Before the Last All Clear

Author: Ray Evans
Publisher: Book Guild Publishing
Genre: Memoir
ISBN: 1-84624-105-7
Pages: 263
Price: $17.95

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It’s hard to imagine living through an era when your country is at war, and there is danger of attack every day. But when you’re six years old, uprooted from your home and family, and left to the care of strangers, the horror is intensified.

In Before the Last All Clear, Ray Evans shares his experiences as an evacuee in England. When Liverpool becomes a target for German bombings, he is sent off to the Welsh town of Llanelli, where it’s expected that he will not be in as much danger. But although homes and caregivers are arranged for the evacuees, not all children are treated as family, and Ray suffers neglect and abuse. Finally, though, he is sent to a home where he receives the care and love he needs.

Although a sad tale, Evans tells his story with a touch of humor, as time seems to have healed some of his wounds. But it’s easy to sense the pain he must have felt as he lived in such miserable conditions. War takes its toll on a nation, and Ray Evans will forever bear the terrible scars of World War II.

Reviewer: Alice Berger