World War II


I will try and develop this page as I get stories & photographs sent to me.

First here is a list of children who stayed in Caernarfon some in Caer Menai Hostel and some with families
[Names Supplied by Sylvia James]
There were many who stayed in our street Pool Side Square also Pool Side and Pool Hill. There are some in this photograph HERE

Frederick Airey Kenneth Daught James Hoban Brian Olding
Douglas Alexander Kenneth Davies David Hopla Robert Edwin Owen
Robert Alexander Doreen Falshaw Joseph Johnson John J Pullen
Brenda Barnes Daphne Fazakerley Barbara Jones Sheila Stanton
John Stewart Best Jean Foreman Olive Jones Betty Walker
Ronald Bimpton Edna May Fremaux George Kernot Alfred Wallis
Raymond Blanks Geoffrey Hammond Peter William Lack Gordon Whitehead
Arthur Camyas Henry Leonard Harle John Leatherbarrow Kenneth Williams
Marlin Casey Ann Harrison/ Lynne Livesey Robin Woodland
Peter Casey Doreen Mary Harper David Edward Maylor Ronald Wrigley
Peter John Coates Eileen Hoban John Mullin  

A letter from Doreen -- Liverpool
Hello everyone
Can anybody help with photos of Liverpool evacuees who stayed in Caer Menai Hostel now the Caer Menai Boarding House. My husband was there for a few years. His name is George Naylor and was with the children from the Everton district of Liverpool
We have been back but would love a photo of any sort.
One of the ladies who cared for the children was a nurse called Gracie. Does it ring any bells?
Thank You
Doreen Naylor

A letter from David Smith -- Melbourne
Hi David,
It's fantastic to log-on to your web site and see some of the stories and pictures from the "good old days" in Caernarfon. I look at some of the pictures, especially those that show parts of the Town that I remember so well, with a genuine fondness.
It seems to me that there are many people from the 1950's and 60's who REALLY treasure their school and youth memories.
It's also great to hear that a lot of people from Caernarfon have done so well for themselves. It speaks volumes for the way in which we were brought up.
My parents, my sister Cynthia and I were evacuees from London in 1944 when I was only 3 years and Cynthia 12 months old. My younger sister Christine was born in Caernarfon.
David even though I was born in England I have always thought and felt that I was Welsh. I have always declared, with a huge amount of pride, that I am from Caernarfon.
Isn't it great how people from Caernarfon are really proud of their hometown!
I log-on to your web site at least once a week - just to see if there are any new snippets of information. I live in Australia and your web site somehow keeps me "connected" to home.
Please keep up the good work as there are a growing number of "ex-pats" who look forward to keeping in touch.
It would be great to make contact with some of my old school friends - guys like Tony Bleathman, Walter and Michael Hughes, Elwyn Angel, Ian Nicholson, David (Rations) Richards, Hayden and Heather Parry and Billy Thorman. Have you heard of any of them?
I will dig out some old pictures from Caernarfon and send them to you. They may be of interest.
G'Day from Melbourne
David Smith

If you want to get in touch with David go to
"Say Hello to an Old Friend"

Letter 1 from the BBC Archives
On the run
Eileen May Moore (nee Brown) Ruth Williams (nee Black)

By the time the tram arrived at Lime Street Station most of the kids in our group had eaten the goodies supplied by our Heywood Street, Everton, school. This led to disastrous consequences whilst on the train journey in that our teacher had to produce a private piece of her luggage, a chamber pot, or in our terms a “po”, and a sickly smell pervaded our carriage for the length of the journey. We had suddenly become evacuees.

We arrived to confusion, completely disorientated and to many cries for “MUM”. We couldn’t understand the strange accents around us and on entering a church hall were told to sit on a bare wooden floor. We were inspected by many strange ladies and selected. That is all but three. The three consisted of my little sister Ethel aged five, my friend Ruth Black aged nine and I was also nine. I had been told by my Mum to look after Ethel. Ruth and I were inseparable and none of the ladies were inclined to accept three grubby, tired and fractious kids from Liverpool. A compromise was reached, Ethel and I (my name was Eileen Brown) in one home and my friend Ruth next door.
Ethel and I were bathed and fed and put to bed in separate rooms (for the first time in our lives). I cried myself to sleep.
The lady of the house was very kind but we couldn’t understand a word she said. I discovered later that we were in a
little village in Wales call Waenfawr and next morning we attended Chapel for the first in our lives. It was all very strange and we wanted to go home to our Mum. Dad was away in the Army and it was early 1940.
After three weeks Ethel had settled in very nicely but Ruth and I decided we were fed up with Wales so we’d run away and go home. After school a few days later we boarded a bus to Caernarfon and stayed on board to the terminus. Entered the café and had a drink. Our money was disappearing fast and we had no idea where the Railway Station was or the cost of the journey to Liverpool.
A man calling himself Captain Jack sat at our table. He was very friendly and bought us a bun. It was now about 10pm. We were transported back to Waenfawr and so ended our big escape.
That week end to my delight our Mum and Dad, Mrs Black and Uncle Leslie appeared in the village, such joy! Our
host provided tea and cakes and later the family prepared to leave. I stood in the front of the door with my arms outstretched and yelled “You are not leaving without me, I don’t care if I do get bombed”. I think our parents missed us too. Our clothes were hastily packed and we were bundled into Uncle Leslie’s four-seated car and we drove home to our beloved Liverpool.
When we got home we were delighted to be able to go to the pictures and we saw The Wizard of Oz, and we were able to produce our own show in the air raid shelter.
‘This story was submitted to the People’s War site by BBC Radio Merseyside’s People’s War team on behalf of the author and has been added to the site with his/ her permission. The author fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.’

Letter 2 from BBC Archives
Chickens and War
Eve Cameron and Marjorie (my sister)
Location of story:  Wavertree, Liverpool and Bethel, Caernarfon

I lived with my Mum, sister and brothers in Wavertree, Liverpool. On September 3rd 1939 I was evacuated to Caernarfonshire, Wales, along with Marjorie, my older brother Eric, and all of the pupils at Earle Road School. We went by train, and were taken to the Bethel Village School for ‘selection’. I was 9 years old, and Marjorie was 6, and a farmer and his wife who had no children picked us. We looked on it as an adventure. We loved the animals although we found them strange, having lived in a city. Marjorie and I were there for five years.
There was an Italian Prisoner of War working on the farm, his name was Pietro Antonuchi. Pietro spoke English so we had no trouble understanding him. Like all POW’s he had to wear a uniform, which had a Big Diamond on the back. I remember he tried to teach me how to ride a bike, which I just about managed, but I have never ridden a bike since!
I used to collect the hens at night, usually from the trees where they were perched, and put them in the hen house. I remember one hen, which must have been broody, sat on ducks eggs till they hatched — we had to carry the ducklings to the water! One of the worst things on the farm was seeing chickens being killed, it may be that which put me off chicken for good. Funnily enough, Marjorie never eats chicken either.
Mum probably visited about once every 6 months, she was a nurse, and strangely enough went to Anglesey and looked after evacuees in a vicarage!
‘This story was submitted to the People’s War site by BBC Radio Merseyside’s People’s War team on behalf of the author and has been added to the site with his/ her permission. The author fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.’

Letter 3 from BBC Archives
It was always 'Red' Lipstick...
Margaret Chamberlain
Location of story:  Caernarfon, North Wales

I was evacuated from Liverpool, with my Mother and Brother in 1939 when the war broke out to live with my Grandparents in Caernarfon in North Wales; lucky for us that we did because our house was bombed and flattened. Father had to stay in Liverpool as he was a chemist and so many had to stay to keep the prescriptions and the drugs running. The only part of the war I remember is looking up and seeing two planes fighting in the sky. Mother threw us under the table but I peeped out and saw one coming down in flames.
Other than that we had quite an uneventful time in Caernarfon apart from the shortages — not having sweets and not having fruit. I remember not having an orange or a banana for about six years!
I also used to wonder why my Mother used to always wear red lipstick but it was obviously because there wasn’t any alternative in the shops because the factories had gone and been taken over.
This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Becky Barugh of the BBC Radio Shropshire CSV Action Desk on behalf of Margaret Chamberlain and has been added to the site with her permission. Mrs Chamberlain fully understands the site's terms and conditions.