The Evacuee or Sins and Comeuppances
by Ken Chadwick
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The Evacuee is for those who know ALL about the 1939-45 war – and for those who should know about it September 1939: five year old Frank is evacuated to Staffordshire – so that Hitler can bomb Birmingham. During the allocation of billets at the village hall, the evacuees are haphazardly assigned good, bad and even evil placements. Frank’s new guardian is an unhappy woman who hates his enforced presence in her home. She scorches the naked boy before a roaring fire; applauds her bully of a son when he brands him with a red-hot peashooter, and she teaches Frank to dread irregular bath days – when his head will be held under the water to the point of drowning. For the next three years young Frank tries to avoid her nastiness by staying small. At school, although the city kids blossom under Father Daniel’s gentle guidance, they are venomously subjugated by a fearsome nun teacher, the ‘Black Cow’. The antipathy of the Staffordshire village is superficial though. Some memories will remain with the evacuees forever, like the memories of school, church, helping on the farm, brass bands, pig sticking, the people, the canal, friendships and adventures in the ‘foreign’ countryside – as they survive, laugh, play and grow up. They will also remember the comeuppances – including one final, shocking event.
- Troubador Publishing Ltd, January 2012
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