Wartime Evacuees

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Vauxhall Railway Station was the first station to be opened in Great Yarmouth.  It opened on 30th April 1844 and ran through to Norwich.  It was linked to London, via Norwich, on 15th December 1845.  The line went via Reedham at first, the track through Acle being opened on 12th March 1883.  The plaque unveiled on Vauxhall Station Platform 1 marks the evacuation of some 3,700 school children and their teachers from Great Yarmouth to the Midlands in five trains on Sunday 2nd June 1940.  During the dark days leading up to the Dunkirk evacuation (27th May to 4th June 1940), the parents of children attending school in Great Yarmouth received a letter recommending that all pupils should leave the town to a more secure part of the country. They had about 24 hours to decide whether to go or to stay.  Reports of the day stated that many of the older children treated the train journey as an adventure, but there were tears in the eyes of the younger children and in many of the parents left behind.