4,000 evacuees children expected
11th June 1940
The evacuation of children from greater London is to commence on Thursday and this means that Bideford and Torrington districts can expect, according to the allocations previously announced, several thousand of these evacuees.
This great London exodus, which involves about 120,000 children, will take six days to complete. The majority will come to the Westcountry - Cornwall, Devonshire, Somerset and Wales.
Bideford borough was instructed to make arrangements to received 1,500 children; Bideford Rural District, 1,000 children: Torrington Borough 200 children; Torrington Rural District 1,600.
With the arrival of the children and the number of "unofficial" evacuees - elderly people and mothers and children already seeking safety in the town - practically all Bideford's available accommodation will be in use.
Owing to the insufficient response on the part of householders in some districts compulsory billeting powers will have to be exercised.