Raymond Weeks

Photo:Raymond Weeks attending the Memories of War exhibition in 2010.

Raymond Weeks attending the Memories of War exhibition in 2010.

Garry Bodenham

Evacuation

Raymond Weeks recalls being evacuated from London to Ilfracombe.

'We didn't realise what was going on'

Raymond Weeks talks about losing his family.

Wartime memories of evacuation, separation and loss.

Evacuation and loss

On 26 September 1940, Raymond Weeks (aged 9) and his sister who was 18 months older were evacuated for the third time to Devon. On 1 October their mother sent them a letter promising to visit soon. On 5 October 1940 at 1.17 am, a parachute mine exploded in the garden of 57 Barnfield Road, Plumstead, killing seven members of their immediate family and their smooth haired fox terrier. One brother, Leslie, survived the blast although he was seriously injured.

Raymond and his sister had letters they wrote to their parents returned but continued writing. In December 1940, just before Christmas and two months after the bombing, they were called into the Headmistress’s office and told they were orphans. It had taken that long for the authorities to locate them in Devon. Raymond remembers:

Miss Reeks - the headmistress – she had a horrible job. Quite frankly, they didn’t know what to do with us. We were sent off to the cinema to watch a film.

'How do you pick someone out to blame?'

70 years on, Raymond explains:

People say to me, do you hate the Germans? That guy that dropped the parachute mine – he may have been killed himself – and very frightened. How do you pick someone out to blame? I don’t know what sort of person I’d have grown up to be had it not happened.

Downloads

Interview with Raymond Weeks
Interview with Raymond Weeks (249k)
To read the full transcript of Raymond's interview please press the above link.

Evacuation
Evacuation (90k)
Transcript of Video Clip with Raymond Weeks.

'We didn't realise what was going on'
'We didn't realise what was going on' (35k)
Transcript of Video Clip with Raymond Weeks.

This page was added by Malin Lundin on 22/11/2011.

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.