My Memories of my evacuation in Kettering


By Janet Ireland

I remember being sent away with my brother David during the war.  We were ages 4 and 6 and the instructions were that we should not be separated. I remember sleeping on a camp bed in a hall and then being taken around the streets in Kettering on the back of a lorry (I think) and our charges were knocking on doors for someone to take us in.

We were eventually taken in by a family with seven children. We were not wanted and were ill treated. My brother was given the belt and we were put out on the street hungry every day. When my mother rang us we were too frightened to say what was happening. I remember sitting in a shop doorway crying and some very kind Nun's befriended us. They used to bring us sandwiches every day and take us into WicksteedPark.

After what seemed like a lifetime we were moved to a farm. From rags to riches. There was a boy the same age as my brother we called "Buff". We had a nanny who used to read us stories around a big fire at night. We ate wonderful food (they had a cook), which we had never had before. We played for hours on the farm, collecting windfalls etc.

My Grandmother came to visit us from Catford and took my brother and I to Wicksteed park. We were in the top of the wheel and another boy lifted up the safety rail and we all fell out. I was in hospital for sometime after that - I had concussion. I remember someone coming to collect me from the hospital with a big pram and my brother gave me his toy aeroplane. I also remember being given a shredded wheat box while I was in hospital - I think it must have been Christmas and was donated by the RAF. Inside was a pair of navy blue socks which I really treasured. My beloved brother David passed away with a heart attack on 17 October 1987.

I know Buff had an elder sister who I think went to University or a Boarding School - we never saw her much but she had very long plaits. Our names were David and Janet Angus. The only recollection of the farm owners name is something like Holmsley. If anyone knows of this family I would love to get in touch with them and thank them.

My biggest regret was that I always blamed my mother for sending us away, I did not realise that the schools were closed down and she had no choice.



This page was added by Janet Ireland on 01/06/2013.

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MLA Department for Education and Skills DCMS Learn with museums Kettering Borough Council