Evacuation from Dover

Cyril Bromley was six years old when he was evacuated from his home in Dover. Dover was a front line town during the war and it experienced a lot of shelling and bombing.

Before the evacuations, Cyril watched the aeroplanes from the battle of Britain fly over the town.

“The sky was blue and covered in vapor trails..(the white fluffy trail that the planes make).. covering the whole sky like lace..hearing the spitfires..it was very exciting.”

Everyone but essential workers had to be evacuated. Cyril and his mother evacuated together with teachers and children from Cyril's school. From Dover the school caught a train to Newtradegan, near Ebbervale in Wales. During the journey the train was forced to stop becuase of bombing and air raids.

Evacuee life in Newtradegan, Wales

At this time Newtradegan was a small mining village. Cyril and his mother moved in to a small terraced house, similar to their own in Dover. Another family shared the house and occupied the second floor. At the back of the house there was a garden with views of the mountains.

The school arranged for all of the evacuee children to attend together. The evacuees would take lessons for the morning and then the local children would arrive for lessons at the beginning of the afternoon.

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caption: Cyrils teacher Miss Humphreys with the Primary school children evacuated from Dover.

One of Cyril’s least favourite memories:

“..waiting in the cue for a vaccination!”

Faversham, bombing and doodlebugs

Cyril had lived in Wales for a year until his mother made the decision to move back them back to Kent. They did not move back to their house in Dover. It was no longer habitable. Instead, Cyril's mother rented a house for them in Faversham, a the country town nearby Dover which was not in danger of bombing. They lived in Faversham for four years.

Cyril had three uncles who fought in the war. One was captured by the Japanese in Singapore and was kept as a prisioner of war. He returned home very ill. Another uncle served in the Royal Engineers and another was based in India. Cyril’s father was not sent to war but remained in Dover. He did special ‘secret’ work which he never spoke about.

During the war, Faversham was under the flight path of all planes flying to and from London to Germany.

Cyril recalls the sighting of the first doddlebug:
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Intranet/Broadband Video Clip

Cyril recalls bombing in the neighbouring town of Canterbury:
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Intranet/Broadband Video Clip


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