One of our members has kindly given us permission to post an email below they sent to Hugh (see previous article) regarding their experiences in WW II.
My parents thoroughly enjoyed your presentation.
My father Jose Osa was one of the 4000 Basque children evacuated to England in May 1937 during the Spanish Civil War. He was number 3693 see register attached. He was just 12 and his brother Felix a little older. The children first stayed in camps with priests and teachers on arrival in Southhampton and dad was later sent to live with 50 children in Arkley Lodge, Rowley Way in Barnet until he was old enough to learn a trade and take lodgings in Chesterfield Road in Barnet. It is a very interesting story - the children thought it would only be for 3 months and there is a book titled this. My father never returned to his homeland and remained living in London and moved back to Barnet last year. He still meets up regularly with a few of his friends who are now in their 90's!
I have attached some photos which I am sure you will find interesting. Particularly, the photo of the bomb crater in the garden of Arkley Lodge. Dad's not sure when this happened so it would be interesting to check on the Arkley bomb map you told us about. Dad was the only one injured with a cut face and the next day the 50 children were taken to the Old Fellows Hall in High Barnet for safety.
In the photo of the 3 boys, my dad is the one on the left. In the group photo taken in the garden of Arkley Lodge, dad is third from the left. He's not in the photo of the bomb crater. Some of the children in that photo are still alive today. Dad missed the reunion in 2010 as we were on holiday but last year the current owners kindly invited us for tea so dad could share his memories. In that photo, his best friend Paco is fourth from the left.
We would love to come and see your archives. How can I arrange this?
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Looking forward to your next presentation.
Kind regards Olga