Harold Humphreys, a Second World War evacuee from Birmingham, returned to his primary school in Llangrove after more than 80 years on Monday, September 2nd.

Harold, who left his city home at eight-years-old just days before war broke out, first arrived in Llangrove on September 1st, 1939.

He recalled the room he first stood in with other children awaiting their country homes, and told the Ross Gazette that when he first arrived his new family and friends found it hard to decipher his accent. He moved from North View to Llangrove Cottage five months after he arrived, where he lived with Winifred Cotton.

Viv Conway, Winifred’s granddaughter, met Harold during his visit to the school. It was “emotional but amazing” to meet a man who had known her grandmother and her mother years before she was even born, she said.

Harold told the Ross Gazette his experience of what is now recognised as Llangrove’s rich war history. On the morning of July 7th, 1942 the port engine failed on an RAF Wellington Bomber which was returning from a long training flight. Harold, ten-years-old at the time, was playing football with his friends nearby. Amazingly, along with letters and photographs, Harold still treasures some of the parachute material from the crash site. He recalled the shock in the village at the time of the crash, which killed Reverend Frank Easton when he was cycling home.

Now, Harold has three children and lives in Birmingham with his wife, Maureen. They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary this year on August 29th.See the full story in this week’s edition of the Ross Gazette, or subscribe to our online edition here