I spoke with my Gran today and began to scratch the surface of an incredible War Time Story. My Gran is currently searching through old photos and although we will go into a lot more detail about their story over the next few weeks we have gathered some information to use as a starting foundation for my videos underlying concept.
William, Kathleen & Janette Lochhead lived with their parents John & Annie Lochhead in Old Drumchapel, Glasgow when World War II began in 1939:
- My gran remembers at 6 years old hearing the announcement from the Prime Minster that “Britain is at War with Germany”
- They lived just 2 miles from Clydebank
- They attended Cloberhill School (From research I have gathered I believe it is now called St Ninian’s Primary School)
- My Gran vividly remember the events which took place during the Clydebank Blitz on the 13th & 14th March 1941- She remember 2 bombs being dropped across the road from their house on Great Western Road. The glass from the windows shattered and all they could see was flames. Their father ran with them to take cover in the Anderson Shelter. After they returned home after the evacuation they used the shelter as a Den before it was knocked down along with the majority of the Anderson Bomb Shelters
- They had to wear Gas Masks everywhere they went.
- William, Kathleen and Janette were Evacuated from 1941- 1943. They were going to be split apart which really upset them as they wanted to stay together.
- They were going to be sent to Philadelphia in America but youngest sister Janette was too young. The ship that set sail before the one which they would have boarded was torpedoed & children were tragically drowned.
- Thankfully it was arranged that they would stay together at Kirkennan House (-owned by Major Maxwell?), Kirkkudbright and attend Palnackie School (William broke his leg during their time at the school)
- The stayed in the downstairs basement. The family who owned the house employed people to look after the children.
- They spent the first while crying and missing their parent and their home, but soon had to settle in
- They were lucky compared to a lot of children. There were horse stables and plenty of land to roam although they did have the problem of condensation which ran down the walls of the bedroom that they stayed in.
- My gran has a memory of wearing clogs with buckles, in the winter snow would gather on the shoes like horse hoofs.
- During this time their father John worked for a newspaper and their mother Annie worked at a munitions factory where she cycled to work everyday. At this time women took over the jobs of men.
I plan to head down to the Mitchells library to do further research as they hold the archives from the Glasgow Evacuations during WWII- http://www.glasgowfamilyhistory.org.uk/ExploreRecords/Pages/Evacuees.aspx