Can anyone fill in the gaps of an evacuees story?

by Zoe Martin
(Canterbury Kent)

Please can anyone help to fill in the gaps for my mum. She is now 75 and was evacuated to Fordinbridge from London during World War II. She was very young and she doesn't have many facts and sadly has no living relatives that can help. She really would like to see the area she stayed in again. We brought her to Fordinbridge last summer and visited the library but were unable to find out very much. Her memories are that she went to a local school in the area but had to walk a good distance to school. She stayed with the local headmaster and his wife in a school house. She remembers that one evening the headmasters wife was taken ill and she sadly died and my mum was then moved to a farm near Salisbury Plain.

We tried to find the school house, which she said was near allotments, but it did not appear to be there anymore. My mums name was Margaret Ina Crouch.

If anyone knows where I can access further information on her evacuation history I would be very grateful as she would love to see the area again. Many thanks.

Hello Zoe
Thanks for your comment. Let's hope someone knows of a schoolmasters wife who sadly died during WW2 and that they can help Mum get her bearings for where she was lodged as an evacuee. Until we get a response I've got a couple of web sites for you to try to contact. They may have good archive material for the Fordingbridge area during WW2.

Best wishes to Mum and hope someone can add some helpful info for you both.

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Feb 07, 2012
The War years
by: Ray Pidgley

I don't think that she was in the 'Godshill' area, which is two miles from Fordingbridge going towards Southampton.
The school was next to the School House and the small church. It had a 'Governess' as she used to be called, named Mrs Mellor, whose husband owned the bakers shop in Fordingbridge, and a very tall junior teacher named Miss Baxter, they both came from Fordingbridge and used to drive up to the school in Godshil in a small Austin 7. We had quite a few evacuees from around Southampton, which was quite badly blitzed by german bombers. Next to the school was a lane which was called 'School Lane' which led to a small farm ran by Mr Chalk and his son, who used to drive his market cart to Bournemouth every wednesday to sell vegetables. The shop in the village was owned by Mr Church, who baked his own bread, and delivered it around the villages twice a week, besides that he was a Special Constable, and was very busy during the war. Ray Pidgley.

Feb 07, 2012
Response to query
by: AnonymousNevile Chalke

Have set some wheels in motion regarding this query and hopefully you may soon hear some news.

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