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She spent four years away from home and once the war was over returned to Taunton, where she married and lived for the rest of her life.For children like Doris, who went as part of a group, evacuation generally proved less unsettling.‘Nearly three years with the Smiths left me with a permanent feeling of shame for my parents and perhaps a sense of guilt for such shame,’ he says.‘Physically, mentally and socially, evacuation was all gain for me, but psychologically it left scars.’One child’s nightmare could be another’s dream – a truth illustrated by the Bromage twins.
Today, more than six decades after the end of the war, many evacuees are only just telling their stories for the first time.
Some were billeted with rural working-class families, but others found themselves in middle-class homes and became accustomed to a more prosperous lifestyle.
John Carter had no idea what was happening to him when he left Walthamstow, Northeast London, in 1939.
The first was Operation Pied Piper at the outbreak of war, during which 1.5 million women and children were moved to the countryside within three days.
The second came in 1940 after the fall of France, when coastal towns were perceived as danger zones for invasion, and the third occurred in March 1944, when flying bombs threatened London and the Southeast.