Evacuees reunite for lunch

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A GROUP of people brought to West Suffolk as World War Two evacuees were reunited in Stanton on Sunday.

John Payne, 78, was a boy when a bomb struck his family home in west London, rendering him homeless. He was brought to Bury St Edmunds as an evacuee along with his mother, two brothers and sister.

They lived with an elderly couple in Great Barton, in a shop in Flempton and in Hengrave Village Hall before moving to Stanton.

Then, in 1950, along with other evacuees, his family moved into Nissen huts no longer needed by the American Air Force base in Shepherds Grove.

During this time, many friendships were forged between the evacuee children. Some, like John, later moved into new council houses on Stanton’s Knowle estate, while others moved away.

On Sunday, some of them were reunited at Stanton’s Rose and Crown.

Betty Overly, 80, was evacuated from London in 1942 after her home was damaged in an air raid. She later moved to America with her husband so was very excited to be at the reunion.

“I think it’s great because you don’t know when we’ll be able to do it again, if ever,” she said.