The image to the right features on the cover of one of Martin’s books about evacuation, I’ll Take That One Too (2013). The book places the British ‘Operation Pied Piper’ in the context of other plans to evacuate children across Europe, notably in Germany and Finland. The image was created by his wife and daughters, and features eldest daughter Kimiko alongside three of Martin’s grandchildren.
Some suitable clothes and hats were acquired for these young ‘actors’, and a makeshift gas mask box was constructed from an old cardboard box and using string. Jo then photographed the costumed group of figures in front of glass doors in order to catch them in silhouette. She layered this image onto a photograph of a sunrise that she had taken some time previously.
Jo is an avid photographer always on the lookout for promising dawns and dusks, rising very early if necessary and walking out with her camera. This particular sunrise was captured on the wide-open fields of the Englefield estate not far from her home where, in a related photograph taken on the same morning, she captured some wild deer in silhouette, emerging from the mist. Jo experimented with the hue for the book cover sunrise, and injected a warmer tone.
The completed picture was delivered to the publisher within twenty-four hours and was approved without further editing.
If you have any queries about the Evacuee Archive or wish to deposit relevant material, please contact the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about this website, please contact Dr Teresa Murjas at
Dr Teresa Murjas is an Associate Professor in Theatre & Performance at the University of Reading. Her research interests include memory, materiality and the archive, and conflict representation in theatre and film, including Holocaust representation. She is the daughter of Polish WW2 child refugees.
Dr James Rattee is a practitioner and researcher in film. His research interests include the representation of memory and materiality and film, and the ways in which film style can produce forms of meaning and understanding. His grandmother was a WW2 evacuee.
This project was funded by the Arts Council England as part of a collaborative project with MERL and Reading Museum, entitled Reading at War. Thanks to project researcher Laura Farrell.
Copyright Teresa Murjas & James Rattee 2016.