Year 6 Interview an Evacuee

Published

The village of Rowde in Wiltshire. The cottage in the middle in the background is where Mrs Blanch stayed as an evacuee in 1939.
Mrs Blanch was only aged 7 when she was evacuated.
Mrs Blanch (bottom left) with other evacuees.

Year 6 were tremendously privileged this week to have the opportunity to interview Mrs Blanch, a grandparent of one of our Year 6 pupils. Mrs Blanch was evacuated from London to Wiltshire in September 1939, at the outbreak of the Second World War, and she kindly shared her stories and personal memories with us.

The Year 6 pupils had prepared questions and took it in turns to ask Mrs Blanch about her experiences. The questions were too numerous to list but here are some examples:

How did you feel when you had to say goodbye to your family?

What did you pack to take with you?

What did you enjoy most about being an evacuee?

Were you ever in an air raid?

Were you short of food during the war?

Was your host family kind to you?

Did you carry a gas mask? Did you ever have to wear it?

The children were thrilled to hear about Mrs Blanch's encounter with Italian prisoners of war, and of the kind American soldier who gave her a chocolate bar. We were thankful to hear that although she witnessed a dog-fight in the sky between two fighter planes, and had a terrifying experience of an air raid, Mrs Blanch and her family were unharmed during the war years and were gladly reunited when her time as an evacuee ended.

We would like to sincerely thank Mrs Blanch for giving so generously of her time and being so willing to share her personal stories with us. It was a memorable afternoon that Year 6 will never forget.