by John Wesley

The Watermill Evacuees
A stricken Fortress

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