‘No one had written about the evacuees – I thought that was a travesty’
Saturday 8th December 2012, 8:30AM GMT.
ENTHUSIASM and a genuine love for her subject matter emits from the very core of Gillian Mawson. The Stockport-born author positively glows when she talks about it.
And that’s great for the island, as her chosen topic – rapidly becoming, by the looks of it, her life’s work – is the evacuation of Guernsey folk in 1940. The fruits of her labour have recently been published in an indispensable book: Guernsey Evacuees – The Forgotten Evacuees of the Second World War.
But the former admin secretary admits that just eight years ago, she hadn’t even known about the evacuees.
‘I went straight to work from school but I’ve always loved history,’ said the 55-year-old. ‘Especially the Victorian era and the 1940s. So I decided to do an undergraduate degree at Manchester Uni.
‘About two years in, that’s when I found out about the Occupation and the evacuation. I didn’t even know about it. I didn’t even know that 2,000 or so people from Guernsey had gone to Stockport.’
Gillian, picture, thought that someone was bound to have written a book about it, but she couldn’t find one.
‘I thought that was a travesty.’
- Read the full interview with Gillian in today’s The Week, free in the Guernsey Press.