Kathleen McCarthy

A schoolgirl remembers 1939-45

By Liz Logan

Evacuation to Sussex

In September 1939, Kathleen McCarthy was evacuated from south-east London with her brother and sister to Lowfield Heath, a village near Horley, Sussex. The siblings had never had a holiday away from home before ‘so we left our parents with some excitement and apprehension’. Kathleen recalls ‘People willing to accommodate children from London congregated in the village school and made their selection. We three were fortunate to be housed together on a poultry farm and we had a very happy time’.  

'We three were fortunate to be housed together on a poultry farm and we had a very happy time’

Evacuation to Devon

In 1940, the siblings were re-evacuated to Newton Abbot in Devon. Kathleen remembers:

‘Again we were fortunate to be billeted together with a very nice couple and their daughter. They were caretakers of a very large office block with living quarters at the top of the building. This was near Newton Abbot Railway Station. One afternoon enemy aircraft flew over Courtney Park next to the station and bombed the troop train, which was stationary. Two aircraft swooped low over the park firing machine guns. On another raid the garden of the block we lived in received a direct hit and our foster mother's brother and her mother killed’.

Returning to London

Kathleen returned to London in 1942 to start work. She remained in the capital for the rest of the war and experienced the heavy bombing of the city . She recalls ‘The drone of enemy aircraft on a moonlit night was frightening - we would ask "Is it one of ours?"

To read more about Kathleen's wartime experiences please press the below link.

 

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A schoolgirl remembers 1939-1945
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To read more about Kathleen's wartime experiences please press the above link.

This page was added by Liz Logan on 06/04/2013.

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