By: M. Davies
This morning, the usual comforting feeling wasn’t in our household; For today my siblings and I will be off to somewhere in Devon. As you know, I, Grace Willer feels that ever since this dreaded war started, life has been absolutely horrible to live and that horrid Hitler whom Winston Churchill is always talking about deserves more than just the beating some children get at school!
After breakfast, James, Sarah and I headed into town with our mother. Our father had to go to war, and he is now missing in action. I sometimes hear mother muttering about him in a worried tone. It’s not just her who is worried; we all are!
We walked down the street past the rubble and stone, and we headed towards the railway station. My little brother James was on the verge of tears, and I knew that as soon as we left the station, he would start bawling at the top of his lungs.
‘I, for the rest of the war, would be responsible for a three-year-old boy and a five-yea-old girl if we are not separated when families choose us. I, aged ten, will have to do my best from this day forward to help and comfort them’ I thought.
We live very close to the railway station, and it only took us five minutes to get there. As we rushed through its gaping doors, I could immediately hear the shrill cries and shouts of wailing children. I noticed that James’ hand was gripping my mother’s even tighter whilst tears were already trickling down Sarah’s cheeks. We only had a few minutes until our train left the station; we rushed through the concourse to the platform, and I could feel my heart beating rapidly in my chest. We arrived at the platform without a minute to spare. We all gave mother a big hug, said goodbye to her and climbed the steep steps onto the train. Luckily there was a free compartment with the door open, which was right next to where the door was. I opened the window without putting my suitcase down. As the train pulled out of the station, we all reached out of the window with our free hands and waved. I waved the hardest I’ve ever waved. I heard my mother shout “Goodbye Sarah, Goodbye James, Goodbye Grace!”
“Goodbye!” we all chanted!
The train ride felt as if it lasted forever. And my prediction was revealed, James started bawling louder than ever before. I ended up giving him my custard cream as well as his own strawberry tart. I had brought a special notebook and pen to draw with. Sarah loves my notebook, it’s like an archaeologist’s (it’s not my diary)! She was sitting quietly, hankie in hands, wiping away tears. I knew I wouldn’t regret what I was about to do. I reached over to Sarah and gave her my notebook and pen. She smiled and opened the book as if it was an artefact, picked up the pen and wrote: from the best sister ever, Grace. I smiled and patted the seat next to me as an invitation for her to sit with me; she quickly switched seats, and the rest of the journey was rather enjoyable. With James sleeping with his head on my lap, I taught my sister to draw various animals, and it seemed as if there was no war going on at all. After lunch, both Sarah and James were asleep, their coats on top of them like blankets, they looked so calm, Diary. When we were almost in Devon, I woke them up and told them to get ready, so we put on our coats and checked the compartment to make sure we hadn’t left anything behind. Within a few minutes, we were ready to go, and we waited another several minutes and then we arrived at a quiet, little station in Devon, Maresville.
The train station was filled with pondering faces; the people were whispering things like “poor dears “or “Look at that little sweetie over there”. The faces seemed strange and different, yet warm and welcoming. We climbed out of the train and walked in a line over to a bus with open door and cheery-faced man with white hair and an even whiter moustache. “Hello Mister“said James smiling.
“Why, you’re a polite little fella, aren’t you, lad.” replied the man. He had a strong accent that I could tell James liked.
“Good evenin’ to you too.“ James beamed even more!
We climbed onto the bus and took the half an hour trip to the centre of the town. We marched into the town hall like soldiers! In the hall, there were two ladies standing on a stage next to benches, one was tall, thin, and her hair was scraped ever so tightly into the neatest little bun I’ve ever seen. The other was short, plump, and seemed much nicer and less strict than the other. The tall lady spoke: “Hello children, these people have come to be your family for the rest of the war, so I recommend you behave well and give them no reason to hate you. Please sit down while you are chosen.” We sat down as the second lady spoke: “I am Jane Smith, and this is Mrs. Blake. You will now be chosen, children.”
I’m very glad we were one of the first to be chosen. We were chosen by Rachel Smith (Mrs. Smith’s sister)! We went to her little cottage in the town with another girl called Lisl Jones; she’s very nice, but I’ll tell you about her in the morning. I’m very sleepy.