Evacuees Research help

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by katrinateobald, Nov 1, 2013.

  1. Hello everyone,

    My name is Katrina Teobald and I am currently conducting some research into WW2 evacuees. I was wondering if people could help me hence why I am posting on this forum.

    I am at present a researcher at Shiny Things Productions who are looking into creating a true stories film about evacuees during WW2, in particular those who were evacuated around the time of the Blitz.

    I am personally researching WW2 and those that were evacuated in and around the time of the Blitz. I am looking for people from a variety of backgrounds to share with me their true life stories and memories of being evacuated, what it was like, how it affected them etc. I am also interested in people who were reunited years later or who have letters and photos of their time as an evacuee.

    I am obviously aware that this subject matter can be upsetting or awkward for people to talk about and would only seek to offer people the chance to tell their stories and be heard. The stories would not be altered in any way but would be told exactly how they happened. Many films and documentaries skim over the subject of evacuees but this true life film would put the events at the heart of the film. My own grandmother was an evacuee so I would treat each person and their story with the respect it deserves.

    I am aware that many of you might have submitted your stories to the BBC WW2 Peoples War archives however this project is completely different. We are in no way trying to exploit these memories. We would not change the stories we film in any way given to us either by the child themselves or siblings and/or any correspondence available from that time. I am only interested in peoples own true life stories and telling those stories as accurately as possible.

    If anybody would like to share their stories then please either post them on this forum or email them to me at katrinateobald@gmail.com . Or if you would rather talk to me then call me on 07565858436.

    Thank you in advance for reading this post.

    Katrina Teobald
  2. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member


    Are you only interested in internal evacuees, or do you wish to include the children who were eacuated overseas in the 1940s under the Corb scheme, the many evacuated from France in June 1940 and Singapore 1942. I can help with these overseas operations.

  3. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

  4. Hi thanks for the replies,

    Roy, I am interested in all evacuees that would like to tell their story so anybody who was evacuated overseas would be perfect. I would appreciate any advice you can give me.

    CL1 thank you for the links, they were really useful and insightful.

    Thanks again
  5. ritsonvaljos

    ritsonvaljos Senior Member

    Good day Katrina,

    I was one of the volunteer researchers for the BBC "People's War" project. Some of the stories I obtained were from evacuees. For anyone who is interested they will find these articles on that website. Schools do refer to this database, particularly those relating to evacuees, as there are teachers who have told me this.

    However, with the passage of time, inevitably many of the people who were evacuated have passed away or may no longer be well enough to do taped interviews that you wish to do.

    If you are interested in specifically researching and recording memories of evacuees and the Blitz, why not do something about the women and children who were evacuated to London and other British cities that were bombed during the Blitz? Strange as it may seem to most people in the post-war era, many Gibraltarian women and children were evacuated to London in 1940. They lived there during the Blitz even though many women and children from London and the South East had been evacuated from those areas.

    Just walk along Main Street, Gibraltar and talk to many of the local O/70s who will tell you about their evacuation to wartime London, Jamaica, Madeira, etc. Or, you could contact the Gibraltar Garrison Library and ask if you can speak to Mr Robert Wheeler (one of the volunteer guides and researchers at the Library). Mr Wheeler spent his earliest days as an evacuee before moving back to Gibraltar after the war.

    These are all true stories worth recording and telling for future generations. It is a fine and worthwhile undertaking you are working on.

    For some background reading:

    (a) this is a link to one of the BBC "People's War" articles about the Gibraltarian evacuees:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/78/a2494578.shtml ;

    (b) this is a link to one of my own articles about Gibraltar's evacuees (after the "People's War" site had been closed for new submissions):
    http://2ndww.blogspot.co.uk/2011/01/gibraltar-evacuees-of-ww2.html?showComment=1305635713035 .

    When your team eventually produces the documentary programme / series for television, perhaps you could post the details to this website? It would be interesting to see the end result whenever that may be.

    Good luck.
  6. ritsonvaljos

    ritsonvaljos Senior Member

    A recent photograph I took of the memorial tablet for the Gibraltarian evacuees of 1940 (located in the lobby of the Parliament building):

    Attached Files:

  7. Roy Martin

    Roy Martin Senior Member

    Hello Katrina,

    As you will have gathered it's a big subject. I attach the text of a chapter about CORB. There are at least two books on the subject. As you will see my interest is in the merchant ships that carried them

    As ritsonvaljos has told you Gibraltar civilians were evacuated, many via Morocco. British, Polish, Czech and other men, women and children were evacuated from most parts of France in the three weeks after Dunkirk. Similarly there was the disasterous evacuation of Singapore in February 1942, where many died.


    Duplicated file, must have hit a key twice!

    Attached Files:

  8. Hi thank you for your responses,

    Ritsonvaljos thank you for your advice and information. I am finding that some people are unwell and I of course will not disturb or upset them. I have taken my research down the path of those that were evacuated from Gibraltar as well as those evacuated elsewhere in the world to extend the contributors and give a wider sense of the period of time.

    Roy thank you for your information too, the chapter about CORB was very interesting to read and has helped my research and understanding enormously.

    When the programme is produced I will place a link on this site so that everyone can see it. I would be interested in people's responses to the final product.

    On a general note to everyone, those that contact me to share their memories do not have to have theirs included on the film if they do not want. I would like to collect all and any stories on paper so that my research and understanding will be strengthened and the final product will be so much more real and honest.

    Thank you all once again

    ritsonvaljos likes this.
  9. South

    South Member

    My Dad was evacuated from London - to a village which subsequently got bombed and my Granma decided they were safer in London...he arrived back just in time for the Blitz. So I doubt his story would be of much use but I shall mention this to him anyway :)
  10. ritsonvaljos

    ritsonvaljos Senior Member

    Good luck with the project, Katrina.
  11. Hi South

    although the projects main focus is around the Blitz I am including other evacuation stories so if your dad would like to share his story with me I would be very happy to have it. Any memories are of use, no matter how big or small they are all just as important.

  12. Brigsy

    Brigsy Member

    Hi Katrina,

    My fathers family hail from a small rural village in Yorkshire called Bishop Wilton and like many other such places the residents there took in evacuees during the height of the bombing campaign, in their case from Hull and Sunderland.

    In 2001 the villages local history group did some considerable research and located a number of the former evacuees, re-uniting them with the residents and at the same time recording their stories. Whilst this is not directly relevant to your own research I thought that you might find it of interest and have attached some links below.




    Please note that I do not have any direct involvement with this particular research other than in a having a personal interest in my own family history and would therefore suggest that you contact the history group direct via their website should you require any further information on their research.

    I hope that you find it of some interest and wish you well in your own research,


  13. Hi David

    Thank you for the information and links. They are of great help to my research and I will be contacting the history group to ask them for advice and help.

    Thank you again


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