Wednesday 4 September 2019

World War 2 Eighty Years On - Monday, September 4th, 1939

A meeting held at Eton Wick School with Christina Plumbridge head teacher, and the L.C.C. teachers, discussed arrangements for the schooling of the evacuated children.  After allowing time for the children to settle into their billets, the two sets of pupils attended school on a half day rota.  The arrangement commenced with village pupils attending morning class during the first week and L.C.C. pupils in the afternoons, and reversed for the following week.  After three weeks the two groups were combined for a trial full school day. This created a combined roll 151 children divided into five classes.  Congestion in the classrooms caused problems despite the teachers adapting themselves as far as humanly possible.  Enquiries were made as to whether it was feasible to use the village hall and the Scout hut situated in the Wheat Butts, but in the meantime, the school resumed the two sessions. This arrangement lasted until November when Buckinghamshire Education Committee arranged for the L.C.C. Schools to take over rooms in the Village hall at a monthly rent of three pounds.
Billeted with strangers and nowhere to call their own, evacuated mothers with small children found the quiet village life frustrating and were often seen wandering around.  It was easier for the children, who after a few weeks of settling into their new surroundings joined in many of the village activities. The Church and Chapel Sunday School classes increased in numbers, with over one hundred attending at the Chapel.
The wail of air raid sirens from Slough, Datchet and Eton were clearly heard as the first air raid alert sounded on the night of September 3rd, 1939 but proved uneventful.

This is an extract from Round and About Eton Wick: 1939 - 1945. The book was researched, written and published in 2001 by John Denham. 

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