Unexpected Visitors


When a local family donated this certificate to our archives in 2020 we speculated as to who these strangers might have been.

Were they Land Army Girls, POWs, American soldiers, billeted soldiers manning searchlights etc  or another group completely.

Research proved the ‘strangers’ were children who were being evacuated from the Ilford area of East London.

A very brief story of our research in 2021 can be read in Stowupland’s Strangers, or read how Stowupland school coped with the influx of children. As we uncover more it will be added.


The Military in Stowupland. Although there were no bases in the village, some local people have memories of them passing through and of course some soldiers who manned local defenses were billeted in local homes.


There are memories of American airmen camping on our Green and I was told the story of a nasty accident on Preston Hill when a Jeep took a corner too fast and over turned. Whether or not there were and fatalities is unknown but an adult accompanying the young visitor would not let her dawdle or look.

A young shop assitant in Gyford’s shop remembered that Americans would come into the shop for their uniforms to be adjusted and pressed.

A young lad who lived along Church Walk remembered sitting by the road in his front garden asking passing Americans for Candy – which they always gave. And told of one day when a American was wlking past with a bicycle which had a puncture. The lad’s father willingly repaired it and refused any payment. The American insisted and tossed a coin in the water barrel.


Our knowledge of POWs in Stowupland is very limited.

Small groups have men seem to have worked on various farms around Stowupland