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Britain's Wartime Evacuees: The People, Places and Stories of the Evacuations Told Through the Accounts of Those Who Were There (Voices from the Past) Kindle Edition
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The book is a valuable account of the effect the evacuation had on children, parents and foster parents.
I consider it is important that this book is read not only today, but the excellent comprehensive information it contains must always be available in libraries and will be essential for researchers in the future.
Review of “Voices From The Past – Britain’s Wartime Evacuees”
By Gillian Mawson
First, let me declare an interest; I was a Guernsey war-time evacuee at age 4 years.
It is immediately apparent that this book is the result of extensive research. The recollections of evacuees are arranged in chapters with linking prose by the author. Each contribution is referenced with a sequential number with the contributor and source given in the notes at the end of the book.
The work is well-written and gives a very good account of the many aspects of the huge organisational undertaking which was the evacuation of mainly children from perceived dangerous areas of Great Britain, the Channel Islands and Gibraltar. It does not shrink from reporting where problems were experienced; for the evacuees, their relatives, and for those charged with caring, supervising and fostering.
It is apparent that many people found the switching of home life from one family to another and then back again a traumatic experience. Some suffered mentally, some physically and some materially. Others grew to love their wartime carers more than their own family, and some of these took up permanent residence with their carers after the war.
It is clear that some evacuees remembered far more than others. Some names crop up in several chapters, with relatively lengthy stories. I marvel at this because I have only one recollection of my journey from home to a new address in Bolton; our ship passing a somewhat rusty “gun tower” at the entrance to the English harbour. Certain periods in my evacuation are blank, but this book gives me plenty of ideas as to what might have happened during those periods.
All-in-all, this is a fascinating record of a difficult period in our history. I recommend it.
30 January 2017
An eye-opening read!