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Whitstable at War - World War II

.... School Life


With little evacuation of children from Whitstable, school life continued... but with some major adaptations..... 


School Life....


We have already touched on the impact on schools with stories of children diving under desks to avoid falling debris during bomb strikes. However, not all arrangements were quite so makeshift ..... 


My mum, Mollie Fallon, used to attend St Alphege's and remembers going into the Air Raid Shelter during the War.

Barbara Wardle 


The shelters were long narrow structures built of brick with flat roofs, a myriad of dark cell-like rooms..... and, to prevent injury from flying glass, no windows. At Oxford Street Boys a line of shelters occupied a thin strip of land edging the school garden.

Facilities were spartan as Mollie Fallon recalls from her schooldays at The Endowed... 


My mother bought a slightly singed flannelette blanket which I used when we, the Endowed Girls School pupils, had to sit in the brick air-raid shelter which was built in the playground. 

We had to take Oxo cubes so that, during the air raids, we could have a hot drink as well as being wrapped in blankets.  It WAS cold in that shelter.

Mollie Fallon
London- Formerly Whitstable


After the war, many were put to good use. In 1959, I played football for Oxford Street Boys in a match at Herne Bay Junior school where the structures were deployed as rather drafty changing rooms.

At Westmeads Infants, shelters lined Stream Walk and served as storerooms during the '50s. The buildings remain even to this day.....



Not all activities could continue.....


During the war it was forbidden to carry a camera, and there was a ban on outdoor photography. This brings up another interesting point. During my six years at The Boys School from 1940-46, not a single school photograph was taken, nor were there any organised sports teams, or house leagues formed.

John Harman
British Columbia


Food Arrangements


With rationing in force and life disrupted, special arrangements were made to ensure the well being of youngsters during their crucial "growing years" as John Moore explains.... 


During the week, at lunchtime, the Salvation Army Hall served as a "British Restaurant" - so named, I believe, by Winston Churchill to ensure young children under a certain age received at least one meal of substance a day due to rationing of most items. 

We children handed over a token to denote the value of the meal our parents had purchased.

John Moore


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