Taking the train to new home

Essex County Standard: Evacuee: John Swain Evacuee: John Swain

John Swain was part of the September 1940 evacuation from Colchester to Longton in Staffordshire when he was aged just seven.

He remembered the train journey well, even after all these years.

“We were shunted in and out of tunnels,” said Mr Swain, who lived in Ratcliffe Road, Lexden before he was evacuated.

“The guard came round and explained ‘That man, (Hitler) is overhead, but he will not find us here’.

“We travelled all night and, after being herded along the streets in the dark, we were taken to the town’s central hall where we were given a cup of tea and some food.

“Then we were allocated to billets.”

Mr Swain, who now lives in Horncastle in Lincolnshire, said that with a group of two others, he lasted less than two hours in his first billet.

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