|now of Pickering, Ontario, Canada.
Wrington resident 1940 - 1945.
I don't want to repeat any of Gordon Bridges' words, so this is some of my memories on the evacuee subject.
One day in June, over sixty years ago, I was heading home, after a hard day, from London's Carlton Vale school when as one of many I was labelled and loaded onto a bus. The bus took us to Paddington railway station and away we went. We had no idea where.
I remember the train going through what I thought at the time was the longest tunnel on the face of the earth. It seemed as if it would never end. I was four what did I know. In later years the tunnel didnt seem as long but I vividly remember that first time.
I remember being taken off the train and loaded into a bus. I remember arriving at what I later learned was Wrington's Memorial Hall (which I hope is still standing). I remember crowds of kids in the hall. I remember being one of, or even the last kid to be taken out of the hall. I remember being carried to a house, late at night, and hearing the occupant say there were already too many kids in the house. I remember the occupant relenting and taking me in.
In the house of Mr and Mrs Millard with their daughters Olive and Lillian I lived for the next five years.
What can I say about the loving care I, and later my sister, received in this home. I can't say enough. Later after a visit to see us my father went off to fight in North Africa. Mum was making ammunition boxes in London. We and thousands of other "Londoners" were being cared for by country folk.
I don't remember it being difficult adapting to country life. "Dad" Millard was off to Marshall's farm every morning at some ungodly hour to milk the cows. At least I think that's what he did. He then walked back to the house for breakfast after which he walked back to do more than a regular days work. The highlight of any visit to the farm was riding on those mammoth sized cart horses. At least they seemed that big to us little people.
Another highlight was having a spoonful of malt every morning at the school which had been set up in the Memorial Hall. I always contrived to be last so as I could finish what little was left in the jar. I think this treat came to an end when we were transferred to the village school.
The years rolled by. I remember the downed German pilot being captured. That caused quite a stir. I remember Olive making a tank out of a cardboard box so I could march in some parade. I remember lots of things that made my life and that of my sister Ann very comfortable. As comfortable as it could be in those times of rationing, shortages and other restrictions caused by the war.
One morning I woke up to the sound of pealing church bells. I had never heard them before. They signaled the end of the war with Germany. It was time to go back to London. But that is another story.
P.S. Cybergran (Olive Mellett) now communicates with firstname.lastname@example.org (Me) and it's great.
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