Film ID: YFA 1982 Video of YFA 1982 ARP Malton EvacueesMM A R P/MALTON EVACUEES 1939-1941 Visitor TabsDescription This is an amateur film which shows the aspects of daily life in the town of Malton, North Yorkshire, during the Second World War. The film shows an air raid precautions drill in the town centre and evacuees from Hull and Middlesbrough arriving in the town. The film uses intertitles throughout describing the people, locations, and activities which take place during the film. The first intertitle reads, ‘Decontamination Squad, Malton May 1939’ The ARP unit in Malton Market Square is practicing for a gas attack. The ARP unit wear rubber suits, boots and gas masks, and work together to hose down the street, clean their boots in a white liquid and sweep away any dangerous matter resulting from an attack. A crowd gather around to watch the proceedings from behind a cordoned off area. Intertitle: ‘Government Evacuation Scheme, First Arrivals in Malton from Hull, 1st September 1939’. Outside of Malton Railway Station crowds of children gather next to billboards as they wait to meet their host families. There is a large marquee and the children are led around by nurses. Intertitle: ‘Pat Burns and Eileen Morton of St Mary’s Convent School Middlesborough with our children, dogs and croquet in garden, Rosewood, 8 Sept. 1939’ The evacuees who are staying with the Folliott-Ward family – the two elder girls – are playing croquet, and then pose in the family’s garden with the filmmaker’s children. Intertitle: ‘Net ball St Mary’s Convent School 22 V Malton Grammar School 6’ A netball match takes place in a school field between some of the girls seen at the station and Malton’s Grammar School. Intertitle: ‘Pat, Eileen and Sheelagh Cox as spectators’ The girls, watching the match, pose for the camera. Intertitle: ‘Castle Howard, Family and Evacuees 14 Jan. 1940’ A large group of the girls, including the filmmaker’s daughters, stand on a frozen lake together. They giggle as they slip and slide about on the ice. Intertitle: ‘Tobogganing Jack O’Lyons Jan. 1940’. Some girls in hooded coats prepare to get onto a toboggan in snow. Intertitle: ‘Display by Newlands Convent School, August 1940’ The girls form St Mary’s Convent School are putting on a physical education display for a crowd of spectators on the school playing field at Malton Grammar School. Intertitle: ‘Church Parade at St Michael’s 19 Nov 1939, Northumberland Fusiliers’ Outside St Michael’s Church, the Fusiliers line up and proceed to parade through Malton Market Square. The ‘King’s Head’ can be seen in the background. Intertitle: ‘The 5th. West Yorks.’ The parade is led by the 5th West Yorkshire regiment brass band. Intertitle: ‘Mrs D’arcy Ward, Miss Betty Ward & Captain Moore N F’. A group of girls stands outside of the church. Intertitle: ‘Some of family go for a walk! Sun. 26 Nov. 1939’ Several Labrador dogs swim in a river and then play with the children. Intertitle: ‘Church parade 3 Dec. 1939. The family leaving Rosewood’ Intertitle: ‘The Congregation and the North Fusiliers afterwards’. People come out of the church, including the Fusiliers, who then march through the streets. Intertitle: ‘Home for Christmas! Newlands Convent School 20 Dec. 1939’ A large group of girls, all in school uniform, are gathered on the platform at Malton Railway Station ready to go home. They all turn and look at camera. Intertitle: ‘Eileen Morton’ Eileen poses for the camera. Intertitle: ‘Pat Burns’ Pat poses for the camera. Intertitle: ‘Home for Christmas! Hull Commercial College 22 Dec 1939’ More girls stand in a group and pose. Intertitle: ‘Christmas Party for Evacuees 26 Dec 1939’ There are interior scenes of both boys and girls at tables eating festive food, laughing and wearing party hats. Special china has been laid out for the occasion. Intertitle: ‘Mrs Collinson and Fred Knapp’ More showing of the children at their Christmas party and the decorations. Intertitle: ‘Miss D. Beaumont Hicks & Rev. D’Arcy ward’ The Rev. and Miss Ward with others are chatting and laughing. Intertitle: ‘Present’ A group of girls, including the Folliott-Ward’s, are sliding and playing on a frozen pond. Each runs up and skates towards the camera. Intertitle: ‘John Mason at Malton Station after Dunkirk June 1940’ A man in civilian dress and one in army uniform pose for the camera. Intertitle: ‘At Tom Campion’s East Heslerton’s, August 1940’ The film closes with a short shot of Tom Campion standing for the camera. Context This film shows glimpses of life in a Malton family for a year after taking in two evacuees from Middlesbrough in September 1939. It was made by local filmmaker Mr Folliott Ward, who worked as a local solicitor, and was also a councillor. As one of those helping to organise homes for evacuees who came to Malton, he made his own home available to two children, who were later replaced by another three children. As well as this film, Folliott Ward made a number of films spanning the five years from 1937 to 1942, held at the YFA. Folliott Ward’s daughter, Heather Reynolds, seen in the film, has shared some of her memories of that time in the ITV programme The Way We Were. Here Heather tells of how much she enjoyed having the two older girls to stay, recalling how friendly they were to her, and how much fun they were. Heather says that it felt that they were like sisters, and that having them helped her to grow up and expand her horizons – even speculating whether her father’s role in choosing homes for the evacuees might have helped him get such pleasant girls! Heather kept in touch with one of the girls, Pat Burns, for some time after the war. Later on three other girls stayed at Heathers home: Margaret Stockton, Paddy Lathan and Vera Horn, from Middlesbrough, Saltburn and Redcar respectively. One confusing aspect of the film is the reference to two schools that have been evacuated to Malton: St Mary’s Convent School, Middlesbrough andNewlands Convent School, which is from Hull. Schools from Hull tended to go as a group, and 40 children from Newlands went to Bridlington first before moving to Malton in August 1941 where they joined with Malton Grammar School, on Middlecave Road, where the family house, Rosewood, was also situated. Preparations had been made for 100,000 children to be evacuated from Hull, although only 38,000 went on some 100 trains. It ought to be remembered that Middlesbrough was part of Yorkshire until 1968 when Teeside was created (then Cleveland in 1974, and a unitary authority from 1996), and is still a part of historic Yorkshire. Discussions on the possible evacuation, of children, invalids and the elderly, had been going on for many years before a Committee for Evacuation was finally set up under the Home Secretary, Sir John Anderson, in May 1938. When it came the evacuation was a massive operation, with a planned 3.5 million individuals to be evacuated by early September, beginning on the 1st, two days prior to the declaration of war. In the end only half this number actually turned up at the many evacuation points, complete with gas mask and name tag. At the time, with the example of the Spanish Civil War still fresh in the memory, it was estimated that up to 600,000 might be killed in air attacks. Despite all the organisation that went into this, the plans left much to be desired. Arranging accommodation was usually very haphazard, with grief stricken parents and children having no idea who they would end up with. The major cities were targeted for evacuation, with evacuees to be shipped out to rural areas. Very often children from poor backgrounds found themselves staying with much more wealthy families. This meant that both parties had a culture shock: seeing how the other half lives. This could be a good thing, but it frequently turned out badly for those children who experienced rejection, or ended up with families that ill-treated them. The whole enterprise was voluntary, so many parents opted out, as did very many wealthy families who preferred not to have to look after children from an alien culture – and possibly with head lice, and little personal hygiene, let alone adequate clothing – even though they could receive ten shillings and six pence for a single child and eight shillings and six pence for each additional one. This film certainly shows us the best side of the evacuation experience: how exciting and uplifting it could be. But many evacuees returned home by Christmas, before the war really got going. However, there was another round of evacuation during the blitz, between September 1940 and May 1941, when 41,000 civilians were killed and 137,000 injured during air raids across Britain. Both Middlesbrough and Hull were heavily bombed during this time. Middlesbrough was second only to London on the German target list, and was the first major British town and industrial target to be bombed. In fact the first German airplane shot down over Britain during the war was near Whitby. Hull was also particularly hard hit, not only as a target in its own right, but also because it was a convenient place to offload bombs if other targets inland couldn’t be reached (for Hull in the war see the Context for King George And Queen Visit Hull). Another film held at the YFA that features evacuees is Lord Mayor’s Year of Office 2, which shows some boys evacuated from Bradford to Linton Camp near Grassing ton (see ’Britons at War’ in Further Information). This school was set up in July 1940, just a month before Bradford was bombed. More stories and memories of children during the war, including two from Hull, can be found on the BBC website (see References). [with special thanks to the BBC, Pamela Silver and Alan Rudd] References Juliet Gardner, Wartime: Britain 1939-1945, Headline, London, 2004. Angus Calder, The Myth of the Blitz, Pimlico, London, 1991. Sara Last and Liz Deverell, Evacuuees from Hull 1939-41. (No publication details are available for this, but it is available at Hull Local Studies Library – it details the places evacuees were sent to and their experiences) A number of online sites collect wartime memories, along with much more useful information – see especially: The BBC Archives People’s War The Second World War Experience Centre The Wartime Memories Project The story of Peter Cooper who was evacuated from Hull to Robin’s Hood Bay in 1939, at the age of 3, and who never went back. Britons at War An educational site for schoolchildren, with information on evacuees. Further Information Martin Parsons, I'll Take That One: Dispelling the Myths of Civilian Evacuation, 1939-45, Beckett Karlson, 1998.