Q&A: Edna Glover talks about life as a WWII evacuee

Q&A: Edna Glover
Q&A: Edna Glover

Leaving your family at the tender age of 11 to escape the bombs raining down on your home city sounds like a harrowing scenario.

But Edna Glover, 85, of Thames Road, Grantham, has fond memories of her time spent as an evacuee.

Here, Edna explains why she has so many fond memories of growing up during the Second World War.

** How did you come to be evacuated?

I lived in Waltham Forest in East London and I was 11 when I was evacuated. It was April 3, 1940. I wasn’t billeted with a family like some people were. When I went the whole school went, including the teachers. We went to mixed school in a Holsham in Sussex. The camps were built by the Government before the war started because the Government knew that if we had a war the children would be sent away to safety in the countryside. So I grew up there. I was nearly 16 when I left and came home in August, 1945. So I grew up in the country but people still say I have a bit of a London accent.

** How did you find moving away so young?

I have very fond memories. Happy memories. I enjoyed it and it got you away from the bombing in East London. I learned a lot of skills. I learned shorthand and typing while I was away. We learned the sorts of things that came in handy for after school so it was easy to get a job.

**Were you able to see your family during the five years?

We had coaches laid on so visitors could come and visit us. My mother was not well enough to come but my brothers and sisters did come to see me.

**Why were your brothers and sisters not evacuated?

I was the youngest in the family. My mother had three boys and three girls and I was the youngest by quite a few years. My mother was in her 40s when she had me. She was born in 1882.

**Did you miss your family?

No, I didn’t. I was having too much fun! There were four dormitories and they had a dining hall to go and have all of your meals. They had an assembly hall and every morning we would say our prayers. I actually learned to dance there.
It was a jolly good education we had. I never got to go back but I would have liked to.

**Why did you have to go back to London while the war and the bombing of London continued?

Because I was 16 and that was the date of leaving. I came home just in time for the Doodlebugs and the V1 rockets so I found it very noisy after the quiet of the countryside. I used to walk along the street and the unmanned rockets - you could hear the noise of them going over. Then it would suddenly stop and you wondered where it was going to fall. The street next to my mother’s was flattened by the war but my mother was lucky, she did not have any bombs where she lived.

**Have you been able to keep in touch with any of your friends from your days as an evacuee?

You wouldn’t believe that all these years after the war people are still corresponding with people they were evacuated with and telling each other stories about it all. But I haven’t found anyone yet who was evacuated at the same time as me. I got in touch with the Essex and East London Group of the Evacuees’

Association hoping to meet people that were also

evacuated, but I’ve not heard back from them yet.