All About Wadhurst

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Brockley School


During the Second World War, Wadhurst saw an inflow of evacuees- escaping the threat of Hitler's bombs. One large group came from Brockley School, Hilly Fields, London SE4. Their School Magazine - The Raven, published in April 1940 - records the following:


Masters were summoned back to School nearly three weeks before the end of the Summer Vacation. Then came a strenuous week at School rehearsing manoeuvres for a probable evacuation. On Saturday, September 2nd, in accordance with instructions from the Council, some 300 boys, together with some 30 sisters and younger brothers, and some 30 masters and escorts, entrained at Ladywell Station for an unknown destination. Ordered to detrain at Crowborough, supplied there with two days iron rations, thence conveyed by a fleet of motor-coaches to Wadhurst Sussex where we were received by the local billeting committee with cocoa and biscuits. Remainder of day occupied in distributing boys, sisters, staff and escorts to billets over a wide area. War declared next day (September 3rd). Next ten days busily occupied in attending to billeting difficulties and in organising improvised schooling. School opened on the advertised day for beginning of new term (September 13th) in three widely separated village halls - Hall of Commemoration, Best Beech Institute, St George's Hall - where limited time-table and curriculum have been pursued since.

Stan Cosham has a copy of the magazine - and recollections of the event from several old evacuees are coming in to him and to the website :

Don Henderson's experience of his time in Wadhurst can be read here
and his later years in Ticehurst here
Philip Grey here
Bill Christmas here

Any other contributions will be most welcome.

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