Story: Wartime Evacuees

Wartime evacuees

A story told by Willie Sinclair about evacuees in Lumsden during wartime

Oh – there was a great lot of evacuees come here – moved from Glasgow and the bombing and that. Not

just here, they moved them all over the country and they came and lived here.

Some of the persons, their mothers came as well, but they didn’t all last long. There were no chip shops

here and they went away back to Glasgow. There was very, very few stayed until the end of the war.

“Just found it too remote?”

There was a big teacher – a man teacher – we called him Big Barney. I think they called him that before he

came here. He was a devil just.

“Was he? How so?”

Ohh, he was murder. After a while when the master went back we had to go with him – the folk that

belonged here. He was rough – nobody liked him. A hard man he was. But the headmaster, he was there

for donkeys years, he was a hard man but he was a fair man – a better man.

“Hard but fair?”


“So these evacuees came over during the war time?”

They came from Glasgow, and the big towns.

“Adults too? I thought it was just kids that were sent to the country?”

But the mothers came at the very start but they didn’t last long and went away back to Glasgow and just

chanced the bombing. I think it was just there … there were some over there – Nobles or something I think

it was but there were a lot in the village.

“Did any of them stay?”

I think Edith had some – a boy and a girl but they weren’t long before they went away.

“So they always did go back to their families? Were they going into the school in that time?”

Oh aye, they came to school. But I think we went in the forenoon and then they went in the afternoon. We

just did half a day and then they did half a day, for a while. When there was lot of them. But then after a lot

went away we were mixed in with them.

“Did you make friends with some of them?”

One Eddie Dunn. He was away across there. He bided with Pat Dunn’s folk. They weren’t related. But he

was Dunn and they were Dunn but they were not related. I don’t think he was long there but he came back

thirty years after and he’d been in the birch road [prison??] in between – hiding from the police when he

came back. Never said what he’d done

We didn’t take any because we were a big family – there were seven of us so we didn’t have to take any.

There was a lot her, in the village and roundabout as well.

“So was it just that you had to? Some said ‘you’re getting two kids – come and get them’?”

Someone came round and told you like. Went all round about. I think there were a lot of them sent abroad

too . I think a lot of bairns went to Canada and all. Some of them came back but lot of them were ill-treated

– virtual slaves.

All Glasgow bairns that came here. But their mothers went away – no chip shops, you see.