Memories of evacuation from Eastbourne to Oxhey in 1940


I lived in Eastbourne when World war 2 started. When bombs started to fall (I remember the gasworks being hit! ), it was decided to evacuate the local schools. I was at All Souls school, the headmaster was Mr Philpot.
We were sent, (complete with gas masks) to Oxhey, where we were lined up, and selected by the local ladies. I was billeted with Mr and Mrs Brammer, who lived at 168 Hillcroft Crescent. They lived in a bungalow, and I slept in a camp bed in the central hall. I have attempted to find it on Google maps, but it appears that it no longer exists, and has been replaced by a larger house, using two neighbouring plots.However there is a bungalow opposite which I believe is like the one in which I stayed.

Then I was moved ( I believe my mother was not happy with my sleeping arrangements), and went to live with Mr and Mrs Westall and their son John, at 52 Oaklands avenue, where I slept in a small bedroom.


School at Oxhey Hall Community Centre

It was arranged for us to go to school in the Oxhey hall community centre. The large hall was partitioned into four sections. One area was used by a Catholic school, and my school had another section. We could overhear each others lessons very clearly! My class was taught by a miss Molyneux.

We used the tennis court as a playground, and received many grazed knees from falling on the loose gravel surface. When the air raid syren sounded, we all hid under the billiard table in the next room.

I remember the names of some of the boys, There was a John Buckner, Joe Tyroll, and ? Dodd.

My father was released from the Royal Air Force to do factory work at Slough, so I was reunited with my Parents in lodgings at Naphill, near High Wycombe.

This page was added on 22/01/2020.

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  • On reflection, I do not clearly remember that 168 Hillcroft crescent was a bungalow! I was not there long, and 80 year old memories can be unreliable, so I have concluded that I was mistaken. I do remember that there was a Spinney, or small wood at the end of the garden, where I played. I believe that I slept on a camp bed, and that was why my mother had me moved.

    By John Lipscombe (11/02/2020)