The Maltonian Web

Maltonians' Memories

Mary Kirk (Mary Ledraw)

In July 2002 Mary sent her memories of being an evacuee at Malton Grammar School in the Second World War.

September 1941 was a very memorable month for me. At the age of eleven I had passed my scholarship to become a pupil at Newland High School in Hull. However, because of the heavy air raids, my parents decided that it would be better for me to come to Malton and attend the Grammar School to which part of Newland had been evacuated.

I remember feeling quite excited but nervous on arrival at Malton. I had expected that all the evacuees would stay together in one place, but in the event, we were taken to separate 'billets'. My first one being in St Nicholas Street, Norton where I stayed until the following July.

I think that there were about thirty of us eleven year old Newland girls starting our new life in Malton, but because of some overcrowding at the Grammar School, most of our lessons took place at the Pioneer Club in Malton. We became Form 1H (Hull) and our form mistress was Miss Joyce Pogson, a Hull person, who later returned to teach at Newland.

After our first year at the Grammar School, quite a number of evacuees returned home. Therefore, at the beginning of the September 1942 term, the remaining Newland girls who had previously been in Form 1H merged with the Malton pupils of a similar age. I had also been moved to another 'billet' which was in Wood Street, Norton, where I stayed for a further three years.

By this time, I was enjoying life at school. We evacuees had been made welcome and treated mainly in the same way as the Malton pupils. Probably, the only difference being that we wore the Newland uniform - white blouses and navy tunics. Also one could always 'spot' a Newland girl in the area, by her headgear - a bright orange beret!

I stayed on at Malton until the war was almost ended and left in July 1945 to continue my school days at Newland. After returning to Hull I found it difficult, for some time, to settle into a large school of about six hundred girls whereas, in contrast, at Malton, one knew almost every pupil by name.

It was lovely of course to be back home with my family again, but also sad to leave friends and the school where I had spent four happy years.

Finally, I should like to recall a few of the names of Newland evacuees whom I remember from our wartime days - Jeanie King, Jean Abbey, Eileen Quarmby, Pamela and Eileen Gale, Nancy Lusby, Doreen Wilkinson, Vivienne Hawkes, Mollie Ryder, Doreen Eagle and Joan Harding.

Mary Ledraw (nee Kirk)