John Plummer

Photo:John Plummer in his home at the age of 75.

John Plummer in his home at the age of 75.

John Plummer

Recollections of evacuation to Folkestone and Wales.

From Grove Park to Folkestone

At the outbreak of war, John Plummer was evacuated with his three sisters and brother from Grove Park to Folkestone, Kent. The children were evacauated in the morning from their local school and transported by steam train. On arrival, the siblings were separated and placed in different billets. John’s initial experience of evacuation was ‘unpleasant’ as his foster mother was harsh and denied him food if he misbehaved.

The presence of war

Evacuated to Folkestone to escape the expected raids of London, John did not escape the presence of war: I can still recall dead German seamen being washed up on the beach wearing navy blue jumpers and hexagonal naval headdress.’ The dangers of war were never far away, John recalls ‘my brother and I played around live mines...Great fun but highly dangerous’. 

Evacuation to South Wales

After six months in Folkestone, John and his siblings were once again evacuated, this time to South Wales. During his time in Wales, John was billeted with three different foster families, also this time apart from his siblings. After only a month at his first billet, his foster mother died and he was found a new billet. Being mistreated in his second billet and left out to play in torrential rain, John caught double pneumonia and became seriously ill. Following his recovery, he was placed in his third and final billet where he remained until the end of the war. His new foster mother picked him from a line of evacuees with the words, ‘I’ll have that one. He needs fattening’. Billeted with Mr and Mrs Lewis, John was treated ‘like [their] own children, no better no worse’. Despite the, sometimes harsh, rural setting and cold winters, John considered his stay with Mr and Mrs Lewis ‘the best of all’.     

Downloads

Letter written by John Plummer
Letter written by John Plummer (55k)
To read more about John's wartime experiences please press the above link.

This page was added by Malin Lundin on 20/04/2012.
Comments about this page

I WAS EVACUATED FROM CHERITON COTTAGE HOMES ON JUNE 3RD 1940.TO SOUTH WALES.MY FIRST PORT OF CALL WAS LLANISHEN.I WAS THERE TILL 1943.THEN I MOVED ON  TO RAGLAN THEN ONTO USK IN MONMOUTHSHIRE.I WAS THERE UNTIL AUGUST 15TH 1945.I WAS IN MAYFIELD HOSTEL.WE ALL RETURNED HOME BACK TO OUR HOMES IN FOLKESTONE.I WAS ONLY 7YEARS OLD WHEN I WAS EVACUATED.NOW I AM 81YEARS OF AGE.

By RONALD DUTT
On 10/11/2014

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