Author Topic: Evacuation WW2  (Read 216 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline castle261

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 336
Re: Evacuation WW2
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2020, 09:37:22 AM »
A small world Mr Smith, YOU stay where you are, this virus is going to come & go for some years yet.
I should have been awarded the `Defence Medal ` for being in the A.R.P.  I found out that a lad in
Maidstone was a Messenger, had his sent through the post. I got in touch with the Medal Office, in
London, filling in the form. Obtained the form, on here -- (Sept 1941 to Aug 15th 1945) -- Reply was
 ` You have the necessary qualification (just under 4 years) -- the qualifying time does not start
until you are 16. My brother who was 2 years older than me, never got one either. (we lived at
the same address the whole time, of the war) -- Reply was by letter -- Keep healthy Dave.


As for `Guess the place ` I do not know east of Canterbury -- very well -- but two places came up
that I knew -- Have a guess.

Offline Dave Smith

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 133
Re: Evacuation WW2
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2020, 11:21:16 PM »
castle261. Yes, I delivered messages between ARP posts. I am about to start my 9th week of isolation, possibly returning home at the end of the original agreed 3 months for I don't want to overstay my welcome. We have a very big garden which keeps us busy all the time. Also 3 dogs that need walking so I do get some much needed exercise. When we do go out, it's easy to keep clear of others 'cos there isn't anyone! We're 2 miles from the village. I read occasionally & keep in touch with my ex RAF friends around the world by e-mail & of course the KHF. I can't take part in the " guess the place" for I didn't live there long enough to know it all well but I do read most posts, many I find most interesting. Isn't it strange how one word can bring back distant memories! In my case 75 years & the word " flimsy". If I remember correctly, the material required for a job was written on an order pad & signed- with 2 carbon copies ( flimsies)- by the charge hand. You collected the material & the storeman kept the top copy, signed, & you returned the pad to the c/h. And YOU would have collected one these?   

Offline castle261

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 336
Re: Evacuation WW2
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2020, 03:13:57 PM »
Well Dave Smith, You are not missing much, as I have been in isolation now for two months,
started March 10 2020. I live in a flat, literally on the riverside, with a garden, where I have
made a `putting` area, using a walking stick as a putter, & rolled up Kitchen foil as golf balls,


Now have a small ball + some rubber rings for `holes`-- I keep a score `in` & `out`- I have
not been outside my front gate since March 10th, I can see traffic (what there is of it ) that
travels along my road. I keep a diary on here ( under my first entry ) so you have to go back,
to read it ) -- I defrosted my fridge, as it was so warm yesterday.


You say you were an A.R.P. Runner, is that the same as I was in 1941 -- An A.R.P Messenger.
I worked for Short`s in 1941 -- in the Production Office, just outside the Main Gate. I liked it.
A 14 year old boy`s dream, among those Sunderlands in No 3 shop. -- I delivered `Flimsies `.
to the various stores. -- Where I lived, we could not have an `Anderson` air raid shelter, we
had a `Morrison `shelter, in the living room. My sister was a dilute electrical fitter, during the
war, in `B station`at the No 3 basin. -- I think on reflection, that Hitler wanted the dockyard
area to be the area, where his supplies were moved to, when he invaded Kent.
Are you keeping busy in rural Scotland -- Dave Smith. I write stories as well, in the garden
I originally wanted to join the A.T.C.but -- I was too young at 14,so i joined the A.R.P.

Offline Dave Smith

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 133
Re: Evacuation WW2
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2020, 02:20:19 PM »
Castle261. In my isolation, I'm looking back to earlier posts. Yes, I can believe it- just!- for the idea was to get children out of the " target areas". However, the fact that you walked all the way from Newington & back on a Sunday is amazing. I know we walked everywhere before the war- buses cost money!- & we used to walk to my Aunt & Uncle in Palmerston Road from Gillingham cemetery for Sunday tea on occasion, but Newington! Part 2; my memories of WW2. July 1942 home aged 12 to start school at the County in 3rd Ave. Air raids were ongoing but mostly passing over the Medway towns to some other poor souls. (In retrospect, it seems strange that the Medway towns got off so lightly for we had the Dockyard, Shorts(2 sites), Royal Marines, Royal Engineers, HMS Pembroke, et al.). However, you never knew, so nights were often spent in our Anderson shelter in the back garden, sometimes being awoken by the siren( on Woodlands Road museum) in the early hours & hurrying down there in the dark. Often the ack ack battery by Gillingham golf course would open up- so loud it sounded like "next door"! And twice the" Z battery" between the top of Cornwallis Ave. & Beatty Ave. sent their rockets up. The whole sky lit up orange so was a bit frightening the first time. It seems that they could only be fired if the enemy a/c were over the Medway estuary because of the debris they left. My dad was in the Home Guard & manned these from time to time, but not when they were fired. I remember when he was issued with his rifle, my elder sister & I fought to hold it & smashed the living room lampshade! He wore glasses for reading & said he put them on the see the sights but couldn't see the target, so took them off to see that...! My sister was in the Land Army, based on a farm in Hoo. Which was very convenient for the No.19 bus went Cemetery to Hoo! She came home at week ends when not working. My Dad , an electrical fitter on submarines, worked all hours. Left home at 07.00, cycled to work for 07.30 & usually got back at 18 or 19.00. Fire picket in the Yard 1 night a month & Home Guard every w/end- & once a month a night on the "Z Battery". I never heard him complain! My friend next door, Roy Barnard, went to Holcombe Tech. & was given Aircraft of the Fighting Powers Vol.1 for Christmas. I borrowed it & that started me off on making model aircraft out of wood. My Dad was able to get me offcuts of various woods from the Yard & everything was made by hand with saw, chisel, plane, file & sandpaper in "the shed". At school we had a model club & someone was able to get genuine dope of the right colours & put it into small jars. Transfers were available from a model shop in the High Street to finish the models. From then on, I put all my b'day & C'mas money ( + some from my paper round) toward buying Vols.2,3,4,5,6,& 7. So I virtually knew every aircraft flying in the world( I also had the Aeroplane Spotter weekly) & had dozens of models hanging up from the ceiling in my bedroom by the time the war ended. At school we had ground level air raid shelters, brick walls & concrete slab roof, with wooden forms running along each side. When the air raid siren went we filed out & in, until the all clear. I joined the School scout troop- 43rd Medway- in the Kingfisher patrol ( P/L, Pete Kentsbeer, Ken Everest, "Lucy" Locket, me, John Boulter- later of B&W Minstrels fame- & John Noble). Our motto was " Swift Yet Sure" ; nowadays my motto is "Slow & Hopefully Sure"! I had a great time there, Saturdays in Tank Woods- across from Darland Banks having twist & damper competitions & camping in Hoath Woods. Later in the war, I borrowed my Dad's bike to become an ARP runner at the w/ends. By that time the doodle bugs had arrived, all day & every day, very occasionally at night. The pulse jet was very distinctive- I can hear it now! Mostly they were just passing overhead going West, but a few did come down in the Medway area. One in particular i remember for the result was devastating. The coastal express -full- was on its way to London & was between Sittingbourne & Rainham when a Mustang " tipped"( wing under wing, so lifting upset the stabilising gyro & down!). It landed on a road bridge a short distance before the train, which had no chance of stopping & many were killed & injured. If you look at the map; A2 running E/W, parallel to railway, every so often a lane N/S. Nothing but agricultural land for miles. And Bang, one bridge! From then on, I've always believed in fate! I didn't do too well at the County on the academic side- Latin, etc.- so took the Shorts entrance exam in 1945, going there as an apprentice fitter & sheet metal worker in July 1945 at 15. We had day release + one evening to go to the Medway Tech. in Gardner St. G'ham & I did so much better there. The next year I joined 312 Sqdn. ATC ( City of Rochester), so my love of aircraft continued. I've passed VE day( see my comments elsewhere) so goodbye for now. Any Qestions? 

Offline castle261

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 336
Re: Evacuation WW2
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2019, 11:29:08 AM »
Can you believe it Dave -- We from Glencoe Road school in Chatham -- was sent to ---- Newington.
By train --- Gillingham -- Rainham --- then Newington --- all get out. Billited in ---- Church Lane.
We walked home from Newington one Sunday, mother gave us a dinner then sent us back.


In the mid 1940`s, we were evacuated again to Pontardawe in South Wales, that was 10 miles   North of Swansea. We watched Swansea burn during the 3 day night blitz, terrible. We were
only there for I year, then we came home ---------- I was 13 and three quarters.

Offline AlanTH

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 45
Re: Evacuation WW2
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2019, 09:17:48 AM »
Thanks Dave S. I was evacuated as were my siblings...elder sister and brother to the west country I believe and mum and me as a small babe to Sheffield Yorkshire. Some have disputed that but I have my old ID card still with the address on it. Fighter Command had control of the northern skies by then so Sheffield was much safer.
This was in early 1944 not long after I was born. Mum and I were sent to one place and she got very disturbed by the amount of male comings and going at all hours of the day and night and realised she had been sent to a BROTHEL!!
Anyway she went out into the road an stopped a car (very few of them in those days) and it was driven by a local doctor who immediately took us somewhere else for safety.
Not sure of other details (Dad died at age 52 in 1958 with smoking related diseases and Mum at 90 out here in Sydney Australia) but we were there for quite a long time before it was deemed safe to return to Rochester. Dad of course had continued to work at Shorts on the Esplanade.
AlanTH.


Offline Dave Smith

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 133
Evacuation WW2
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2019, 07:05:06 PM »
All this was on the old KHF but for posterity here it is again. I was a 9 year old at Barnsole Road School, Gillingham. The day before war was declared, we were evacuated by train to Herne Bay as the Medway Towns were a military target.( My friend next door went to Sandwich with Gillingham County School). At H.B.,we were taken to a local hall & residents, who had said they would take evacuees, chose- or were given?-the number they had agreed to. Donald Obray & self went with Mrs. Duncan to 8, New Street. Mr.&Mrs. had 2 boys ( 1 my age,1 2yrs.older) & a girl about 16, working as a chamber maid at a local hotel. Mr. Tom worked as a lorry driver & delivery man for the gas board, collecting coal/coke from the station yard, bagging it & delivering.( Very occasionally we were allowed to go with him on a Saturday morning- bliss!). Mrs. did a cleaning job at the hotel. Quite a poor family but big hearted! Of course, we were rationed with most things, alto' not too bad at that time so we ate well. I remember the next day, I'd been out & on my way back, suddenly there was this LOUD, deafening wailing of the siren on top of the fire station round the corner( obviously 11am when war was declared). We went to the  local school mornings one week, afternoons the next, & the local children did vise versa. The rest of the time we were looked after by " helpers"- mostly wives who'd also been evacuated- or had "free time" to wander wherever. Being the sea side, there were plenty of places to explore! After a year ( the phoney war), France had fallen, so we needed to go the other way & our school went to Bargoed in South Wales( the County went to Rhymney). Because my parents said they would never be able to see me- too far, too costly- an Aunt agreed to have me, so I ended up in Shepperton, Middx. for 2 years. I came back home in July 1942 & met up with all my friends who also came home at about that time. ( part2 another time).