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photograph of the July 2009 poster

On 16th July Howard Baker gave us an illustrated account of his evacuation as a child from Gravesend after the start of the Second World War. On 3rd September Howard along with 3,693 other children left their parents with only a small case, a food parcel and an ID label. Within three hours all were aboard The Queen of the Channel, The Royal Daffodil and other vessels and in very choppy seas, with an escort of warships, they made slow progress to Lowestoft. Because of the heavy seas only the first boat managed to berth and the rest, including Howard’s, made for Great Yarmouth. As they arrived so late they were bedded down for the night in the stables at the race course. Howard was taken to Brick Kiln Farm and the tear-off part of his label was returned to his parents with the address if his new home. Only aged 6 he walked 2.4 miles to school and back each day. Domestic water was drawn from a pump in the yard. His parents visited regularly and Howard admitted he had a whale of a time during his evacuation.

On 3rd September Howard arranged a barge trip to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the evacuation.

Did you enjoy reading this snippet from our last meeting? Do join us next time, September 17th 2009 when the speaker will be Christoph Bull: "The Folklore of Chalk Village" or on the 19th November, for a talk about the Pilgrims Way.  Talks are at 8pm in The Memorial Hall, School Lane, Higham.


Report written by Polly Chandler.

Last Revised: 27-Aug-2009

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