Roger Stanley's Story


Where I was evacuated - 30 miles west of London -

Knowl Hill, we could see the red glow of the bombing

in London. At that time, I wasn't even aware that I

came from London. I was just THAT evacuee kid.

If anything was damaged in the village, it was THAT

evacuee kid. Fires, broken windows, even damaged

birds' nests - has to be that evacuee kid.

Despite all that, the person who looked after me was

very supportive and looked after me, defending me

against the prejudice that was there.


I only saw and heard ONE V1 rocket. Waiting for

someone I heard the noise that almost a gurgle,

throaty noise, like a car with a broken muffler,

looked up, saw it; felt a tingle in my coccyx and

yelled out, "keep going. Please keep going!"

The motor stopped, and I dived into some bushes. Couple

of minutes later I heard the explosion. It blew up in

a field at a place called Crazies Hill. Quite

appropriate name I reckon.

Weeks later, at night, hiding under the stairs after

the siren went, I heard the shrill screaming of

incendiary bombs (I was told that later), they landed

again without damage in fields at a farm near White


The only other bomb, which landed near us, did not

explode. It was a big 500 lb. bomb. It was reputed to

have a message from Adolph, saying this was a warning.


We had British and American troops stationed near us

at Kiln Green barracks. We always asked the "YANKS" -

"got any gum, chum." Never realized that few of them

would still be alive in just a couple of months.


I am a confirmed pacifist now and hope that my

children grow up that way.


Better nick orf nah.

Roger Stanley aka Yates - Dinsdale- Scanlon.



 I now live SE of Melbourne, Australia (Not Florida)on

Western Port Bay. This is a quiet coastal village,

with just a few shops. Nearest town is Hastings (Not

1066 and all that)

I retired from work 1995 and started a small hire car

business. Weddings-vineyard tours-tourist related

activities. Now need EIGHT days a week to do

everything I want to do.


 One clear memory about returning to London after the war was the

change of food; this may have been a contributing factor in my running away

back to Knowl hill. My mother (stranger) and the rest of this unknown

family seemed to cook everything in a big fry pan - whatever it was.

The only exception was -"IFFIT". This was made in a large pot,

smelt terrific and was served to each in a pudding basin with a spoon;

s almost everyday. When I first questioned its name I was advised that, t

IF IT had mea in it, it would be Irish stew!!

It was chicken stock, barley, red and green lentils, onions,

carrots and lots of potatoes, pepper and salt and eaten with Matzos

dipped or crumbled into it.

Roger the Dodger



I recall the label and the gas mask (well a little box on string) and

joining a group of other children and adults: it was 5 days before

my fifth birthday and the sun shone.

There is no recollection of the journey or the selection by the Page

Family of Bottle Lane, Knowl Hill, Berkshire. I clearly remember

the days in the Warner Memorial Village Hall where we had been

segregated from the local school. We had to tell the teachers

who came from London, what we had been given to eat.


Although I don't have a memory of my replies at the time,

years later I was told that I said, that all I had to eat was

"Spuds and Oxo." I was sent to another billet with evacuees

who knew me. I had no idea who they were, but some months

later I understood that they had lived near me in Bayswater W.2.

Jimmy, Violet and Betty Edwards and they were many years

older than I. I think we all slept in one gigantic bed.


When they asked what we had to eat at the new place, I said,

"Lots of bread and eggs and bread and milk in a cup, sprinkled

with sugar". Some months later, my "Gran" as I called her told

me to tell them to, "Mind your own business".

They never asked again.


I remember one visit only from my mother (who is this lady?)

during the war and she brought along a box of clothes. I can still

see the pair of shiny, clear plastic sandals and said, "I'm not a girl."

And refused to wear them. Somebody bought me a pair of boots,

to - "Keep his tiny ankles from breaking!"


I have no idea how much time had passed, but soon, there were

only three of us evacuees left in the village.

There was a bus service from London to Reading, Berks.

This was a double-decker and trailed behind it this gigantic box

thing with bellows. This was the GAS fuel bag. It seemed quite

natural to me that buses would go to and from London where the

WAR was. I wondered later who would have used the bus and

why didn't they get bombed.


I lay on my back watching the vapour trails of the dogfights and

wonder even to this day, what happened to those thousands of

bullets fired by the planes. Did they fall and hurt anybody? I wanted

one of those tin hats just in case one came near me.


When we were allowed to mix with the local kids at the primary

school, we were definitely ostracized. We had to have our afternoon

"nap" in a different room, with separate mattresses on the floor.

At lunch time, we had to show our sandwiches and drinks to the teacher.


I will always be grateful to the local vicar C of E: Rev. Basil F L Clarke

who chose me to take a part in all the little plays he wrote for the

school. I remember some of the lines even now. I sang and whistled

on stage and played a ghost among other things. I was chosen to

sing solo in the choir at Xmas. Did he know I was evacuated as a

Jewish boy from a Shul in Bayswater? He was so good for

my self-esteem at that critical time.


There was no electricity, or gas in Gran's house so we used paraffin oil

lamps and cooked with the well-polished oven. Gran made

wine: elderberry; dandelion; parsnip; and marrow & ginger.

Large brown earthenware bowls covered in muslin, bubbled and sent

out fumes all over the house. Various people came to try these

mixtures, and I remember the laughter. I was always given a taste,

but mine had to be "Nice and warm for Roger" and so a red-hot poker

was spluttered into my little glassful. Obviously, to get rid of the alcohol.


Every night the blackout shades had to go up, and I got to go outside to

check them for any slivers of light. I would look up into that vast sky

and wonder how a Nazi pilot could see a little chink in a little cottage

in a little village miles from anywhere.


Gran had a store cupboard which she filled with everything needed in

case of occupation. Mostly I remember the jams she made. I got to choose

which jar to open, some of which were 3 or 4 years old.. They had a

thick sugary crust under the paper cover, and I loved to pick that off and

suck on it. Somehow she managed to have some chocolate and sweets

there as well, and when she asked me to go and get some, I was told,

"Right then Roger, you start whistling now and keep whistling.

You're good at that." Was I proud of that! Of course, it was just to

ensure that I didn't munch on the chocolate or sweets.


Updated 1/301/01