Mabel Thatcher

Recollections of three spells of evacuation.

Evacuation

At the outbreak of war Mabel was five and a half years of age and living with her family in Kensington. During the war she was evacuated three times. Initially, Mabel was sent with her brother and sister to Henley-on-Thames. Returning to London, she was shortly once again evacuated, this time to Wales. In Wales she was billeted with her sister.

Cornwall

The third and final evacuation was to Cornwall in 1944. During her time in Cornwall, Mabel billeted with two families. ‘I went to two places there and both houses were certainly better than I lived in at home. They had an indoor toilet, a bathroom, electric light...[My] mum and dad didn’t have electric light at home back then’. The last billet was with a Methodist Minister and his wife and their grown up adopted daughter. Mabel recalls, ‘it was absolutely lovely...they took you out for walks. You learnt the names of birds, flowers, wildlife, plants. Beautiful, it really was’

'I always felt the odd one out'

At the end of the war Mabel returned home. After three spells of evacuation, Mabel’s relationship with her family had changed ‘I always felt the odd one out. Peculiar that, [but] I think that was more me than them’.

This page was added by Malin Lundin on 22/05/2012.

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