Memories of my evacuation to Oxhey in 1940

I lived in Eastbourne when WW2 broke out, and when the bombs started dropping, it was decided to evacuate my school, In June 1940, we were evacuated , and seven of us arrived at Oxhey, complete with gas masks. When we arrived, we were assembled, and selected by local people.

I was billeted with Mr and Mrs Brammer, who lived at 168 Hillcroft Crescent. I believe Mr Brammer was a Draughtsman for the railway, because he drew a wonderful picture of a steam engine in my autograph book (which I no longer have).

A building was found to use as a school, which I now believe is the Oxhey Hall community centre. A large room was partitioned into four areas I think a catholic school had two sections, we had one, and the remainder was a cloakroom. Our teacher was Miss Molyneux. We heard the other classes lessons, as well as our own! When the air raid siren went, we hid under the billiard tables in the next room.

My billet was a bungalow, and I slept on a camp bed in the central hall. When my mother came to visit, she was not pleased with this accommodation, so an alternative billet was found for me at 52 Oaklands Avenue, with Mr and Mrs Westall, and their son John.

I do not remember much more about the area, but I remember the young trees along the road, unlike where I had lived before. I do not have any photos, and I would be pleased to have any relevant to my evacuation.

This page was added on 11/01/2023.

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  • This is an amazing discovery for me! I am Nigel Westall, son of the late John Westall and grandson of the Mr & Mrs Westall (Harry & Florence) you stayed with at 52 Oakland Avenue. I have absolutely no recollection of my father ever saying anything about this. I have some photos from around that time i think as John would have been about 13. How long did you stay with them/ Can you remember them? Please free to get in touch if it’s possible via this forum, Kindest Regards, Nigel

    By Nigel Westall (27/01/2024)