I work with a wonderful group of Guernsey evacuees (aged between 76 and 94) in Northern England. They came here as children, with 17,000 other Guernsey evacuees, during the Second World War, just before Guernsey was occupied by Germany. For various reasons, many evacuees did not return home in 1945. In 2010 we formed a community group and archive in northern England. This enables the evacuees to share wartime memories with each other and the community, and to strengthen friendships. We gather wartime documents and photographs that relate to the evacuation, which are not held in other archives.
INVITATION TO EVACUEE CHURCH SERVICE IN STOCKPORT, CHESHIRE, SUNDAY 28 JUNE 2020 AT 2.30PM
To mark the 80th anniversary of the arrival of thousands of Channel Island evacuees in England in June 1940, a service will be held in Stockport on Sunday 28 June 2020 at 2.30pm. The venue is St Mary’s in the Market Place Parish Church, on Churchgate, Stockport, SK1 1YG.
The service is open to Channel Island evacuees and their families, and anyone who knew Channel Island evacuees during the war. This is also an open invitation to anyone who was evacuated during the Second World War and their families.
The service is also open to members of the public who want to take part in this commemoration of British wartime evacuation. It would be wonderful if you could come to Stockport to share in this special anniversary with us. We also hope to have six local Mayors in attendance who represent the areas in which evacuees were cared for during the war.
Refreshments will be available after the service so that evacuees will have the chance to chat to each other. If you would like to attend this event, please contact me via the comments box below.
PLEASE VOTE FOR US BETWEEN OCTOBER 24 AND NOVEMBER 21 2017 TO HELP US WIN FUNDING TO CREATE A BOOKLET ENTITLED “THE POETRY OF WARTIME EVACUATION”
YOU CAN FIND OUT MORE AND VOTE FOR US HERE:
Thank you for voting for our evacuees in the 2015 Aviva Funding competition, we won funding to hire premises for several evacuee reunions in Greater Manchester.
YOU CAN VIEW MY EDUCATIONAL TIMELINE OF THE GUERNSEY EVACUATION, CREATED IN ASSOCIATION WITH HSTRY.ORG, HERE
IF YOU WISH TO CONTACT ME REGARDING OUR COMMUNITY GROUP OF CHANNEL ISLAND EVACUEES, PLEASE USE THE COMMENTS BOX AT THE FOOT OF THIS WEB PAGE. THANK YOU. GILLIAN MAWSON, SEPTEMBER 2017
Second World War ‘Evacuee get together’ in Stockport – Saturday 10 October 2015, 10.30am – 12.30pm at St Mary’s Church, Churchgate, Market Place, Stockport SK1 1YG
Anyone who was evacuated during the Second World War is invited to attend this informal event to share memories, letters and photographs with other evacuees. The event is organised by local historian Gillian Mawson. Refreshments available. A free bus, number 300, departs Stockport railway station and bus station every 15 minutes and stops outside St Mary’s church. There is a disabled access path into church.
There is a large pay and display car park two minutes drive away from the church, on Newbridge Lane. It is suggested that those with mobility issues are dropped off at the right hand side of the church where they can walk along a flat, accessible path straight into the church. (Please note the area may be busy because Saturday is Market Day!) Please click here to see map showing location of St Mary’s Church and the Newbridge Lane Pay and Display car park.
Contact Gillian Mawson via the comments box at the foot of this page for further information.
THANK YOU to everyone who attended our civic service to mark the ‘Return Home’ of Channel Islanders from Stockport, 70 years ago, on Sunday 23 August, 2015 at 10.30am at St Mary’s in the Market Place, Stockport. We had a large crowd and four Mayors and Mayoresses from Greater Manchester.
STOCKPORT STORY MUSEUM – SATURDAY 16 MAY 2015 AT 2PM
Stockport Story Museum, 30 Market Place, Stockport.
I am giving an illustrated talk about the arrival of 2,000 Guernsey evacuees in Stockport in June 1940 and how they made Stockport their home. It will describe the important places and spaces that remain in their memories 75 years later. It is hoped that several evacuees from Guernsey will be in attendance on the day to answer your questions after the talk. There will be a Guernsey evacuee display and an audio visual display. In addition a brand new booklet containing their memories of wartime Stockport will be on sale. This booklet was created through a generous grant from The Equity Foundation, Stockport.
The talk is suitable for adults. Admission is £3 and booking is strongly advised. Refreshments provided. Call 0161 474 4444 or go to
ITV CHANNEL TELEVISION filmed some of the evacuees and I in early May, in Stockport Town Hall and Air Raid Shelters. You can watch the film here (just under 5 mins long)
THANK YOU to the hundreds of people who attended our Evacuee event in St Mary’s in Stockport on Saturday 8 November 2014. Here are a few photographs taken at the event by John Burgess Photography – highly recommended: http://www.burgessphoto.co.uk/
Children look inside a real evacuee suitcase and decide what they would take with them
You can view more photos from our events on my Facebook page on WW2 Evacuation at https://www.facebook.com/gillian.mawson.14
Here is a lovely photo of Guernsey evacuee Irene Moss sharing her wartime story with a lovely little boy at one of our prevoius events – a wonderful example of intergenerational work:
I am delighted to announce that we have been awarded funding by the Equity Foundation, to complete a project on Guernsey evacuees in Stockport during the Second World War. We will commence work on this project from May 2014 and will complete it within 12 months. Details of the project, as it progresses, will be posted here. Thank you from everyone in our community group to the Equity Foundation!
WE PARTICIPATED IN THE MANCHESTER HISTORIES FESTIVAL AT THE TOWN HALL ON SATURDAY 29TH MARCH 2014
We had a large display of stories together with the evacuee’s wartime documents, photographs and posessions. We talked to
hundreds of people about their wartime experiences. I took with me a real Guernsey child evacuee’s suitcase which still
contains some of the original contents.
Find out more about the Manchester Histories Festival here: http://www.manchesterhistoriesfestival.org.uk/
The photograph below shows Mavis and Len, two of our evacuees, at Manchester Town Hall.
This photograph was taken by Manchester photographer John Burgess, who I can highly recommend – http://www.burgessphoto.co.uk/
I AM DELIGHTED TO ANNOUNCE THAT OUR EVACUEE GROUP WON A £500 AWARD FROM SKIPTON BUILDING SOCIETY’S BIG 160 GRASSROOTS GIVING COMPETITION!
Thank you to everyone who voted for us a few months ago, we really appreciate it, as it will help to fund our activities during 2014. You can find out mre about the competition here: http://skiptonbig160.co.uk/apply-for-funding/winners/
SUNDAY 2ND JUNE 2013
SOME OF OUR GUERNSEY EVACUEES WERE HONOURED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE MANCHESTER DAY PARADE – DEDICATED TO DRUMMER LEE RIGBY
This year’s theme was ‘Wish You Were Here’ – a celebration of place, people and identity. We travelled on a vintage double decker bus during the parade, which gave us a wonderful view of the event! Here is one image of the day and there are others on my main blog page here: https://guernseyevacuees.wordpress.com/writing-my-book-blog/
If you took a photograph of our bus that you would like to share, please contact me through the Comments box at the foot of this webpage:
Our community group won third prize in the EMC Digital Heritage Trust Competition! This will enable us to begin to share the evacuees’ stories, photographs and documents with the world through a dedicated website. MANY THANKS to everyone who voted for us! I will update this blog as soon as I have more news about this exciting project!
ON 3RD MAY 2013 Channel Television flew to Manchester to interview myself and 6 Guernsey evacuees from our WW2 community group, who did not return home after the war. If you click on the link below before 8 June 2013, you can watch their news report of 9th MAY 2013 which shows these interviews, PLUS footage of the Evacuee vintage bus that I organised in Guernsey on Liberation Day for 28 former evacuees. http://www.channelonline.tv/channelonline_channelreports/
THE AIM OF OUR COMMUNITY GROUP:
We aim to record these evacuation stories for future generations in several ways. We organise workshops for schools, museums and history groups, and also arrange community events so that people can meet the evacuees to learn about the evacuation, and view personal wartime possessions.
We rely on public donations to continue our work, and profits from the sales of our booklets and DVDs. You can purchase our limited edition ‘Guernsey Evacuation’ Booklet, or our Channel Islands Evacuation DVD from my Shop page here: https://guernseyevacuees.wordpress.com/channel-islands-calendar-2011/
For more information on our community group, please contact me via the Comments box at the foot of this page.
If you would like to receive updates on our work, or want to book us for an event, please contact us via the Comments box at the foot of this webpage. We also enjoy participating in Wartime themed events!
FUTURE EVENTS – WATCH THIS SPACE
To order my book (and read some for free):
‘Guernsey Evacuees: The Forgotten Evacuees of the Second World War’ go to:
HERE ARE DETAILS OF MORE OF OUR PAST EVENTS
AN EVENT IN GUERNSEY ON WEDNESDAY 7TH MAY 2014
I visited Guernsey to organise a special Evacuation event. Have you ever wondered what items Guernsey’s wartime children took with them when they were evacuated from the island in June 1940? Children of all ages were invited to The Greenhouse Gallery (at the Guernsey Information Centre) between 3pm and 5.30pm to meet evacuees and to select 5 of their precious wartime items to put into a suitcase. Each child was photographed with their suitcase, alongside the evacuees who have kindly loaned their items for the day. Each photograph, with parental consent, will be uploaded onto http://www.guernseyliberationday.com and the Liberations Day page on Facebook. We had a huge number of adult visitors too who were very moved to see these precious items that evacuees had kept all of these years. You can see a report on this event, and photographs of the items on my history blog at:
This doll has been kept by a Guernsey evacuee since June 1940
On Sunday 3 June 2012 we took part in Bury’s annual ‘World War Two Weekend’ at Bury Transport Museum in Lancashire. The weather was awful, but despite this, the afternoon became really busy. The evacuees met the public, shared their stories and listened to other people’s memories of wartime. I showed children an evacuee suitcase and arranged for them to write their own Red Cross letter to their parents. We also screened my film ‘Channel Island Evacuees in Bury, Lancashire’. Below is a photograph taken on Sunday.
On Sat 3 March we took part in the Manchester Histories Festival.
The evacuees and I spoke to visitors, and screened our film ‘All my Worldly Possesions: Channel Island Evacuees in Bury and Tottington during World War Two’
Our Community group and volunteers won the Festival’s Highly Commended Community Award on 2 March. We were delighted!
On 8th February 2012 I gave a talk to the Cheshire Local History Association in Wilmslow, see their website at:
THE PUBLIC MET THE GUERNSEY EVACUEES AT THE MANCHESTER PEOPLE’S HISTORY MUSEUM ON SATURDAY 24 NOVEMBER 2012 BETWEEN 11am and 12.30pm. THEY SHARED THEIR WARTIME EXPERIENCES – CHILDREN WROTE A RED CROSS LETTER AND PEEPED INSIDE A REAL GUERNSEY EVACUEE’S SUITCASE. I SIGNED COPIES OF MY NEW BOOK ‘GUERNSEY EVACUEES: THE FORGOTTEN EVACUEES OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR’
A VERY BIG ‘THANK YOU’ TO THE 300 PEOPLE WHO CAME TO OUR STOCKPORT EVENT ON SUNDAY 30 OCTOBER 2011. YOU CAN WATCH BBC GUERNSEY’S NEWS REPORT AT THIS LINK:
This interactive event took place at Stockport War Memorial and Art Gallery, and was entitled “We’ll Meet Again”. Visitors had a chance to meet the Guernsey evacuees who fled their island in June 1940, and found safety in Northern England. We ran activities for all ages, including film screenings, a chance to meet the Guernsey evacuees to hear their stories, and view their wartime documents and photographs. Visitors also listened to a live performance from Britain’s best George Formby lookalike singer, P E Caspar!
Visitors also had the chance to peep inside a real Guernsey evacuee’s suitcase, whilst children took part in a ‘Guernsey Evacuation Ship’ activity, and wrote their own Red Cross messages. Visitors were also invited to share their own wartime memories with Stockport Heritage Trust, over free tea and coffee! This event was part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science and was fully funded by the ERSC
On Saturday 27 August 2011 we held a storytelling event at the People’s History Museum, Manchester, called “Meet the Past”.
Visitors had the opportunity to meet and talk to real World War 2 evacuees who came from Guernsey to the North West in 1940. This special event included a hands on activity for all ages – they could look through a Guernsey child evacuee’s suitcase from the period. They also viewed original documents and watched my film about the Guernsey Evacuation before meeting the Guernsey evacuees t hear their stories, ask questions and see photographs from the time. This experience was a must for those interested in the social history of the period, local history and wartime memories.