© Wonersh History Society - www.wonershhistory.co.uk (WHS)
EVACUATED TO WONERSH The following story was submitted to the People’s War site by Mr Ronald Butten who was evacuated to Wonersh during WW2. “Arriving on the village green of Wonersh in Surrey, my two younger sisters and I, along with nine other boys and girls, were dissentangled from a much larger group of tearful and fearful evacuees. Shepherded onto the local bus by two anxious W.I. members, a short journey brought us to the entrance of a large estate called Derryswood. A tiring walk up a very long drive brought us to a rather grand old Victorian house. The girls were to stay here and we boys were led off to something a little less salubrious; this being a somewhat dishevelled gardeners cottage. While the girls luxurated in the big house, fussed over by housemaids, we boys endured the ministrations of a succession of 'homebodies' for most of whom a week's stay was too long and a fortnight out of the question. Nightly pillow fights and a general rampaging through the cottage at all hours were among our more endearing traits. Great fun was had signalling the odd airplane that flew over, by violently opening and closing the blackout curtains with the lights full on. Our piece de resistance however was touching the nuts of an old wooden fuse-box in the bedroom from which we received an electric shock. Nothing if not enterprising, we then joined hands while the bravest touched the live nut, the consequent shock encouraging our creativity, we then forced the weakest member of our jolly crew to stand in the middle while we grasped each of his ears. The bravest member once again touched the dreaded nut. After we had all stopped staggering about we asked him, 'what was it like' "I saw a big blue flash" he cried, his eyes popping. So beware mothers, boys will be boys.” WW2 People's War is an online archive of wartime memories contributed by members of the public and gathered by the BBC. The archive can be found at bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar.
Surrey Advertiser 20 January 1940