In search of lost generation
WOLLONGBAR woman Hazel Ramplin wants to establish an association, similar to the UK Evacuee (Reunion) Association for World War II child evacuees, to reunite them so they can tell of their experiences after leaving their starving homeland.
The war was over, but Mother England could not provide for her people. Children were taken to railway stations and boarded trains to unknown futures.
They became The Lost Generation, children carrying small suitcases and wearing name tags on their clothes.
Siblings and best friends held hands in the hope they would not be split up.
Miss Ramplin left Devon "in 1948, because England didn't have enough food for her people and rationing was very severe".
"While preparing for school one morning, my mother told me I was going on a train journey," Miss Ramplin said.
"With a cardboard name tag on my jumper and a canvas bag containing tinned food, I thought it was to be a holiday.
"Thousands of children were milling at Acton Station when we arrived and Mum told me to board the train.
"Parents were kept a distance; no hugging. I sat next to a girl named Lucy and we became friends.
"Then in Devon, we transferred to buses for the journey to where we waited for billeting. Lucy and I were chosen together."
Miss Ramplin eventually evacuated to New Zealand before coming to Australia.
She joined the UK Evacuee (Reunion) Association in 2005 and wants to give other evacuees and their families an opportunity to share their journeys and enjoy camaraderie and friendship.
Miss Ramplin can be reached on (02) 6628 1665.