I am currently writing a book about the wartime friendship between Mrs Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of the US President, and Paulette, a little evacuee who was evacuated from Guernsey to Knutsford, Cheshire. In May 2017, Paulette and I spoke on British Forces Broadcasting Radio – you can listen to the interview here and find out more: http://www.forces.net/radio/10-year-old-whose-pen-pal-was-first-lady
Parts of Paulette’s story appear in my latest book, Britain’s Wartime Evacuees:
I worked with BBC North West Television on a documentary which told the story of Paulette, who was evacuated to Cheshire with her Guernsey school in June 1940. The school re-opened in a mansion in Knutsford and continued to run as a ‘Guernsey school’ but struggled financially.
The school received financial and emotional support from the Foster Parent Plan for War Children where each child was sponsored by a kind American or British person. Many of these sponsors were well known actors or writers.
Paulette herself was ‘sponsored’ by an extraordinary transatlantic penpal – Mrs Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of the American President. Mrs Roosevelt supported Paulette financially throughout the war and also sent letters and parcels to her. Much of the correspondence between them still exists today.
I enjoyed working with the BBC to provide the research for this programme. You can watch short film clips at
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