A riveting true story of one family — and one 6-year-old boy in particular — caught up in the displacement of children as World War II hits the UK. 1.5 Million children, pregnant women and other vulnerable people such as the disabled, were evacuated to safer countryside locations in just two days.
It was 18 July 1940, when the British government declared Guernsey an open port and communicated this to the Germans. Families had the hard decision as to whether their children would stay during a German occupation or be evacuated to England.
In Guernsey, the evacuation, timed to happen the day after the announcement, was organized by local schools.
The evacuees expected to be in England for a few weeks, but the German occupation of Guernsey Island on 30th June 1940 turned into five years and four months of family separation.
No one could have predicted that the evacuation of Guernsey would last five years. Older children who were evacuated to England found jobs, fell in love, and decided to stay in the places where they had been settled. Some young children were eager to return to Guernsey, but found it difficult to re-acquaint themselves with their real families. Still other children returned but felt torn because they had been so happy with the foster parents with whom they were placed.
This is the story of one such family, and a six-year-old who becomes separated from them and somehow manages to survive and transcend all challenges. I can’t help but wonder how the young children of today would do in similar circumstances.
This is a tale that certainly makes us think.