"Wrenched from their homes by the grim hand of war."

The Wolverton Express newspaper of Friday 8th. September reported the scenes at Wolverton station as some 3,500 evacuees arrived. Older children (says the Express) seemed to regard the experience as a holiday whilst the young ones looked tired and bewildered.

There was a lot of confusion as little information had been given out: parents, children and even the teachers accompanying them had no idea when or where they were going. Some children were seen at Wolverton carrying buckets as they thought they were going to the seaside.

Local resident May Garner was among the first wave of evacuees who left London before the declaration of war. To hear her recollection of the preparation for evacuation click here.

When the evacuees arrived at Wolverton station they formed into groups with their teachers and marched in line to the Science and Art Institute. Local residents in Church Street and Creed Street lined the route with chairs so that tired travellers could rest a while and take a drink.

At the Science and Art Institute each evacuee received a large green carrier bag which contained food for 48hours. This ration comprised one tin of meat, one tin each of sweetened and unsweetened milk, two packets of biscuits and a bar of chocolate.

From the Institute, evacuees were taken by bus to various locations, the children who were to be billeted in Old Bradwell were taken to the village hall. There waiting for them was Jim Smith (the billeting officer) and the householders who had agreed to take them.

May Garner describes the scene.

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