Joan Zilva

Text Box: An  account of a 14 year old’s WW2 overseas evacuation based on her letters home



Chapter Five  Part 1 :The Bartletts. The first six months of 1941


Text Box: Fancy telling me that!  I was miserable and felt guilty enough without this.  Obviously no one thought of the real underlying reasons.  I think that nowadays someone would cotton on to possible child abuse.  It seemed that I could never do anything right and destroyed any self-confidence I had.  My father’s attitude  throughout my childhood and this experience meant that I retreated into myself and have always found it difficult to express my deeper feelings.
Text Box: There was no holiday in England on New Year’s Day until several decades later.

A nice thought. 
Text Box: A sign of inflation!  5/- (five shillings = 25p ) is less than the inland letter rate now!
Text Box: This is the door that opened automatically with a light beam that I had asked about in my letter of November 11th .

Stella Davies again - the one who was tutored with me at the start of the war.
Text Box: John, Stella’s brother, became an astronomer who worked with Bernard  Lovell in the early days of the Jodrell Bank observatory. Her father was a geologist and Lecturer at Birkbeck College
Text Box: This horror about Latin is because, in the first year that we did it in England I got 95% and Stella narrowly beat me with 97%.

Text Box: Rosemary’s thank-you letter. I think I was being a bit hard on her. I don’t know how much parental input there was, but it’s pretty good for an 11 year old. Her writing is better than mine!
Text Box: Rosemary, November 1940
Text Box: I’m not sure if they did receive all these, or whether the photos I have are my copies.
Text Box: Actually the system of flat rates and transfers was very good.  
Text Box: This was obviously another lost letter.

Text Box: Prof Hirst was well-known (Haworth and Hirst), for postulating the ring structure of carbohydrates.  He was a friend of my father and a favourite of mine 
Text Box: The resultant photo, published in the school magazine (The Robur). I am centre front because I was the tallest girl.
Text Box: I don’t understand all this toing and froing of people and cats between Shortlands (The Mount) and Sanderstead.  Why should the cat have been sent alone?
Text Box: Climate fluctuations are not new.  Now we would say it was global warming,                                                                                                                                             but so far as I know                                                                                                                                        nobody had heard of                                                                                                                                      that then.
Text Box: It most certainly was.  I remember doing the lino cuts when everyone was out and gouging my thumb with the tool.  Before I could stop the flow of blood it was all over the house and I had to clear it up.  I carried the scar for years.

I certainly did “rather wish”.  It was the sort of embarrassing thing my father was inclined to do.

As ever - even now - I was unpredictable in my academic performance.

Wolfe was born in Westerham, a few miles from home, and I knew the statue of him well.  Whenever Canadian friends came to visit after the war they were subjected to being taken to see it.
Text Box: Dave, Mr. Bartlett, Rosemary, Mrs. Whittington, Mrs. Bartlett,Mr. Whittington. The Whittingtons were Mrs. Bartlett’s parents, first generation immigrants from the Isle of Wight, with an English garden. (not the best of photos). They lived in a bungalow in Willowdale, then a few miles outside Toronto, but now submerged in Toronto.
Text Box: Thank-you letter to Great Aunt, written on Rosemary’s Christmas present. Unfortunately she died before it arrived.
Text Box: Auntie Anna (Mary) was the great-aunt who bequeathed the bracelet shown in Ch 1 to my mother.  She was my mother’s maternal great-aunt (a Vevers).  She was my favourite of that generation and I was very sorry to hear of her death (See letter of April 13th).
Text Box: First letter to be opened by the censor