John Leverett

A short spell of evacuation

John Leverett talks about a short spell of evacuation to Lytchett Matraves

Evacuation to Wales

John Leverett talks about being evacuated to Wales

Life in Wales

John Leverett recalls life in Wales

Recollections of childhood memories of wartime evacuation.

Evacuation

Born in March 1932, John Leverett was seven and a half years old at the outbreak of the Second World War. At the beginning of the war, John was evacuated to Lytchett Matraves in Dorset with his mother and sister. Although they did not stay for long, John recalls that: ‘We stayed in a very old cottage, thatched roof, outside loo which stank to high heaven. Had to draw the water from the well down the road, threw the bucket in and poured it out’. When John’s brother was born in September 1940, the family was evacuated to a little village called Gilfach Goch in South Wales where they remained for eighteen months. Life in Wales differed from life in London, John recalls: ‘When it snowed, my god, did it snow. You were not ankle-deep but waist-deep in snow where it drifted. I can remember the sheep used to come off the hill side into the village and eat on all the peoples’ flowers and forever chasing the sheep out’.

Wartime separation

John’s father, who worked for the Daily Mirror, was separated from the family for the majority of the war. Although he was initially not called up for service due to his age, he eventually joined the forces when the age group for conscription was extended. Separation was hard, especially around the family holidays. During their time in Wales, the family feared John’s father would be unable to celebrate Christmas with the family. But to the joy of the family, John remembers how, ‘I was just going to go out to play and it’d been snowing, it was quite thick snow, and I went out the door, there’s my dad walking down the road! So we all had Christmas together and it was, you know, it was a good thing. All of us together.’

Downloads

A short spell of evacuation
A short spell of evacuation (54k)
To read the transcript of the audio clip please press the above link.

Evacuation to Wales
Evacuation to Wales (46k)
To read the transcript of the audio clip please press the above link.

Life in Wales
Life in Wales (57k)
To read the transcript of the audio clip please press the above link.

This page was added by Malin Lundin on 18/04/2012.

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