WW2 child evacuee's 'emotional' return to Wattsville

By Paul Heaney
BBC News

Related Topics
media captionMartin Conway, 89, was sent to Wattsville during World War Two. .

A former child evacuee who was sent to Caerphilly county during World War Two has said he was "overwhelmed with emotion" to return to the area.

Martin Conway, 89, had not visited Wattsville in over 50 years.

Risca Primary School invited him back to watch an animated film based on his memories and those of other evacuees sent to the area.

He said the Year 5 project had "brought back wonderful memories" of his foster parents Mr and Mrs Shepherd.

Originally from London, Mr Conway was put on a train to Newport before being fostered in Wattsville, about 8 miles (13km) away.

He said of the people who cared for him during the war: "They were a wonderful couple, they wrapped me in love, not overtly, but it was always there all the time.

"My experience in Wales was just a wonderful experience."

He joined his family and other evacuees at the school on Thursday.

One of the children who worked on the project, Tiaan, nine, said hearing directly from the evacuees made it easier to picture what it was like for them.

He said: "It was really interesting… we were learning what their emotions were leaving their parents and getting a new life in south Wales, Risca and elsewhere.

"I'll definitely remember meeting them - not many people have done that.

"Refugees are still fleeing from their countries, so we also know what they feel like."

More on this story