Me, Evacuee

It is September 1st 1939 and World War Two has begun.
Jimmie is only ten years old and yet he is thrown into an unexpected situation which forces him to grow up much faster than he should. There is a call for children living in the cities to evacuate to the countryside and soon Jimmie finds himself all alone on a train to Devon and to an unknown world that is very unlike his own. However, when all seems on the upturn everything gets worse, as his father is sent to the battlefield, leaving his elder sister, his mother and her expected baby to abandon their home in Coventry and move to Cornwall. Jimmie finds it hard to keep track of his family's safety and under these hard circumstances he grabs onto the only links he has with home, while making friends with the unlikeliest of people.
Evacuation isn't as Jimmie expected. Will he make it through? Will his friends and family?
Everything goes into disarray when the bombs begin to fall...

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8. A Nasty Shock

A Nasty shock

Tommy

                We woke up the next day, to quickly have breakfast before departing to church. Me and Jimmie dressed in our best clothes and I even put a tie over my shirt and under my brown jacket. Jimmie’s ‘smart’ clothes that he had brought from home weren’t all that smart, so he wore his new pair of shorts, his new shirt and a new pair of socks. I then lent him a tie and he wore his old brown jacket over the top. He polished his black shoes and wore his prized bowler hat.

                Mrs Elsie wore a nice flowing dress with a necklace and Mr Jim wore a suit and tie with a felt hat perched atop his head. We were smart, set and ready to go.

                We four, walked down the path to the house and onto the road. We continued to walk along towards the church, chatting, much as we had two days previously when we had met for the first time. I hadn’t been to church much before, as Mother wasn’t too fussed about going, although she did claim to be a Christian. However, Jimmie went almost every week. I suppose that was because his family were poorer and so it meant more to them, a place where everyone could be equal.

                We walked through the large welcoming doors, the warmth from inside hitting us. The church was beautiful, I hadn’t noticed before. Then I was more worried about not getting a billet.

                We sat upon the pews and waited for the service to start. I listened for a while to the talk, before children left for Sunday school, I remained in the service however, as did Jimmie. After about half an hour I began to switch off. I started to daydream about going to school. The thought didn’t exactly cheer me up, especially when I realised that tomorrow I would be starting a new school with new bullies and new personalities. I would also be going through it without Jimmie in my class, as he was a year younger than me and so we were separated. Should be fun… not.

*

                We waked down the path to the house after the service and we stepped inside. I pulled off my shoes and hung my jacket up before making my way into the sitting room. I flopped into my favourite chair, the red one facing into the room and stood near to the fire. The fire wasn’t on though at the moment as it was daytime and it was warm enough.

                A few minutes later Mrs Elsie hobbled into the room and sat down. I was reading Swallows and Amazons. It was about two groups of children, the Walker’s and the Blacketts. The children make and alliance with a man named Uncle Jim, which was kind of ironic, and they suspect him to be a retired pirate, so they hatch a plan. I was stuck into it and was slightly surprised when Mrs Elsie called to me. I looked up.

                “Sorry?” I asked.

                “Could you turn on the wireless please, dear?” she asked me. I nodded and stood out of my chair and turned it on. It crackled as I found the channel she wanted. I sat back down, ready to begin reading again.

                ‘Far away they saw the island and the still lake, without a ripple on it, stretching away into the distance…’ I read.

                “I am speaking to you from the Cabinet Room at 10, Downing Street.” crackled the radio. Boring old news, I thought to myself, so I ignored it and continued to read.

                ‘“I can’t believe we are really going to land on it,” said Titty.’

                “This morning the British Ambassador in Berlin handed the German Government a final note stating that unless we heard from them by 11.00 a.m. that they were prepared at once to withdraw their troops from Poland, a state of war would exist between us…” continued the radio.

                ‘“We aren’t unless there’s wind to-morrow,” said Captain John…’ I read; they were to set sail to a distant island.

                “I have to tell you that no such undertaking has been received, and that consequently this country is at war with Germany.” That was when I put my book down. I no longer cared about Captain John or his crew setting sail, instead I stopped to listen. I looked over at Mrs Elsie, my eyes wide. She had stopped her knitting and looked shocked at the news. Jimmie looked petrified and was tightly clutching the arms of the chair. Mr Jim had halted in the doorway. We were all shocked even though we all knew it was coming.

                We all knew that only two days ago, when me and Jimmie were evacuated, that Hitler had invaded Poland. That Germany had bombed Poland with their planes. We also knew that Germany had attacked Poland on five fronts, with and army of 1.5 million troops consisting of tanks, infantry and cavalry, and that with it they had demolished Polish cities, such as their capital, Warsaw. So right now, this was all sinking in.

                Many had died. We would soon be in the same situation as Poland. It was really sinking in and it felt as if I had swallowed a weight. That it was so heavy I couldn’t move. I had nowhere to run. Even the forest, miles down the road, was still at war. Even if I crossed the ocean to France, I would still be at war.

                I had nowhere in the world to run, for the world was fighting itself. It couldn’t ask for comfort from anybody else as we were all in the same boat. We were officially at war and right now, I feared for my life.

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