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Man evacuated to US during war will march on remembrance day

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: November 09, 2012

By Philippa Jenkins

  • Evacuee: Micheal Henderson was evacuated to America.

  • TEAM: Michael in the school baseball team, second from the right.

  • STARS: Michael, right, on the front page of Christian Science Monitor with Gerald on the left.

  • GROUP PHOTO: A gathering of British evacuees in America.

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AN 80-YEAR-OLD Second World War evacuee from Westward Ho! will be marching past The Cenotaph, in London, on Remembrance Sunday.

Michael Henderson was sent with his younger brother to live near Boston in America between 1940-45 to escape the bombing in England.

Mr Henderson will be the only evacuee among the group marching on Sunday who was sent abroad. The other evacuees were sent to homes within England.

The group of evacuees are members of the Evacuation Reunion Association, which has members marching in the national remembrance service in London each year.

Mr Henderson said it was his first time taking part in the ceremony.

He said: "I had to apply to be part of it earlier this year and then found out a few months ago that I was successful.

"It is something I am looking forward to as I won't be doing it again.

"I just hope my legs hold out, it is quite a long way we have to walk."

Mr Henderson has given talks about his wartime experience in recent years which came after he wrote a book about it in 2004.

He said: "The evacuations abroad are not very well known about, it is just not talked about as much as the ones in England.

"Since living in America during the war I have always had contact with my host family and our daughter lives there now with her family.

"At the time it was something we had to do and got on with it. I think my brother struggled with it more than I did as he is younger.

"I was there from when I was aged 8 to 13 and I had a great time at school there.

"I think it helped that I played sport because I was on a lot of teams and made friends quickly.

"After coming back we then went back to boarding school here and we just didn't talk about the war really."

Michael next visited America in 1950 and has been back countless times since.

He believes his wartime experience has shaped his life as he went on to have a career in moral rearmament.

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