British schools were closed in September, 1939

Back-to-school was supposed to happen the next week but we faced evacuation from cities.

Dear Editor:

On Sept. 3, 1939, I was 12 years old, living in the Cadbury brothers’ 19th-century planned village of Bournville, now a suburb of England’s second largest city, Birmingham, three miles from the Austin Motor works, where twin engine Fairy Battle Bombers are being manufactured.

On BBC Radio (“the wireless”) we heard Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain declare, “…consequently for the second time in 25 years, we are at war with Germany.”

Back-to-school was supposed to happen the next week but now we faced evacuation from cities; first time separation from parents and siblings; being sure to take our gas masks along.

Headlines last week, locally, “Students fear for future;” “Protest not where kids wanted to be Tuesday;” and “Future unsure for Arts Council” would not have fit in the first week of September 1939 in Great Britain.

Dick Clements

Summerland

 

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