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Book Notes: From East End to Land's End: The Evacuation of the Jews' Free School, London to Mousehole in Cornwall during World War II, Susan Soyinka

Edgar Samuel

<plain_text><page sequence="1">From East End to Land's End: The Evacuation of the Jews' Free School, London to Mousehole in Cornwall during World War II, Susan Soyinka (D. B. Publishing 2010) isbn 978-1-85983-772-6, pp. 281, After the Munich Crisis of 1938 the British government started to prepare for war and plans were made for evacuating children from London and other industrial cities. When war with Germany broke out in September 1939, 827,000 London school children were evacuated. The Jews' Free School (JFS) children were sent to Cambridge. By January, when no aerial attacks had taken place, 177,000 children drifted back to their parents' homes in London, includ? ing many JFS children. However, when France surrendered to Germany in May 1940 and the British army was withdrawn from Dunkirk, evacuation was restarted. In June 1940,160,000 children were evacuated from London to the countryside and parcelled out to foster homes. At the same time many others, including myself, were voluntarily evacuated to North America. On this second occasion the JFS children were evacuated to Cornwall and settled in the fishing village of Mousehole. Of course, to start with, the resumption of JFS schooling run by their own teachers in Mousehole was an advantage. However, before long the evacuees attended Mousehole School, where they learnt to adapt to and to understand the Cornish way of speech. 238</page><page sequence="2">Book Notes As well as researching documents and newspaper reports, Susan Soyinka interviewed large numbers of former evacuees and the families of their hosts in Mousehole, about their experiences and the friendships which resulted. It is a happy history, for the villagers of Mousehole were welcoming, kind and supportive. This is a readable, detailed and interesting account of the JFS evacuation to Cornwall, which covers Jewish education and practice as well as personal relationships. The main recollections of the JFS alumni are of a harmonious and instructive experience. Edgar Samuel</page></plain_text>