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Evacuation - creative writing.

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Evacuation It is a bright, sunny day. Primly uniformed women anxiously stare down the platform at the approaching train. Through the steam of the engine emerges an excited confusion of unfamiliar accents. Hundreds of children, each carrying a bag of clothing or a small suitcase, crowd every inch of the station. Some chatter noisily, others stare blankly at their teachers. Gas masks in cardboard boxes swing from their shoulders and identity labels from their necks. A few carry buckets and spades. In the hurried departure, mothers and fathers had believed Lincoln to be on the coast. Most of the children have never left their hometowns - the giant industrial centres of the North. The great evacuation has begun. My Granddad now aged 66, was one of these children standing nervously at the platform, too young to know why he was being taken away from his Mummy and Daddy. He remembers the despair he felt to this day: "I can remember my mother being very ill with cancer and I thought that I was being punished for it, as it turned out that was the last time I ever saw her as she passed away sadly later that year." The arrival of the evacuees in Lincolnshire was a speedy and very impersonal exercise. ...read more.


Joan Stanley, of Welton, near Lincoln, was a teenager when her family received a four-year-old evacuee: "It was a horrendous experience being evacuated for both children and their parents, when they left on the trains they did not know whether they would see their parents ever again. The poor things were just parcels to a family waiting to take them - it was like being called up to the forces, you were just a number, not a human being any more." And Evacuee Reunion Association general secretary James Roffey, who belies that the effect of being taken away from your home at such a young age has scarred some for life: "You were suddenly uprooted, your mother wasn't there, strangers are all around you and yet you are being told big boys don't cry and you have to be grown up. The big problem was homesickness, which becomes a debilitating disease. And yet you weren't allowed to show it, you created a big shell around you. The whole process of evacuation had a psychological effect on the evacuees. Some children were left until last and were thinking to themselves 'why wasn't I picked?' ...read more.


They were very loud and had a very distinctive sound). Were you afraid? If you mean afraid of being evacuated, then no, definitely not. I found being away from London a bit dull. Did you travel with your brothers and sisters? No, just the school. Who took you to your new home? Various billeting officers. If you want a side-splittingly funny description of evacuees and billeting officers, ask your teachers to read a couple of chapters of Evelyn Waugh's 2Put Out More Flags2. A very funny book, and very accurate. I remember one lady I was billeted with - very sad - both her husband and her son had died in action. I didn't like her very much, she was kind enough but insisted on putting lots of newspapers under my bed-sheet in case I was a bed-wetter. I was very irritated by the crackling noises every time I turned over in the night. What did you do to comfort yourself? Nothing, I was quite calm, in fact boredom was the main problem. As you can see, my Nan had quite different view on evacuation than my Granddad. My conclusion is that she was calmer because she was older and was used to staying away from her parents. Also she was told what was happening to her and knew that she would return home once the fighting had stopped. ...read more.

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