UNIT 2. 2C, page 14
Interviewer Beryl, how old were you when you were evacuated?
Beryl I was ten. It was the spring of 1941 and the Second World War had started two years before.
Interviewer Why did your parents think you would be safer in the country?
Beryl Well, we lived in Plymouth, a large city in the south-west of England. Plymouth is on the coast and it has a port. At that time, it had an important naval base and so there had been a lot of bombing already. Then we were told that the situation was going to get much worse, so my parents started thinking about sending us to Cornwall.
Interviewer How many of your family were evacuated?
Beryl Only my sister Sylvia and me. I’ve got five brothers and sisters, but we were the youngest, and so we were the ones my parents thought should go. We weren’t evacuated together though, as we were going to different schools at the time. We both went to Cornwall, but my sister was sent to Truro with her classmates, and I went to Newquay with mine.
Interviewer How did you travel?
Beryl We went by train. I don’t remember much about the journey except that we all had little suitcases, and boxes with our gas masks in, tied up with string.
Interviewer What was your host family like?
Beryl All I can remember is that the mother was called Mrs Pascoe and she had a daughter called Hilda. I stayed there with another girl from my school called Sheila. We both went to school with Hilda and sometimes she took us to the beach to play.
Interviewer How long were you away from home in the end, Beryl?
Beryl I don’t really know. It seemed as if I was there for years, but it could only have been about two or three months. I was really relieved when I got back home, but that feeling didn’t last long as the bombing hadn’t stopped. In fact, our house was bombed soon after we returned. Fortunately no one was hurt, but there was nothing left of our house or our belongings.
She thinks she was evacuated for about two or three months.