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Memories of North Stoneham

"I can remember getting off the boat and getting on a coach with the Salvation Army greeting
us. And we went to the campsite in Eastleigh, which was incredible really. When you think there
were 500 tents and the people ... There were thousands of children. I didn't have time to think
about my mother. I'm here and this is what happens, because we had come for a few days.
People went and got their rations, and they used to keep them to take to Bilbao. It was survival
of the fittest There wasn't much room to feel sorry for yourself. You had to think 'breakfast'. If
you didn't go to breakfast you wouldn't get any bread. So it was sort of survival of the fittest.
And there wasn't much room to feel sorry for yourself. (Venancio)

I can't get over the fact that... all this was done on a voluntary basis. The British government
didn't want us here ...to feed the camp, do the whole thing, incredible, people were incredible.
(Venancio)

The Stoneham Camp... I remember mainly the rain and queuing up for food, but I also remember
the films ... I had never been, obviously, I lived in a small village, I didn't know what a film was,
so everything was absolutely new to me and of course I had never slept in a tent and certainly
not in those conditions. (Herminio)

As we approached Southampton, we were transported to a very, very big camp. ... There were
so many hundred tents in this field, they dug different trenches for latrines, washing facilities.
... It looked like a bit of an adventure, it was like being in the Boy Scouts. We had, at times
very bad rain coming in[to] the tents - round tents like the Indians in America. We dug a moat
around it so that the water wouldn't drip in. (Jose)

It was lovely because every morning ... over the loudspeaker in Southampton they used to
play 'Land of Hope and Glory', and I love that tune. I love it. It should have been the national
anthem of this country. I love it. And you know it stuck with us. (Paco)"
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