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Evacuees experiences of chard during world war 2

How to explore the evacuee stories. 


Click on the arrow in the top right hand corner of the first presentation to start the interactive activity. The interactive activity will tell you stories of some of the children who were evacuated to Chard. There are several puzzles and quizzes that you can complete. These are also available to print. You can then complete the activity and check your answers in the presentation. 

Move further down this page and you can read about a bombing raid on Tatworth, and listen to Pat Harlow describing his experience of being evacuated to Winsham.

You can print and complete the puzzles and quizzes and then check your answers in the interactive activity.

Instructions to use the activity

Puzzle 1 is a Word Search

Puzzle 2 is a Crossword

Puzzle 3 is Mix and Match

Puzzle 4 is a Multiple Choice Quiz

In August 2020, Pat Harlow and his two grand daughters called into the Museum. Listen to Pat telling his story of being evacuated to Winsham in early 1940. 


Based on notes made by Len Hoskin’s of an interview with Mrs A. T. Davies of Tatworth


On 23rd October 1942 at around 4.30 in the afternoon Mrs A. T. Davies heard the low hum of an aircraft. Looking out of her bedroom window she saw clearly a swastika on the fuselage of a plane flying low from the direction of Windwhistle. Next she heard an explosion. At first it was unclear what had happened, but it was soon discovered that a bomb had dropped into the yard of the local United Dairies milk factory.


One man was killed and 35 others injured. Mrs Davies stated that if the bomb had been dropped 5 minutes earlier many more would have been killed, but by then they had left the yard. Windows were broken as far away as the Co-op branch in Fore Street, Tatworth.


The local doctor, Dr. Daniel, phoned for an ambulance and ordered sterile dressings. The local First Aid team swung into action, getting the kettles on and receiving a stream of shocked casualties. The most serious were treated at the local hospital where the permanent staff were helped by local volunteers, specially trained in first aid and home nursing to support the war effort. Most of the casualties were treated with tetanus injections, sedatives and cups of tea! Mrs Davies reported that the factory bomb had little effect on village morale!


This incident demonstrates that air raids were not just inflicted on large conurbations. In fact the National Archives list a total of 32,000 locations where bombs were dropped. The Tatworth bombing was one of a series of raids carried out across Somerset in 1942. German bombers, flying low in an attempt to avoid detection by radar, bombed Castle Cary railway station in early September, the Cow and Gate milk factory in Somerton, killing 11 people and Yeovil, in an attempt to destroy the Nautilus Naval Weapons factory, as well as larger cities such as Bath and Bristol. All this shows that every village, town or city were in the front line.

Unexploded Bombs in Chard (c) 1940.png

Bomb casing dropped near Crimchard August 1940

Evacuees in World War 2.png

Want to learn more, then Mike Brown's book, published in the

Shire Library is excellent.

With sincere thanks to Emma Harris for all the research that went into the creation of the interactve activity, and for the time taken to create the puzzles and quizzes; and to Georgina Vye, who also herds cats creating our Steward roster, for being available to talk and record the memories shared by Pat Harlow.

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