Woolwich & Districts
From South London To Kent
Roma Thompson (nee Crawford)
was eleven and my sister Jean Crawford was nine. We were living
We are told there is going to be a war; many children from Ancona
Road School, Plumstead, where we lived, are going to be
cared for somewhere safe. We were fitted with a gas mask and
told to carry it at all times.
the summer of 1939 we set off by steam train from Plumstead
Station. We'd never been on a steam train before, or even far
from our homes; we were excited; it seemed like an adventure;
we didn't even know where we were going. We arrived at Paddock
Wood station; it seemed miles from home.
by teachers to the village church we assembled, collected emergency
rations and waited to be allocated to our homes. Ours was eventually
Rose Cottage on Overy Farm with our foster parents and their
daughters, Irene and Margaret. We soon became accepted as part
of their family. Little did we know that we would be there for
cottage was surrounded by countryside, hop fields, orchards
and farm animals; wonderful, since this was something we only
read about. There were no buses or trams and chickens laid eggs!
loved the country life; our foster parents, Constance and George
Farley, were so kind and we felt at home. I shall never forget
my experience of the war. I am still in touch with Irene Farley.
We still reminisce; life was both happy and sad.
story was submitted by Helena Noifeld on behalf of Daphne Roma
Thompson (nee Crawford)
War is an online archive of wartime memories contributed by
members of the public and gathered by the BBC. The archive can
be found at bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar'