SAM’S STORY, part 3 -EVACUATED INTO WALES

evacuees

Getty images: WW 2 about 1940

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  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.

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.

About oneta hayes

ABOUT ME Hello. To various folks I am Neat’nee, Mom, Grandma Neta, Gramma, Aunt Neta, Aunt Noni, Aunt Neno, and Aunt Neto (lots of varieties from little nieces and nephews). To some I’m more like “Didn’t you used to be my teacher?” or “Don’t I know you from someplace?” To you, perhaps, I am a Fellow Blogger. Not “fellow” like a male or a guy, but “fellow” like a companion or an adventurer. I would choose to be Grandma Blogger, and have you pull up a chair, my website before you, while I tell you of some days of yore. I have experienced life much differently than most of you. It was and is a good life. I hope to share nuggets of appreciation for those who have gone before me and those who come after me. By necessity you are among those who come after me and I will tell you of those who came before. Once upon a time in a little house on a prairie - oops, change that lest I commit plagiarism - and change that “house on the prairie” to “dugout on the prairie.” So my story begins...
This entry was posted in English childhood, evacuation, Hayes family, Sam's Story, Uncategorized, Wales, World War 2 and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to SAM’S STORY, part 3 -EVACUATED INTO WALES

  1. this keeps me on the edge of my seat!!!
    I’m telling you Oneta—-a book!
    And what a shame that although the family took the boys in, there was not an opportunity in their hearts to “bond” somewhat with their “guests”
    I would hope that those who fostered the English children who had to evacuate to the countryside, and in Sammy’s case, Wales, that there grew a genuine bond of kindness and caring…I would feel very protective I think if given such a responsibility.
    Ode to war…

    • oneta hayes says:

      You will enjoy the contrast with tomorrow’s foster family, as the Second Evacuation comes up. After Sam had dictated this to me, I was browsing a booklet re: this topic. It said that the decision to evacuate was voluntary but it was mandatory on the “foster parent” side. I wish I could find my booklet to quote exactly. I’ll probably find it….maybe. It sees to be very easy for me to lose things these days.

  2. Faye says:

    This is a good and interesting.story For my husband born in the middle of the blitz my mother in law who lost her baby because of the collapse of chalk walls in an air -raid shelter this story is a positive look at the folks who tried so hard to get their children to a place of safety. Particularly if memories are of gratitude and and the open-hearted kindness of most. thank you. Great story!.

    • oneta hayes says:

      Sounds like your husband has a story in him. You have succeeded with the book thing. Perhaps you could do a historical fiction. Sounds good. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Carole Burgess says:

    Enjoying these stories. DIFFERENT TIME. DIFFERENT PLACE but great history

    • oneta hayes says:

      It is quite novel to me. I’ve heard his stories on occasion but not in a chronological way. I’ve enjoyed putting it together with him. Thank you for reading…and commentng.

  4. Happy birthday to Sam Hayes! I am enjoying this story, Oneta. ❤❤

  5. oneta hayes says:

    Thanks for the birthday blessing. And for the kind words. Sammy was telling my sister many more stories today. I don’t plan anymore this week but there might be more coming some day. I’m getting followers among my family. That’s novel. They sort of take me with a grain of salt. 😀

  6. Logan Berry says:

    Oh how I have loved reading these. ♥️ Have always loved hearing stories from my maw over the years 🤍

    • oneta hayes says:

      Hey, Logan, it is a nice surprise to find you here on Word Press. I don’t see a link, but let me know if you do. In fact, I’d love to know if any others in the family have blogs. I used to try to get Esther to do one. She is such a good writer. And a wise counselor with much experience. Wish she would. You tell her. 😀

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