- the children's section of the 24 Hour Museum.
Pick a topic
Games and Fun
Places to go
show and tell
Get in touch
About Us
The Big Draw

  Webby Awards Nominee logo

  The British Academy Award is based on a design by Mitzi Cunliffe - the children's section of the 24 Hour Museum. - the children's section of the 24 Hour Museum. April 21 2014
Accessibility | Site Map
We show you cool stuff from the UK's museums and galleries
Home  > Show and Tell  > Compton Primary's Evacuee Letters

Compton Primary's Evacuee Letters

The children at Compton Primary School in Plymouth have been learning about World War Two. They all imagined they were children who were evacuated from their homes in cities to stay with people in the country, to escape the bombing.

Shows a black and white photo of six children at the window of a train, dating from World War Two. Two girls in the middle are holding dolls.

Photo: these evacuees are on their way to the country in this photo from the Imperial War Museum collection.

See bottom of page for ©.

Being an evacuee must have been scary and exciting at the same time. The children had to leave their families and homes behind and try to fit in with host families in the country.

Have a read of these letters - we reckon they sum up perfectly how evacuees must have felt.

This first one is by Jack and Robbie.

"Dear mum,
are you all right what has been damiged.
I am getting on realy well with my host famley.
Thay are called the Reeds.
There names are Jimmy,Albert and Clarice.
There nabers are realy nice and funny and thay have cherch every week.It is very boring!.On the train somewon opisite me wet there selves.
It was discusting.We saw some sheep in a feild.

Photo: the National Archives have a great section on evacuees on their Learning Curve site.

Image © National Archives.

Shows an illustration from a web page, in the style of a 1940's propaganda poster. The image is in shades of green with the words 'When were children evacuated from their homes in Britain?' written in white acrosss it.

Alex and Jack's letter is short but sweet...

"Dear Mum
the train journey was good and I saw a cow when I saw the billeting officer she said come with me and she took me to my foster parent.
The house is very nice and had a swim in the river.
all my love Henry"

Catherine and Tegan put their imaginations into overdrive for this letter... watch out, it's full of bodily fluids!

"Dear Mum,
It Was so sad to see you stay.The journey was awful, Alice wet herself and she was sick all over me,But we saw cows in a field,it was fascinating.We were taken to the village hall where we were picked by adults,luckily me and Alice stayed together in the same house.We were picked by Mr and Mrs Kinsman, they're really strict. At school Mr Kinsman's my teacher,I have to spend a whole day with him.Alices teacher is realy nice he's called Mr Clark.I ruined my shoes in the pigs' pen and when Mr Kinsman found out he went bonkers.
We'll write back as soon as posible

Shows a photo of a letter written in black, in cursive handwriting, on white paper. The writing is too small to read.

Photo: this letter from the Imperial War Museum's collection is from a young girl to her father.

Click here to read the letter on the Children of World War Two site from the BBC and the Imperial War Museum.

This letter by William and Jordan is a brave one don't you think? Their character Edward is trying not to worry his mum.

"Dear mother
I was sad to leave you at the station.We saw a meadow of horses. While the sun went down a nice lady told me where to go when we arrived there Then I got picked .Then we arrived at a farm. mrs sharp told me were my room was she asked if I wanted a drink. I helped her in the farm.My new school is very nice I have made new frends my techer is nice too.I hope dad is safe in the war.
All my love Edward xxxxxxx"

Lewis and Josh wrote the next one. It sounds as if they're going to have their hands full with the animals on their farm!

"Dear mum
I got your letter.And I can not wait for that cardigan you are going to send me.I had a nice journey but the person next to me though up over me.Thank god no fires came up your way from the the bombs.My teacher isnt as nice as the one at home.Im ok at school some people are nice to host family have a little boy called Edwad but he is nice.How is home I raelly want to know.That cardigan you sent me fits thank you.The family have four geese five pigs and a pony called Tilly.
The family some times lets me ride the pony.I hope you are ok.
all my love
Albert xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"

Photo: posters were used during the war to remind parents that evacuation was a good thing.

Find out more about this one on the What Was Life LIke In The Second World War? site from the Imperial war Museum.

Shows a poster from WW2. It is a drawing of a mother sitting with two children by a tree. A ghost-like image of Hitler is whispering 'take them back' in her ear. The poster says 'Don't Do It Mother, Leave The Children Where They Are' at the bottom.

This little girl is living with the Pilkingtons - what do you think they look like? They sound a bit odd...

"Dear Mummy
It is very nice liveing with Mr and Miss pilkington .
You may not think they look nice but they are really nice.
Thank you for my presenters at chistrmas they look really nice.
And tell nana thank you for my lovley fan. My foster perants are really nice i love my bedroom because their are really nice boys and grils. I wish you were here with me and dad. Just to say on the train i saw a school with a big playground. Soon i will be going their.
lots of love
Beatrice xxxxxxxxxxxx"

This was written by Emma and Beatrice.

More bodily fluids from Will, Marty and Kyle in this letter - we're very glad we weren't on these trains!

"Dear Mum
I was sick on the journey and the girl opposite me wet herself.We also saw a big fat pig and a cow.
My new parents are Mr and Mrs Ljungberg.They are really nice to me.They have four children.The house is really nice they have a large sofa.
My teacher is horrible she's really nasty.George got hit with a wooden stick.
.Thank you for the shorts you sent me. I hope your ok?
All My Love,

Shows a black and white photo of a young boy sitting on a woman's knee. Both are smiling.

Photo: this is a photo of a young boy called Marcel Ladenheim, with Olga Masoli, the woman who looked after him during WW2.

It's part of a show called 'Am I My Brother's Keeper?' at The Jewish Museum, Finchley.

This letter was written by Natasha and Kerry. Again, they're being very brave about the evacuation and looking on the bright side as much as they can.

"Dear Mother and Father
My jouney was really adventurous.I saw all the animals on the farm .
There were lambs, Cows and horses.
When I got to the Country side I got picked first,my foster parents are wonderful.They had two children allready.
I hope you are ok after the raids.I heard that there had been lots of fires started.
My new nighoubours are called Mr and Mrs Bllosr.They are nice people, but I know that the dog is wounderful .
All my love,

Our last letter is by Fleur. Her character is very unhappy about the war.

"Dear mother
we're having a great time on the farm. mr & mrs sprat are being very kind,but there are lots of chores to do. if your working in the factory I could come and help you becuse I miss you and dad alot .
why do the germans have to drop bombs all the time then we could stay at home just me ,you, dad , may and of course the cats and the dog .
for a momant on your letter I thought you were going to say she died from the blitz.
lets pray that dads alright I'd kill the germans if they kill him.
all the love that I posses
may xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx"

Thank you so much Compton Primary for sending in the letters. We really enjoyed reading them. We'll get some goodies off in the post to you very soon.

(Top Image: Courtesy Imperial War Museum, neg number AP7455B. Do not reprint without permission.)

Even more children from Compton Primary have been busy writing even more wonderful letters!

Click on the links to read page 2 and read page 3 of the letters.

Thank you so much all of you who wrote letters - we love hearing from you!

Story by Anra Kennedy.