Alfred Meyer

Born: Gemünd Eifel, Germany, 17 February 1923

Occupation in country of origin: Schoolboy

Arrived in Britain as a refugee from Germany, 8 February 1939

Documents

Male enemy alien - Exemption from internment - Refugee  
                          
Surname: Meyer
Forename: Alfred
Alias: - 
Date and place of birth: 17/02/1923 in Gemund
Nationality: German 
Police Regn. Cert. No.: 710 177
Home Office ref: 
Address: Victoria House, South Street, Braunton
Normal occupation: Student
Present occupation: Horticultural trainee
Name and address of employer: Mrs Snell, Braunton Bulb Farm, Braunton 
Decision of tribunal: Exempt from internment until further order.
Date 25.11.1939 
Whether exempted from Article 6(A): Yes 
Whether desires to be repatriated: No 

Tribunal district: Devon

Source: National Arrives, Home Office: Aliens Department: Internees Index, 1939-1947.

Editor’s note: We are not allowed to reproduce National Archives (UK) images, but we are permitted to reproduce the material from them, as shown above.

Letters

  • Kitchener camp, Alfred Meyer, Letter, 7th May 1939, page 1
  • Kitchener camp, Alfred Meyer, Letter, 7th May 1939, page 2
  • Kitchener camp, Alfred Meyer, Letter, 7th May 1939, page 3
  • Kitchener camp, Alfred Meyer, Letter, 7th May 1939, page 4

English translation follows:

Dear Hans,

I have been in England some months so I should let you have news of me. Perhaps you thought I had forgotten you but you know how hard I find writing and I had little time to write. How are you? I hope you are well. I am very well and enjoying England. I have been here since 7th February and have moved twice. You can imagine my joy when I learnt I was coming to England. I first came to Dovercourt. This was a Holiday Camp. We were about 500 boys. I had a good time there but had nothing to do all day.

On March 5th, I, together with 70 other boys arrived at Richborough Camp. This is an old English military camp which is being modified to take men who have been in concentration camps. They expect about 5000.

I worked here all day and it was also very nice. On the 20th March I together with 5 other boys came to Braunton. I have been here six weeks and like it a lot. I am employed in a large market garden and live with a family. I enjoy working in the garden along with 180 English people. I live with a lady who has a small house along with three other boys . The food and other things are great. Each week we receive 3 shillings pocket money and the lady gets our wages. I don’t know how much she gets.

I have already picked up much English and can communicate with the lady. On Sunday we go for an hour long walk. We are by the sea and it is very nice. Tomorrow my sister Ruth will also come to England. She has a domestic position with a family near York. Hopefully my parents as well as yours will get out of “Rischesland”.

What news of you Erick and your parents. Write to me and let me know how you are doing and where you are. I hear good things about my parents and hope they are fit and well. There is still much to write but I must end and send you greetings from your cousin Alfred.

My address is:

C/ Mrs Beckham
Di-Na Barton Lane
Braunton
North Devon

PS I am sending you a stamp so that you wont need to spend any money.

Memories

Alfred Meyer (born Gemund Eifel, Germany 17.02.1923) arrived in England on 8 February 1939 on a Kindertransport from Aachen, Germany, just before his 16th birthday.

Alfred was initially at the Dovercourt Bay camp, and on 3 March 1939, was sent in the group of some 70 ‘Dovercourt Boys’ to Kitchener Camp where he worked to fix up the camp.

On 20 March 1939 he was sent to Braunton, North Devon, where he worked on a bulb farm.

Alfred was granted exemption from internment, and at that time his occupation was recorded as “Student, Horticultural Trainee”.

By the autumn of 1940 he moved to London. His name was accepted to go on the Santo Domingo scheme, but he declined, perhaps due to the intervention of his older sister Ruth, who had come to England later in 1939 through the Society of Friends (Quakers).

Alfred took up work as a tailoring assistant in the West End, where he continued in this profession throughout the 1950s, residing at that time in Clapton, Stamford Hill, and Hackney, North London. He married on 9 November 1958, to Lucy, and they have one son Leon Meyer, born February 1960.

Alfred passed away on 9 January 2010.

Photographs