Ryde Social Heritage Group research the social history of the citizens of Ryde, Isle of Wight. Documenting their lives, businesses and burial transcriptions.
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Life on an Evacuee Ship 1940

Evacuee Children boarding a ship

Mr and Mrs W H Eedle of Binstead have received a letter from their 12 year old son Donald who is on his way to Australia with 500 other evacuee children.

Donald left Britain six weeks ago and his letter took about three weeks to get back. It tells of life on board ship, scarcely touching on the war. The place names are censored, the only indication of locality being that they are “seeing the Equator.”

The flying fish have drawn Donald’s attention, and he is highly pleased with the boat itself, which is a two-funnelled luxury liner. They have had several film shows. This is Donald’s first long sea voyage, and he writes “I have been sea-sick twice, not properly sea-sick but sick all the same. And he mentions a Miss Thompson, an Australian from Sydney, who is to take care of them on arrival and “fusses around” them on the boat. It is obvious from the letter that the children are perfectly contented and well cared for. Before long they will be in their new homes, and Mr and Mrs Eedles’s wish now is that Donald’s foster-parents will be as kind and painstaking as those who have care of him on the ship.

Source: : IW Times 19 September 1940, RSHG Archive
Image: from www.bing.com