World War II, Words and Love - Operation Pied Piper


Albert Einstein was a scientist who had many important things to say about life and about World War II.  But Ada didn’t know about Einstein, or World War II or the world outside her window. Mam kept her inside and wouldn’t let her go to school. Now that Jamie was old enough to go to school and World War II came to England, everything changed for Ada.

Jamie came home from school one day and announced that all the children in London were to be sent to the English countryside where they would be safe during the war.  London might be bombed, so the children needed to leave the city. People leaving their homes during a war or because of a disaster are called evacuees. Ada wanted to be an evacuee with Jamie. She loved him and wanted to live her life for him. She practiced standing up and walking in secret to be ready when evacuation day came.

The English government gave the evacuation effort a name: Operation Pied Piper.  Over a million children and their teachers got on trains to escape from the cities to the English countryside. 1 When they reached their destinations, families who volunteered to house and feed the evacuees were waiting at the train station.  The children were lined up and inspected. “I’ll have that one,” was what the evacuees heard when they were picked by the head of a family.  2


Ada and Jamie became evacuees, but they never heard those words because no one picked them.  They were dirty, dressed poorly, and had lice.  Of course, who would want Ada?  Even Mam didn’t want her because she had a club foot. Lady Thornton, who was in charge of evacuee placement, took Ada and Jamie to Susan’s house.  Susan was a lonely lady and was often depressed. She didn’t volunteer to take any children into her home.  Lady Thornton told Susan it was her duty, and Susan eventually agreed. After taking care of Ada and Jamie, Susan found out that what Helen Keller said about life is true: “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” 3

Original Release: Nov 08, 2015

Updated Last Revision: Jun 02, 2016

1) Lee, Adrian, Labelled with love-- what really happened to the evacuee kids in World War II, Express, Nov/06/2013, Oct/27/2015, http://www.express.co.uk/showbiz/tv-radio/441379/Labelled-with-love-what-really-happened-to-the-evac
2) Zimmerman, Dwight Jon, Operation Pied Piper: The Evacuation of English Children During World War II, Defense Media Network, Dec/31/2011, Oct/27/2015, http://www.defensemedianetwork.com/stories/operation-pied-piper-the-evacuation-of-english-children-d
3) Corso, Susan, Daring to Adventure, Huff Post Healthy Living, Aug/11/2008, Oct/27/2015, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-susan-corso/daring-to-adventure_b_113923.html

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"Operation Pied Piper" AwesomeStories.com. Nov 08, 2015. Dec 13, 2019.
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