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Refugee Scarborough 1944Old abandoned photographs always demand to be rescued, and this single page from an old photo album which I picked up recently is a tiny piece of social history. “My refugee, Scarborough, Oct 1944” is the only caption, and as the album had been broken up before being sold it would probably be impossible now to find out much more about the little girl in the album, or the family who helped her.  I assume it was kept by the family, who must have taken her to one of Scarborough’s many seaside photo booths on two separate occasions judging by the pictures (she has a different jacket in the third picture).  The girl herself would now be in her mid-Seventies.
Scarborough took in evacuees (I’m assuming she was not an actual refugee, although I might be wrong) right at the beginning of WW2, initially from the city of Hull further down the coast which was seen as a prime target for bombing (and indeed suffered huge damage later on) and then from the industrial towns of the North East.
Later in 1944 with the V1 bombing campaign it was decided to relocate more children and 1,250 arrived in Hull from London in July 1944, with more coming in August. Given the date on the caption it seems likely that this girl was one of that second batch of evacuees.  Most were able to return home the following summer as the V1 sites were taken.  Maybe she was sent back with one of the other pictures from the set as a reminder of her time in Scarborough.
Seventy years on the town has been preparing to accept Syrian refugees.

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