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Topic: Wartime Evacuation of children.
School-based activities

Jimmy's Story

"My name is Jimmy. Why am I looking so sad?

Well, I'm not feeling too good at the moment. My Mam's here with me and mi sister. We're standing on the railway station platform.

Where are we going? Don't ask me. I feel like having a good blubber but if I start to cry it'll start my little sister Margie. Once she starts she never stops.

How old am I? I'm seven. Mi sister's three and an 'arf.

Say something, Margie. It's no use - she's hopeless.

We've been - what call it. "Evacuated" - I think that's what it's called. I'm not sure what it means but Mam's here putting us on a train. She's trying not to cry, I can tell. But she's quickly blowing her nose and wiping her eyes.

She says it's war time and ther's bombs and air-raids and things. So we've got to go to the country where it's safe.

What's the country like? I hope it's nice. I've seen pictures of cows but I've never seen a real one. I hope so - perhaps there'll be other animals like horses. You can ride them like on cowboy films. I go to see them every Saturday at the flicks. Wonder if there are cowboys in the country?

I hope Margie and me will stay together. I've got mi gas mask and suitcase. I feel right daft with this big label wi mi name on it. I wrote it miself. They said I could take one favourite toy. I've got mi model of the 'Flying Scotsman'. It's a lovely engine, cleaner than the one on this train. Mi Dad gave it to me before he went away. He'll win the war, I know that. And he said I had to be brave too. I keep his photo in his uniform in mi pocket. He's in the RAF. He'll soon get those nasty bombers, then we can come home, eh?

Watch out! We have to get on the train. The man called the 'Guard', I think, is waving his arms and blowing his whistle and shouting "Please board the train". This part with seats is called a 'compartment'. Better sit down while there's still a seat. It's a right squash - there must be about fifteen of us in here.

That lad over there had a right thumping from his Mam for pulling that chain up there. Don't know what it's for.

What does it say up there on that picture? "What- To- Do- In- Air- Raids". Here, listen to this, Margie: "Make sure you are on a platform before alighting from the train." It'd be a big step down in you weren't!

Oh, don't start sniffing again. Everyone will think you're a right soft thing. Look, we're moving. Lean out of the window and wave to our Mam. Bye Mam, Bye Mam, Bye... Good job Mam remembered to give me a hankie - I need it!"


(MS Word .doc file)

(MS Word .doc file)


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