The bombing became so intense in Liverpool some of the schools arranged for evacuation of students. My school went to North Wales where the war damage was not so great. Stanley Robinson was the name of my friend who was going. My older sister, Jean, made arrangements for me to go. Many students, the teachers, and headmaster went together. Classes were conducted in a church facility of some kind with the same teachers we had in Liverpool.
This evacuation seemed almost like a camping trip to me. I was used to running off on my bicycle with a friend of mine on the crossbar and we would stay overnight in a tent where my brother had hidden it on a farm pasture just outside of Liverpool at West Kirby. A meal we had on one of those night was cabbage leaves which we stole from a cabbage field.
So I got some things together in a pillow case with a few clothes and went to the railroad station a couple miles from my house. I had a name tag on me. An ammunition train was later blown up at that station.
We went by train to Llanbadden Fawr. When we got off the train we unloaded into a church auditorium where we were told to pick up a palliasse (sack), take it to a haystack and fill it with hay. Those were our beds for the night. Next day volunteer “foster parents” came to take us home with them. Stanley and I went together.
We went with the Dalton’s, a wealthy dentist who lived in a big house called Brookhouse. The Dalton’s spoke English most of the time. Stanley and I lived in a small cottage on the property; we ate with the maid in the big house. They had elaborate gardens with a full time gardener. They also had a maid, Lottie. I caught a couple fish in a river there. Lottie fried them for me. I don’t know what I used to catch them. Mr. Dalton liked to fish, but I was never invited to go with him. He did catch a big salmon one time which we all ate together. Mrs. Dalton used to send me to a store across the street for Pall Mall cigarettes for her.
They had two sons, Patrick and Michael and a daughter named Suzanne. Patrick was exempted from the armed forces because he was the oldest son. Michael was a 2nd Lt in the British Army; he was killed in the Invasion of Italy in the Strait of Merssina in Southern Italy.
Looking back I think we were rather pushed onto them. They were just doing their duty.
My sisters, Jean and May, came to visit me one time. The first time I used a telephone was at this house when Jean called to say they were coming to see me.
After about a year the bombing in Liverpool subsided. We all went back to our homes in Liverpool.
I flew to England in the nineties and visited Wales. Brookhouse was still there. Jean, Eric, Rhea, and I are pictured at the old place. I was unaware of who owned the place after many years. There was also a memorial to the son, Michael.
While we were there, we stopped at a hotel close to Brookhouse, and lo and behold, the owner there recognized me as being an evacuee as a boy back in the forties. I was astonished at this. She did not allow us to pay for what we had eaten.