Poems Inspired by Memories of Evacuees

Written by Students from Eastbourne Technology College

By John Cheves

Photo:Main pic 2 Sept 1939

Main pic 2 Sept 1939

Photo:22 June 1940 front A

22 June 1940 front A

Photo:Sat 20 july evacuation B

Sat 20 july evacuation B

Photo:Sat 20 july evacuation details C

Sat 20 july evacuation details C

Photo:Sat 27 july 1940 return

Sat 27 july 1940 return

 The following poems were written as a result of intergenerational activities organised by WRVS Heritage Plus between students at Eastbourne Technology College and the Evacuees Reunited group in Eastbourne . The students met with the evacuees and local poet John Davies to hear their stories of evacuation and write their own poems inspired by them.

 A selection of the student’s poems and memories from the evacuees have been collected together in a booklet entitled ‘Moving Stories’ edited by John Davies and published by WRVS Heritage Plus.

 The newspaper headlines shown here are from Eastbourne Herald 1939 and 1940. They were found at Eastbourne Library by Hamish MacGillivray after talking to Evacuees Reunited about their experiences suddenly leaving Eastbourne in the summer of 1940 with the threat of German invasion. Headlines reproduced by kind permission of Sussex Newspapers and the British Library.

The evac

One look at their back and you’ll wanna hack. Have you seen them, with a big long sack, absolutely covered in black. The evac, one day, they’ll be back.


Crying, screaming, shrieking, worrying, fearful, tearful, hateful,

shameful. The evacuee cold and alone, wanting to go home.


By Jordan Watts

Evacuee Poem by Laura Patnell

I’m standing by my window
Looking outside
Thinking about my family and my life
I want to go home more than words can say
I don’t know how to describe this feeling today


I see bombs drop down from the misty sky
It makes me want to cry

Evacuee’s story                       By Ryan Purchase  11/5/10

One week till I go away

I will be sad as ever when I leave

I hope next week don’t come

The time is here now

Holding hands with my brother

Crying away with my brother

Here comes our train

I get on board wave my mum goodbye

When I got there no one would take me and my brother

We were sad 

Then someone came

We got to his house

Suddenly the siren went

We rushed to the shelter

I hope we will be okay

The time went by

Our mum wants us home

But I said what about the war

She said it was over

Everyone said “Hooray Hooray!”    

Evacuee by Hollie Carter

I look out of the window,

See all of the misty dust

Go outside in the morning to collect

The shrapnel.


I hear my friend outside crying

Her little eyes out because her mum

Died in a bomb raid

I think to myself thinking that it might happen

To my family.


I feel the coldness against my skin

Like I am in the atlantic ocean

I feel so low

When you think about it life go’s so slow


I smell gas coming from the kitchen

Because mum is cooking dinner

I smell the smoke still from last night


I have my dinner then go to bed

In the middle of the night I hear sirens

Coming close to my house

I’m worried but just try to forget the sounds.

WW2 Poem! By Kelly Phipps

Why must I bring strangers into my home??

They eat a lot, and never speak!

Am i really that scary?

So scary they only sit in the garden with Suzan the dog?

I hear them crying at night, do I help?

I hear them saying ”Please God save my parents”

I give them a house, food, clothes.

But still they don’t seem to like me!

I'm a woman alone in a home.

What more can I do?

  I live with Goats, Chickens, Pigs, Horses and Suzan!

The country side is green and lined with broken faded fences!


A poem about WW2

 by Matt Banks


I wait for my new family slowly by the curb

Waiting, waiting...

Steam fills the station, nobody in sight

Waiting, waiting...

The ground, cold as stone.


Every single child

Venturing into the unknown

Abandoned at the station

Children waiting

Undertaking events



WW2 poem! By Sian Coleman

I’m staring out my bedroom window

As frightened as a little fly

To see my best friends dad pass by.

Packing my bags, who knows how long for,

Belongings and memories spread out on the floor.

Going to the station feeling so sad

Can’t bear to say goodbye to mum and dad.

On the train feeling alone, longing and longing desperate to go home.

A new family comes I feel upset they’ll never replace the family I’ve left.

WW2 Poem.


Is this train ride a dream?

Please be.

I need my parents next to me

I won’t be afraid

I won’t be alone

I just want to come home.

I can feel

The tears

Falling down my face.

Even though

I’m not awake.

When every day breaks

I miss your face,

I miss your smile,

Your sweet smell,

I wish I could hear your happy voice

Telling me everything will be okay. . .

I love you and miss you.


By Jessica Waters, 7a. 

The Evacuee   by Kyle Robson     

Standing on a train platform, looking sad and shivering with fear waiting for a bomb to drop either far or near, waiting for a train to pass also seeking shelter, fogy, misty screaming in the background.

Providing food and shelter for my little sister hoping she won’t die, i find myself looking up at the night time sky looking for bombs and fighters, heart pounding silence here comes the train at last I’m safe.

This page was added by Richard Potter on 12/07/2010.

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