Cynthia’s Diary – Evacuation from London to Alfold, September 1939, page 4

Our make-shift school house was part of the Chapel in the middle of the Village.  One day I came home from school to a very worried looking bunch of people, it didn’t take long to find the reason.  My pretty little sister Wendy, with her beautiful blonde curls, greeted me minus her curls, in fact she looked as though someone had put a basin on her head, and calmly cut around it, and that’s exactly what the dear Rectors wife had done! You see they had for some years been missionaries in China, and apparently that’s the way they cut children’s hair when they were there.  Poor Mummy, what a shock for her on the next visit.  I couldn’t resist taking Wendy’s photo with my little Brownie box camera.

Finally everyone had to move from the Rectory, as the Rector and his wife found it too much for them for some reason, and no bombs had a yet fallen on dear old England, and we’d only had one alert.  One morning a typical villager, rung frantically at the old fashioned bell and chain.  I ran to the door and all I could understand was the warrrning, the warrrning, in the typical village accent.  I believe the church bells were rung etc., but there were no air-raid shelters in the country anyway.  It turned out to be one of our own planes.

Off we went eventually, to live in a small bungalow, the owner living alone there, being separated from his wife.  I was made to go to bed about 9 o’clock, but could never get to sleep, as Jack, the owner played all kinds of string instruments and Mr. B. played the piano.  For Xmas I bought her the music and words of the Beer Barrel Polka (neither she nor her husband drank intoxicating beverages).  So I really don’t know whether she liked the song or not, although she did learn to play it, and for some reason, I gave Mr. B. a pair of sock suspenders for his Xmas present.

Dennis, Louis, Larry and Stanley in American Clover field, Alfold, 1939

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