Picture of the books front cover

I wish to record my thanks to several people who gave me help in the writing of this small book. I am particularly indebted to many friends and acquaintances in the village of Wootton who contributed to my recollections; Peter Bailey for his poem and sketch of Wootton bridge and all his help and encouragement; my childhood friends David Fisher, Cyril Gregory and Hugh Murphy; and my sweethearts Eileen, Wendy and Margaret, (you must guess who they were). Also the many others at Wootton who, consciously or unconsciously, helped me to remember.

Victoria Snow, who was a real relation to my mentor 'Aunty Annie', and writer of two books about the area, first told me to put pen to paper. She unfortunately died just before completion, but helped and advised me throughout. I shall always remember her.

In addition I would like to thank the following people. Clive Hopwood, author of many books and a teacher of creative writing, encouraged me to put the book together; Jack Benson, writer of countryside stories and articles whose descriptive anecodotes provided me with just the words I was looking for; Professor Bob Holman for the, use of some facts and figures from his book The Evacuation - A Very British Revolution; the Rev. Canon G Raynor for information on Wootton Church, Mill and Manor; the Portsmouth News and Isle of Wight County Press for permission to print news items and photographs from old newspapers; and Ordnance Survey for their permission to print their 1940's map of the Wootton area. "Chip" Wood of James Guilford Commercial Artists, Rhos-on-Sea, provided the cartoons which so ably interpret my friends and sweethearts, in the absence of any photographs.

Many thanks also to Marjorie Chambers, who not only dotted the 'is' and crossed the 'ts', but corrected my spelling mistakes, reduced the adjectives, increased the nouns and amended many of the split infinitives (whatever they may mean) in my manuscript. Any glaring errors remaining are at my insistence, with the feeble excuse to her that "It's the way I want to tell it".

Finally, I wish to thank the History Research Centre at the University of Portsmouth, who have taken it upon themselves to become involved in the production of this book. Without their help it would never have been published at all. I am happy to know that my memories may be used in the future by students, researchers and anyone else interested in the experiences of one small boy during the Second World War.

Royal Doulton Commemorative figurines of boy and girl evacueesRoyal Doulton Commemorative figurines of boy and girl evacuees by sculptor Adrian Hughes - they speak for every evacuee of the Second World War