Evacuation Adventure: An Eight-Year-Old's World War II Memories

Read Marian's exciting tale of her World War II experience.

Evacuation Adventure: An Eight-Year-Old’s World War II Memories

In September 1939, the world was thrust into chaos as the Second World War began. For many, it was a time of fear and uncertainty, but for eight-year-old Marian, it marked the beginning of an unexpected adventure.

The Start of a New Journey

Marian vividly remembers the day she was evacuated to Ventnor on the Isle of Wight. Rather than feeling fear, she felt a sense of excitement, as if she were going on a holiday rather than fleeing from danger. This unique perspective is one of her strongest memories from that tumultuous time.

The Evacuation Process

The evacuation process itself was a memorable experience. Marian recalls the bus going around, picking up children from different locations. The journey was filled with anticipation as they eventually boarded the ferry to the Isle of Wight. The ferry ride, an unusual experience for many of the children, added to the sense of adventure. Upon reaching the island, another bus was waiting to take the children to their temporary homes, dropping them off at various points around the island.

Settling into a New Home

One of Marian’s fondest memories from that time is eating her sandwiches in Ryde. Instead of feeling frightened, she remembers a sense of calm among everyone. This collective calmness provided a comforting backdrop to the upheaval of being evacuated. Marian and her fellow evacuees were housed in a hotel or bed and breakfast with a grand staircase leading up to the front door. However, they were not allowed to use these stairs and had to use the back stairs instead. This small detail stands out in Marian’s memory, perhaps because it added to the novelty and strangeness of their new living situation.

The Threat of War

One of the more harrowing memories Marian has from her time on the Isle of Wight involves the German bombers. She remembers how the Germans, on their way back from bombing raids, would drop any unused bombs on Ventnor beach. This routine act of war left a lasting impression on the young evacuee, though it didn’t overshadow the overall calm she felt during her stay.

The Joy of VE Day

The end of the war brought a different kind of excitement. Marian fondly remembers the VE Day street parties, where communities came together to celebrate the end of the conflict. These parties were filled with joy and relief, and Marian recalls the abundance of sandwiches, a symbol of the small comforts that were cherished during those difficult times.

A Story of Resilience and Adaptability

Marian’s memories of being evacuated during World War II paint a picture of resilience and adaptability. While the war brought disruption and danger, it also brought out a sense of adventure and community spirit. For Marian, the evacuation to the Isle of Wight was a significant chapter in her childhood, filled with unique experiences and enduring memories.


Marian’s story is a poignant reminder of the strength and adaptability of children in times of crisis. Her experiences during the evacuation highlight not only the challenges faced by evacuees but also the unexpected moments of joy and community that can arise even in the darkest times. This narrative serves as a testament to the resilience of the human spirit, especially in the face of adversity.