Doreen Foreman

Photo:Every year the Evacuees Club put on a Pantomime in Rugeley Town Hall. This photograph was taken in 1942, when Cinderella was performed. Doreen is pictured centre back.

Every year the Evacuees Club put on a Pantomime in Rugeley Town Hall. This photograph was taken in 1942, when Cinderella was performed. Doreen is pictured centre back.

Doreen Foreman

A different environment

Doreen Foreman talks about the changes caused by evacuation.

Evacuation to Rugeley

Doreen Foreman talks about being evacuated.

Arriving in Rugeley

Doreen Foreman recalls arriving in Rugeley.

Recollections of evacuation from Margate to Rugeley.

'Digging a hole in the garden'

Doreen was a child at the outbreak of war and lived with her family in Margate. One of her clearest memories from the early part of the war is of the ‘family digging a hole in the garden and putting in an air raid shelter. We used to go there when the siren sounded and we used to go down to the air raid shelter.’

A different way of life

In June 1940 Doreen was evacuated with her school to Rugeley, a mining community in Staffordshire, where she was billeted to Mr and Mrs Bentley. Although Doreen enjoyed her experience of evacuation, the environment in which she was billeted into differed from her home life.  

‘I went from a very ordinary church-going family to live with a mining family in Rugeley and where we used to spend... all day on Sunday at church here, I spent it in the pub or the club or whatever, you know. At Christmas, our Christmases were quite different because there again, we’d go to the pub and whereas here it was always in church and so... there was a vast difference.’

Air raids in Rugeley

Air raids in Rugeley were rare – some aeroplanes which returned from Birmingham and Coventry discharged remaining bombs at random. When this happened the sirens sounded and Doreen hid under the kitchen table. If raids began whilst at school the children sheltered in the dug-out and sang songs which she enjoyed more than lessons! Doreen’s daily routine was largely uninterrupted.

Return to Margate

Although she was happy in Rugeley, in 1945 Doreen returned home. Whilst in Staffordshire she worked at the Tax Office and was able to transfer to Margate. Doreen feels that her evacuation experiences have affected her life in a positive way, providing her with a broader outlook of how others lived during the war years.

Downloads

Interview with Doreen Foreman
Interview with Doreen Foreman (192k)
To read the full transcript of Doreen's interview please press the above link.

A different environment
A different environment (83k)
Transcript of audio clip with Doreen Foreman.

Evacuation to Rugeley
Evacuation to Rugeley (71k)
Transcript of audio clip with Doreen Foreman.

Arriving in Rugeley
Arriving in Rugeley (74k)
Transcript of audio clip with Doreen Foreman.

This page was added by Malin Lundin on 20/02/2012.

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