University of Oxford
5 files

Memories of evacuation and return to London

online resource
posted on 2024-06-05, 18:59 authored by Their Finest Hour Project Team

The memories are of my uncle (my mother's youngest brother) on a recording. He was evacuated to Wokingham at the same time as my mother Hilda was. His first placement was in a large country house owned by a retired Admiral, whereas my mother was placed with a woman in a two-up, two-down mid-terrace house close to the centre of Wokingham. My uncle made the recording on a cassette tape for my daughter when her primary school did a project on evacuation; this was back in the 1990s. I've copied the tape to send to you.

My mother, who was 3-4 years older than her brother, told me of her experiences. First, she was evacuated with this uncle and younger sister and mother to Wales, but because the host, a man on his own, was none too pleasant, my Nan refused to stay or leave the children in his care. Then, when the bombing in London increased, my mother was later evacuated at the same time as my uncle to Wokingham. Her memories did not appear to be as pleasant as those of her brother. She told me that her host said if she wasn't in by a certain time, she would miss her tea. She was expected to do chores. The little money she received from her mother was to be split with her brother, and her share had to be used for writing paper to send letters back home and also to buy her own sanitary towels. Unfortunately, I did not get as detailed a description of her memories as those on my uncle's recording. However, she did remember the house she had been evacuated to when I took her to Wokingham. She clearly had strong memories of this time and wanted to revisit the area where she had been evacuated.


Item list and details

1. An audio recording of my uncle's recollections. 2. Photos of evacuees; 1st: taken Sept 1939 Wokingham, back row; Mrs Squires, Dorothy Squires, Mrs Angell, Mrs Gee, middle row; Raymond Angell, Joyce Watson, Joan Gee, Hilda Angell, next row; Tommy Gee, George Squires, Peggy Squires, front; ?, Joyce Watson's sister. 3. Next group photo taken in 1940: back row; cook, organiser then children; Ronald Kent, Ernie Cutts, George Betts, Peggy Gee and Joan Betts. 4. Photo of 3 females: May in centre with 2 friends. 5. Female on own taken in 1940 is Natalie Shervil

Person the story/items relate to

Raymond Angell and Hilda Angell

Person who shared the story/items

Mrs Dawn Cox

Relationship between the subject of the story and its contributor

He was my uncle. She was my mother.

Type of submission

Shared online via the Their Finest Hour project website.

Record ID