By Debbie Burstow
This account was related to me by Ruby Baines.
I remember one Sunday in May 1940, during the war, I was ten years old. We lived in a three bedroom council house in Hitchin, my mother,father,older sister and myself.
A coach drew up outside, it was full of boys from the Eastbourne Grammar School, who were being evacuated from their seaside town on the south coast as it was thought they could be in danger.
People were knocking on front doors, asking families if they could take in a boy for the night. Everyone went out to the coach to choose a child. At the end there was one small boy left. My mother felt sorry for him so she brought two boys home.
A camp bed was put up for me in my parents’ bedroom. My sister was moved into my small bedroom and the two boys, Brian and Bert, shared my sister’s double room.
Instead of for the night, the boys stayed on. Bert returned to Eastbourne several months later. Brian was with us for quite a few years.
How my mother managed to feed us all on the small rations was a miracle!