© 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