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Harald Hall's Story

 

My sister and I were evacuated from London in September 1940 after some of the worst bombing. Initially when the air raids came my mother took us to the shelter but they happened so often and the shelters were so awful that she stopped taking us to the shelter and, instead, stuffed us behind the couch in the living room. As the raids increased my parents decided that for our safety we would be evacuated and so my sister and I boarded the SS Nerissa and came to Canada (Vancouver) for six years.

My memory is much like many others, the terrible separation from our parents and the frightening experience of so many strangers and strange places. In Vancouver the evacuees were 'supervised' by the Children's Aid Society and I'm sure that they did their best but it wasn't always good enough. We were removed from one home to another after 6 months because my mother detected that things were not ok from what we didn't say in letters home and insisted on the move. After the war we were reunited in 1946 and for me that too was a frightening experience just to try and get used to my parents again. I also had a lot of trouble accepting the return to England which to me was a foreign country and not my now beloved Canada. My mother often said that she would never have done it if she had thought it would extend for such a long period of time. It had affected her deeply. My father too had many years of guilt feelings for having sent us away.

 

Cheers, Harald

3/17/07