Evacuee returns to St Albans after more than 60 years

PUBLISHED: 19:00 19 August 2009 | UPDATED: 14:22 06 May 2010

Peter Buffham

Peter Buffham

DIGGING up his family s past has led a World War II evacuee back to St Albans where he spent the first four years of his life. Peter Buffham, aged 67, was born in St Albans in 1942, two years after his family were evacuated there from Battersea. In an at

DIGGING up his family's past has led a World War II evacuee back to St Albans where he spent the first four years of his life.

Peter Buffham, aged 67, was born in St Albans in 1942, two years after his family were evacuated there from Battersea. In an attempt to find some distant relatives, he returned to the city a couple of weekends ago for the first time in over 60 years.

Peter, who lives in Surrey with his wife Janis, believes that up to eight members of his family were evacuated to St Albans and is convinced that several on his mother's side remained in the city.

He said: "I only have a vague idea about who stayed in St Albans and for how long but I'm pretty sure that my great grandmother, whose maiden name was Fowler, remained in an old person's home in the city until her death."

He added: "I was only four when we moved back to Battersea so I don't really remember much about my time there. The only faint memory I have is pretending to shoot some German prisoners, who were shovelling snow nearby, with my toy gun."

Peter, who didn't manage to find anyone by the name of Fowler during his trip to St Albans on July 26, said that he would continue his search by trawling through the phone books and is already planning more trips to St Albans.

He added: "Janis and I thought St Albans was a beautiful place and we'll definitely be coming back before long, maybe hot on the trail of a Fowler or Nicholls, which was my mother's maiden name. We especially enjoyed walking around the Abbey, where I was christened all those years ago.


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