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WWII evacuee visits III Form

Posted on 26 March 2018 by Miss Emily Acton-Edmiston

On Friday 23 March, as part of their enrichment programme, III Form had the pleasure of welcoming Peter Whiting, an evacuee from WWII who now lives next door to Mr Denchfield!

Peter gave a fascinating talk on what it was like to move out of London aged 4 to the heart of the countryside to escape the relentless bombings of WWII. He described the experience as a ‘great adventure’, explaining to the pupils that at such a young age he was unaware of the gravity of the situation and as a result, did not feel scared. For him, riding on a steam train and moving from a small house in Harrow to a farm in the north of England was incredibly exciting!

As the war continued and Peter grew older, he began to understand the seriousness of what was going on. When he and his family were moved back to London, he attended ‘school’ in the candlelit tunnels under the city. The tunnels were damp and cold, with little in the way of facilities – no chairs to sit on and just slate and chalk to write with. Food was heavily rationed and when he was once given chewing gum, having never had a sweet treat like it before, he said it was like Christmas had come early!

Many thanks to Peter for taking the time to come and share his experiences and also to the pupils for asking lots of thoughtful questions.