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Old 12-11-10, 23:12
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Elaine Kirk Elaine Kirk is offline
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from the BBC

On 21 June, 1940, more than 1,300 bewildered children arrived in Glasgow - a city most of them had never even heard of.

Only two days before, these youngsters had been enjoying a carefree afternoon, swimming or playing after school on the beautiful and peaceful island of Guernsey.

The Channel Islands had been largely unaffected by the start of the war.
But that summer, the sound and flashes of gunfire could be seen and heard across the sea in nearby France. The German army was advancing.

The British government decided the Channel Islands could no longer be defended.

On Guernsey, all children aged five to 14 were evacuated, unless their parents chose to keep them with them.

It was the stuff of nightmares.

To send your children away to an unknown place, in the hope they'd be taken in by strangers - not knowing when, or even if, you'd see them again.

Most of the children had never been on a ship before they set sail in 1940
In the middle of the night, at schools around the island, parents hugged their youngsters and waved them off.
Clutching pillowslips or bags containing a couple of vests, pants and socks, perhaps a favourite toy, something to eat on the journey, the children were bundled on to buses.

They were driven to an assortment of waiting ships in the harbour, many coming straight from the Dunkirk landings.

Arriving on the south coast of England hours later, they were checked over, fed and watered and bundled onto trains heading north.

Most of these young people had never been on a ship before. They'd never left the island.

They'd never seen a train, a busy road - or a black and white cow.

The youngest were terrified, grief-stricken and missing their families. They'd left behind everything and everyone they'd ever known.

Some of the older kids regarded it as all as a bit of an adventure. For the teachers and helpers accompanying them, it was an onerous responsibility.
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