NEW PODCAST PROJECT ON EVACUEES AND REFUGEES
I am so proud to have taken part in a podcast project by ‘Discover Buxton’ heritage group in sharing a truly wonderful story of kindness to evacuees and refugees arriving in Buxton. You can listen to the podcast ‘Buxton, A Place of Hope’ and view some wartime evacuee images at this link:
To find out more about the Channel Island evacuees’ lives in England and Scotland, see my latest book ‘Britain’s Wartime Evacuees’ – see below and click:
A VERY REVEALING WARTIME BILLETING REPORT
Some time ago I was given a wartime report, written by Mr Rose, a Guernsey teacher, in Summer 1940. He and his pupils were evacuated to Lancashire. He wrote his report after visiting his pupils’ billets in Oldham, Lancashire. I have taken part of that report and retyped it, removing the names and addresses the for reasons of confidentiality. Sadly, some parts are upsetting, such as “Boy subject to terrifying nightmares. Goes to open window and shrieks.” Lest we forget!
Lovely piece in the Lowestoft Journal about my new book:-
Some sad news… and some good news – November 2016
This past week has brought some very sad news but also, thankfully, some good news about the Second World War evacuees I have interviewed – and those who cared for them during the war.
I am very sorry to report that the lovely Mrs Ruth Harrison has passed away. She and her parents cared for Win De La Mare, an evacuee child from Guernsey, between 1940 and 1945 in Stockport. Ruth and Win practically became sisters during the war and were heartbroken when Win had to return to her parents in Guernsey in 1945. However they remained in constant touch through letters and visits across the Channel. (Win told me that she never really settled into Guernsey life after the war.) Below is a photograph of Ruth and Win, in England, which I took a few years ago. Also pictured are Ruth’s son, Phil, and Win’s Guernsey friend, Rose, who was also evacuated to Stockport in 1940. Rest in Peace Ruth. You will be missed by all who knew and loved you.
Thankfully I have some pleasant news to report. Evacuee mother, Mrs Ruth Berry, who was evacuated from Guernsey to St Helens in 1940, will celebrate her 107th birthday on Saturday 19 November. The photograph below was taken at her 105th birthday party in 2014.
Check out my recent article on the emotional wartime letters sent by child evacuees to their parents – and still treasured by their families: click the link below
My third book, ‘Evacuation in the Second World War told through Newspaper reports, Official documents and the Accounts of those who were there’ will be published on 30 November 2016 by Frontline Books. It contains testimony, wartime photographs and documents from hundreds of British evacuees who spent the war years in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Testimony is also included from evacuees who were sent to the British mainland from The Channel Islands and Gibraltar. The chapters cover themes such as: Plans for Evacuation, The Parents’ Decision, Finding Homes for evacuees, Wartime Letters Home, Evacuated adults and teachers, The kindness of strangers, The return home and the Aftermath of evacuation. The tragic aspect of evacuation is also covered, such as children who suffered at the hands of their foster parents or died within days of being evacuated to supposedly ‘safe areas.’
The book can be pre-ordered here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Britains-Wartime-Evacuees-Evacuations-Accounts/dp/1848324413/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1470912009&sr=1-3&keywords=gillian+mawson+books
READ AN EXTRACT FROM THE 1940 DIARY OF AN EVACUATED MOTHER, AFTER A DISAGREEMENT WITH A LADY FROM THE WOMEN’S VOLUNTARY SERVICE (WVS)
“I was so upset yesterday. So far we have had such wonderful dealings with the local WVS ladies – they have been kindness itself and so very understanding of our position. However a woman from the WVS Head Office in Manchester called round to our home yesterday. She said that she was checking evacuees’ homes to ensure that we had everything we needed, but then started criticising the way that Mrs Batisse and I were looking after our children and the way we had organised our home. She then primly stated “I don’t agree that you should both be going out to work and leaving the children”. We explained that we needed the money and that one of us was always with the children when the other was working. She wrote some notes on her clipboard and said primly “Well I have said my piece, I will leave you now to think about what I have said”, to which I replied “And we have said our piece, so thank you and goodbye!” She looked quite shocked and left. She was a very ‘well to do’ woman so I expect she thought we were rather below her in ‘class’ and wanted to put us in our place. If she calls again, Mrs Batisse and I will not allow her over the threshold!”
CAN YOU HELP ME TO FIND THE EVACUEE TWINS???
I have received a photograph dated AUGUST 1939 shown below. It was taken when London school children took part in an ‘Evacuation Practice’ just a few days before millions of children were actually evacuated. It includes young twin boys with curly blonde hair, at the back of the group. I would like to find them and I have a little information about them from the back of the photograph.
They were possibly born in the Bermondsey district of London and their names were George and Albert Davies. Their nickname was ‘The Coronation Twins’ because they were born on the day that King George 6th was crowned.
If you recognise them or have any suggestions that could help me, please contact me via the comments box below. Please share this blog post too, if you can.
You can read some of the stories from my Second book of 100 Evacuation Stories here:
My previous books can be found on my Amazon author page here
YOU CAN CONTACT ME PRIVATELY VIA THE COMMENTS BOX BELOW: