The Wildgoose Chase

I met Chelsea Pensioner Walter Wildgoose in 1977 when he was 87 and I was 26. Through a series of letters written over the last year of his life, he passed along his life story - the workhouse children's home, a life in the British Army witnessing the opening battles of World War I and life in India, a remarkable family surviving the bombs of World War II London. This blog will document my research and progress on the novel I'm writing about this amazing man.

Monday, October 31, 2005

School Camp 1930's

Ronald, Walter, and Douglas 1930's

In 1933, School Camp! Our metal teacher used to take a party of boys to camp and the headmaster asked me if I would like to assist him, to which I agreed. I took both Douglas and Ronald with me. The place was Goring by Sea, near Littlehampton. It made a great change for the boys and myself, and May was quite relieved she had some time at home to organize things. We went for two weeks. I used to assist in the cooking and supervising the boys in cleaning up after meals. It became a yearly affair. Pevensey, Bembridge, Swanage, and several other seaside resorts we went and pitched our tents.

In 1935, Douglas left school being he was fifteen years of age and he went to the Malden Handicraft Works. Quite a long way for him to cycle, so I arranged to get him a situation nearer home. He was pleased to work for Coppens, the family grocery firm, and he stayed on at that job until he told me he wanted to joining the army. (More about that later.)

So Walter and the rest of his family settled in to everyday life in England between the wars. The 1930's gave them a chance to catch their breaths before another war landed - literally - on the Wildgoose doorstep.
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posted by MaryB @ 8:17 AM  


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