World War 2 Stories for Sheffield

Kathleen Denton 

Life As An Evacuee

By Actiondesk Sheffield

People in story: Kathleen Denton, Margaret Dunn, Mr. and Mrs. Squires
Location of story: Warwick
Background to story: Civilian


This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Bill Ross of the ‘Action Desk – Sheffield’ Team on behalf of Kathleen Denton.

On September the first, 1939, I was evacuated with my school, from Birmingham. We boarded a train, carrying nametags and gas masks in cardboard boxes. We were waved off by our anxious parents as we left for an unknown destination. This turned out to be Warwick. There, we were taken round the streets in ‘crocodile’ fashion and allocated, in pairs, to any household that would take us. We felt very apprehensive.

My friend, Margaret Dunn and I stayed with a very kind couple, Mr. And Mrs. Squires; not used to children, but they looked after us very well. I kept in touch for many years afterwards. The house did not have a bathroom, which we had been used to, so we had to use a tin bath.

While we were in Warwick, we attended the local High School, sharing the building on a part time basis. After a year with no air raids, we returned to Birmingham, but that’s when the bombing started.