Date: Sunday 28th March 1942
Location: First Class Carriage on train from travelling from Dover to Charing Cross
It is 17:40 on a bright, spring afternoon on Sunday 28th March 1942. Britain has repulsed an attempted German invasion through maintaining control of the air during the Battle of Britain. Although still at war, with rationing and austerity being the order of the day, the United States has entered the war and everybody is hopeful that the tide has turned. At home everything is geared to a war footing. British Rail is still running a skeleton domestic service despite the regular bombing raids being suffered by London and the South East of England. The only train scheduled to run from Dover to Charing Cross this afternoon has just left Dover. On board, sisters Kirsty and Nikki Brown, having nearly missed the train, are the only occupants of the solitary first class carriage at the rear. They are heading to Chelsea, the home of their father. Kirsty is returning to her studies in Tropical Medicine at Kings College and Nikki is bound for an interview at Chelsea College, where she is applying to study Dramatic Arts with dreams of being a star of stage and the silver screen. They are expecting a boring journey, but life does not always deliver on your expectations.
Meet the Cast
Ann Walters 23, was born on 4th November 1918 and lives at: 21, Exeter Road, Dawlish Devon. She is a student studying French and German at Queen’s College, London University. She lives in digs in London and returns to her parent’s home during vacations. She has a younger brother James (17) and sister Jane (15). Both are still at school. Her father is a fisherman who is part owner of a trawler with his two brothers and a cousin. Her mother sold bed & breakfast before the war, but the spare rooms are now used to house twenty evacuees. She was born and brought up in Dawlish, gaining English, French and German A levels, all with Grade A in 1939, just before war broke out. She took up a place at Queens College in London, studying French and German. After one year of the course she applied for sabbatical leave to help her mother with the evacuees. The college was very understanding, telling her that she could resume her studies whenever she wished, even if that meant leaving them until after the war. Her brother is now old enough to help her mother and even her younger sister pitches in a bit, so she returned to college last September.
William (Bill) James Dexter 23, was born on 4th December 1918 in Blackwell. He is a Sergeant Pilot in the RAF; Flying Hurricanes out of Biggin Hill Aerodrome in Kent. When on leave he lives with his parents at: 21, Chatham Road, Blackwell. He is the eldest of 4 boys and 3 girls. He did well at school, gaining a place at the local grammar school, where he went on to study science in the sixth form. He obtained good “A” level grades in Mathematics, Chemistry and Biology. In 1937 he won a place at University College London, to study medicine. It was a four-year course, followed by two years qualifying at University College Hospital. War broke out while he was still studying but he managed to complete the four-year study part of the course. During his first year of qualification he served long hours in casualty dealing with victims of the Blitz. It was a truly dreadful experience seeing all that carnage, so he decided that prevention was better than cure, joining the RAF with the intention of becoming a pilot. He qualified last year and was promoted to the rank of sergeant.
Christine Caxton 34, was born 22 Sept 1907 in Burnley, Lancashire the younger daughter of an English father and a Swiss mother. She is a College Lecturer in Mathematics at Hemel Hempstead College of Further Education and lives at 14, Hemel Hempstead Road, Bovingdon, Herts. Her father was a Mill Worker while her mother worked in the local Co-op store. Her elder sister, Jennifer was married to a soldier who was killed at Dunkirk. She has a niece, Jane, who is 2. They both live in Burnley, near to her parents. Christine is single with no steady boyfriend. She was educated at Burnley Grammar School, where she obtained 3 “A” levels in Mathematics, Biology and PE. She was always very sporting, running as a junior for Lancashire, at 100, 200 and 440 yards. She won a place at Loughborough College, graduating in Mathematics and PE in 1930. She got a job teaching, firstly in Burnley from 1930 to 1935 and later as a head of department at Haberdasher’s Girls School in Hertfordshire, from 1935 to 1938. She left teaching to get married, but took a job as a lecturer at Hemel Hempstead College, which is where she now teaches Mathematics. Although she left to get married she subsequently broke with her fiancé and remained single. In 1940 her right leg was badly injured when she was knocked down by a speeding car. She was in hospital for six months. She still walks with a limp and can no longer teach PE. Her overall fitness helped a lot in her rehabilitation. She takes long walks in the country to improve the strength of her leg, which is steadily improving, but she still needs to use a stick.
Kirsty Brown 19, was born 7 Dec 1922, in Nairobi, Kenya and now lives with her father at 7, Luke Road, Chelsea. She is studying tropical medicine at Kings College, London University. She lived in Kenya until 1938, when she moved to England with her family. Her parents met when they were both working in Kenya; her mother as a doctor and her father as a researcher in tropical medicine. They married out there and now have two daughters; Kirsty and her younger sister Nikki, who is still at school. Her family returned to England when her father was appointed Professor of Tropical Medicine at Kings College, London. Her mother went into General Practice in Chelsea. Last year her parents split up, with her mother and Nikki moving down to Dover. She decided to remain in Chelsea with her father because that was much easier than commuting up from Dover every day.
Nikki Brown 17, was born 16 Jan 1925 in Nairobi, Kenya. She now lives with her mother at 40, St James Crescent, Dover. She is studying English, French and German at A Level at Dover Ladies College, with aspirations of becoming an actress. She moved to England with her family in 1938, when her father took up a post at Kings College, London University, as a Professor in Tropical Medicine. Her father and older sister, Kirsty live at 7, Luke Road in Chelsea. Her parents met when they were both working in Kenya; her mother as a doctor and her father as a researcher in tropical medicine. They married out there and now have two daughters; Nikki and her older sister Kirsty, who is travelling with her. On returning to England, her mother went into General Practice in Chelsea. Last year her parents split up, with Nikki and her mother moving down to Dover. Her sister decided to remain in Chelsea with her father because that was much easier that commuting up from Dover every day.
Mary Sanderson 53, was born Mary Howarth in Knaresborough, Yorkshire on 7 Feb 1889. She taught German at Knaresborough Girls Grammar School until she married George Sanderson (62) on 24 July 1935. George was a partner in a Hatton Garden jewellers so she moved to her present address at 21 Carlton Buildings, Shenfield Road, Chingford, Essex. She joined the Civil Service as a German translator at the War Office. She and George have spent a week’s holiday at their cottage in Folkestone. It is quiet at this time of year, so both found the time very relaxing. She has been reading, listening to the radio and walking along the promenade. Tonight they are returning to Essex and will resume work tomorrow.
George Sanderson 62, was born in Basingstoke, Hampshire on 12 Jan 1880. He is a partner in Sanderson and Evans, a Hatton Garden jewellers and goldsmiths. He lives with his wife Mary at 21 Carlton Buildings, Shenfield Road, Chingford, Essex. She joined the Civil Service as a German translator at the War Office. She and George have spent a week’s holiday at their cottage in Folkestone. It is quiet at this time of year, so both found the time very relaxing. He has been fishing and going for long walks in the woodlands behind Folkestone. Tonight they are returning to Essex and will resume work tomorrow.
Peter Evans 48, was born on 10 October 1894 in Leyton. He lives at 20, Francis Road, Leyton, London E10. He is a jeweller by trade and works in partnership with George Sanderson in a small jewellery and goldsmith’s business in Hatton Garden. He is the only child of Andrew & Margaret Evans. He was bought up in Leyton and still live in the family home. His mother, who is now 85 and senile, lives in a retirement home just outside Ashford, Kent. He has never married. His father owned the jewellery business which Peter took over in 1934 when, at the age of 60, his father had a stroke and died. Peter struggled on his own for two years, but the business was losing money. So he went into partnership with George Sanderson, who was a much shrewder businessman. Since George joined the business has recovered and now makes a healthy profit.