World War II
Thank you to Jim Patience, now living in
Alberta Canada, for writing about his evacuation to Hawick in the Scottish
Borders, about 50 miles to the south of Edinburgh.
1939, at the start of World War II, we were living in a single-end
at 4a Canon Street, Canonmills, when I was evacuated to Hawick in
the Scottish Borders with my mother and brother..
I recently came
across the evacuation document. Here it is:
was just about 2 years old at the time, so I don't remember too much
Jim Patience, Alberta, Canada:
August 24, 2008
Thank you to Susan Draper for writing about
his evacuation to Innerleithen in the Scottish Borders, about 25 miles to
the south of Edinburgh.
mother, my two brothers and I were evacuated to Peebles t
the start of World War II. The
locals were not particularly friendly, referring to us as
We were all very unhappy and only stayed
for a few days, as my mother said she would rather put up with the
German air raids and, if it were to be,
die in her 'ain hoose'."
Peter Butler: Hennenman,
South Africa: February 7,
Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia
Thank you to Ian Thomson who wrote:
Evacuation to Australia
if children were evacuated to Australia in the summer of 1940 when
the invasion of Britain by the Germans seemed imminent."
Return to Stenhouse
"Many Edinburgh children were separated
from their families, spending the war years
safely in Australia. Amongst them were two sisters, Maureen
and Mabel Renny, aged 8 and 7, who returned to Edinburgh after the
war and lived in the Earl Haig Houses at Stenhouse."
Emigration to Canada
"The girls later
emigrated to Canada. During one of out trips to Calgary, in
the 1980s, we met Maureen, but then lost touch with the sisters, and
often wonder how they are now.
1940, many children were sent to the country to escape the bombing.
Though barely six, I remember spending time on a farm near Duns in
the Scottish Borders.
It seems, in
hindsight, to have
been a terrible risk to send ships loaded with children.
In fact, one was sunk by a u- boat
in the Atlantic with heavy loss of life.
Churchill cancelled the scheme in 1941."
Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia: May 17, 2011
Thank you to Rosemary Wilson who wrote
1939 my brother, Bill,
and I were evacuated from Edinburgh. I
remember the long train ride all the way up to Fort William.
halts along the way, people gave us water and
food. I remember green hats, perhaps they were WVS."
The Highland Hotel
"When we arrived, it was dark, and the streets were lined with
at us in silence, as we marched up to The Highland Hotel. We
all carried a gasmask and a paper bag containing a can of corned
beef and a can of condensed milk."
mother had come along as a helper, so she and I were given a room
with 2 single beds. When I woke in the morning, I was on the floor,
between the beds, covered with a quilt, having fallen out of bed in
marched to an open area where we were all lined up and sorted out in
age, for billeting and placement at schools. Mum, Bill and I
were billeted in a house for a few days, then Mum and I were sent
with a group of about 20 or 25, to Roy Bridge."
"Bill stayed in Fort William to attend High School, as he was 12.
Our group all stayed in Roy Bridge Hotel.. Mum and I had a room of
our own. We went to the small village school, I think there
were only 3 classroms, I remember it was very crowded."
Return to Edinburgh
Hotel was also too crowded, and conditions worsened. Following
some complaints from parents, all or most of the children had
returned home by Christmas.
had left earlier to stay with my Aunt in Glasgow, while Mum stayed
to help look after the remaining evacuees until arrangements could
Rosemary Wilson, Canada: May