Friday, 25 May 2012

Evacuees (Haworth 1940s weekend)

It's well known that during WWII some 2 million children were evacuated in a very short time from London and other major cities to lodge with families in more rural parts of Britain, considered to be 'safer' from enemy attack. On arrival in rural villages they were simply lined up and billeting officers invited potential hosts to take their pick! Many brothers, sisters and friends were separated.
The children of Haworth re-enacted this at the weekend, arriving at Haworth station by steam train and being bussed (on a vintage coach) up to the village to be collected by the villagers.  They all had their gas masks in little cardboard boxes, a small bag of clothes and possessions and a label with a number.  
All rather charming in the 21st century but in reality in the 1940s, it was for many evacuees an unhappy and frightening period in their lives - and a time of desperate anxiety for their parents left behind in the cities.

13 comments:

  1. That's an interesting effect, jennyfreckles. What is it?

    My grandparents took in evacuees during the war and, at one time had 21 people staying.

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    1. It's just a fancy border that I downloaded from one of those free CDs you get with Digital Photo mag. They're easy enough to use and give some good effects. 21 people! I hope they had a big house.

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  2. That makes me think that parents in Germany tried to send their children to relatives to the rural parts of the country too, because the cities were so heavily bombed by the allies, unfortunately not everybody had relatives on the country side. In fact I was only born so that my mother could move to her parents living deep in the country in a little town, because only pregnant women were allowed to leave the big cities, because the others had to do the men's work they had all been made soldiers for this crazy guy who wanted to conquer the world. So much sorrow for everybody involved on whatever side. For me it was luck, because I could live with my grandparents until I was 5 while my parents had to go back to Frankfurt until 1945. I was born in 1943. I only remember the aftermath of the occupation, luckily by Americans and not by Russians !

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    1. Yes, no-one was a winner in the two World Wars, that's for sure. I'm glad we all seem to be friends now, though I sometimes think it's fragile.

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  3. I can imagine how frightened the children were, to be handed off to strangers and even separated from the last familiar faces they'd seen. And to be lined up and selected, like choosing sides for a children's game, or worse, like a slave market. I do hope they found loving hosts in the homes they went to.

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    1. Some obviously did, but I think not everyone was well-treated.

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  4. Drastic measures in times of war I guess, let's hope we never have to go through anything like that again. I can't get over how authentic the costumes have been for this event in Haworth it's been a brilliant series of images Jenny, I've really enjoyed them.

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    1. Thanks, it's nice to share such a fun event.

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  5. I can't imagine what those parents and kids had to live during the war!It's a good thing to remember it , especially in such a funny way. I liked the guys in your yesterday's post too!

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  6. For both children and parents, it would be a very frightening time. Good though that some children made firm friends in the places to which they were evacuated and continued to visit right through adulthood :)

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  7. Terrific bunch of photos, jennyfreckles. The towns in your area are really proud of their history. OR, they look for ANY excuse to have a party.

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  8. I wasn't scared at all. I was lucky- went to Grandma's in Clayworth! It was a lot of fun!

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