Beryl Garner

Photo:Photograph of Beryl and her two sisters Lily and Flossier and their mother Florence.

Photograph of Beryl and her two sisters Lily and Flossier and their mother Florence.

Beryl Garner

Photo:Beryl's father, Frances Drewell.

Beryl's father, Frances Drewell.

Beryl Garner

Recollections of memories of evacuation and life on the Home Front.

Beryl Garner (nee Drewell) was born in 1938. Beryl’s war time memories illustrate how many aspects of family life remained constant during the war years. As Beryl was the youngest of the three Drewell sisters she spent the majority of her early years with her mother’s aunt, Nanny Nethercot, whose kitchen was frequently filled with poultry or game waiting to be prepared and returned to neighbours or friends for a small fee. As rationing constricted the availability of food supplies, and financial income was limited, Beryl’s memories of Nanny Nethercot’s egg incubator, stored in the outhouse, reinforce the necessity of sourcing produce independently.

The daily dangers of war

Beryl’s memories also highlight the daily dangers of war – on one occasion after an air raid, an unexploded bomb was found in the back yard and had to be diffused by soldiers. On another, Beryl was roller skating in the street when she saw an enemy plane and was rescued by a passing lorry driver. She decided not to tell her mum about the rescue in case she was told off!

A hostile experience

Beryl, her sisters and their mother were evacuated twice, and were initially billeted with a family who resented taking in evacuees. The hostility which they experienced caused Beryl’s father to remove them from the billet. Their second evacuation to Suffolk was more successful and they were largely welcomed by the community. However, Flossie, Beryl’s sister, became seriously ill with appendicitis and was hospitalised – as there was only one telephone in the village which belonged to the vicar, Beryl’s mother had to pay sixpence every time she used it to contact the hospital.

Beryl and her family returned home to Llewellyn Street when it was considered safe to do so. They moved to a council property in Downham, in 1947.


Written by Beryl Garner
Written by Beryl Garner (44k)
To read more about Beryl's wartime experiences in her own words please press the above link.

This page was added by Malin Lundin on 16/01/2012.