More Memories of a Chichester Evacuee by Ron Hercock Old Thorntonian (1935 -1940)


I joined the school at a small village named Pagham, about six miles from Bognor Regis and a little farther from Chichester. There was no place where we could have any teaching, and so we had none. I was billeted over a mile from the village itself and therefore had little to do with anyone from the school except for one other lad from the school billeted with me.  His name was Fritz Horn; I believe his family had escaped from Germany in about 1933.

We were moved to Chichester in January 1940. I was placed with a couple who had a boy of nine, so a 15-year-old wasn’t really to their liking. After a couple of months, I asked for permission to go back to the farm worker and his family in Pagham. It was granted, and I used to cycle to the school from there. I took the exams in May and then went home to London.

My understanding is that CHSB didn’t want our school to be on their site. They gave our staff details of their use of the classrooms and facilities with the offer that HTS could use any they didn’t need. I don’t know how true that was, but I do recall that I was doing German and my tuition in the whole year consisted of 13 half-hour lessons given in our lunch-breaks. Strangely, I failed the exam!

Ron Hercock

Old Thorntonian (1935 -1940)