Network43

Tweeting through the Blackout

Four people and the story of a generation

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Kay Parker

Kay is a 26 year old school teacher. She is a well brought up girl from Kensington, who has always desired to do something meaningful with her life. Kay moved to the country with her evacuee students during the beginning of war. The change was challenging, a far cry from her protected life in the city, but Kay's biggest concern was to keep the children’s spirits up as their lives were upturned overnight. She moved back to London in the autumn of 1943 when it became a bit quieter, as did many of the evacuees. But fresh challenges await her here as she experiences bombing and blackout first hand. She worries about the world and the children growing up in it.

The struggle of civilian life during wartime was enormous – rationing, blackouts and constant bombing had become a part of their everyday life. One of the worst sufferers were the children. Nearly 3 million children were evacuated to the countryside. Only the name tags around their necks connected them to their old lives. They were often shuttled around and some went through 20 different schools in their lifetime. Children who remained in London had to make sense of the strange realities of life, they accounted for 1 in 10 deaths during the blitz. In January 1943 a daylight raid by the Luftwaffe killed 44 children and 1 teacher in a school in London.