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Home / Culture and Heritage / Mill Green Mill & Museum / An Evacuee Story - Reg Coleman / 16.Photograph of a WW1 tank.
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16.Photograph of a WW1 tank.


640 x 511
1516 x 1212

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“When not at school we spent most of our time playing in Hatfield Park. During day time we could go in at any time on our own, [there was] no charge to go in and [you could] almost go anywhere in the park. We collected wood from fallen trees and dragged it home for the fire. Just inside the park, across the bridge, there was a WW1 tank which we used to play on, and in until it got too snowy.

One night, incendiary bombs fell on Hatfield Park. The next day we found one that hadn’t burnt, so we levered it out of the ground and took it to the police station. The police sergeant didn’t seem too pleased; he didn’t know what to do with it. When my family had arrived in Old Hatfield we were not treated like strangers. I soon made friends, and felt I was no longer an ‘evacuee’,Hatfield was my home.

A lot of other children had been evacuated to Hatfield. There were children from Stroud Green School near Finsbury Park station. My head master told us not to mix with these Stroud Green children as some of them were rough and would get us in to trouble. I don’t think I ever met one as they didn’t share our school and my friend’s and I spent most of our spare time in Hatfield Park playing.

It seems that this opinion of their behaviour was based on the actions of a very few and unfair to most of them. I know a lady who was one of these evacuees and still lives in Hatfield. Also, one of their teachers still lives in Hatfield and has made an audio tape recording (can be borrowed from Hatfield town centre library) in which she says that they were well behaved children and well educated.

28th Aug 2009

Geography, History

Key Stages:
Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4

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