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Enfield evacuee Leonard Jennings revisits home he was sent to during Second World War
An Enfield man who was evacuated during the Second World War revisited the home he was sent to 72 years ago.
Leonard Jennings, 82, of Mahon Close, in Chase Side, went on holiday to Cornwall with his son Stephen last week and decided to visit Penzance to find the home he was sent to at the age of 11, with his older brother Sid.
He was not confident he would be able to find the house, as he searched for it on the internet and believed it had been knocked down.
However, as he trekked up the hill to the property, he was astounded to find the house intact, and very similar to how it was many decades ago.
As he stood outside the home, which is for sale, the owner pulled into his drive and was more than willing to show the pair around.
He said: “When that chap turned up and I went inside, it could have been a coincidence, but I had a feeling this was more than that.
“I mean it was being there in Penzance and going back to that house – it was a 1,000 to one chance that I could turn up that day and he would let me go up in that very same room.
“I had a feeling someone was looking down on me, it was meant to be.”
Mr Jennings grew up in Edmonton but was sent to Cornwall in 1943 when the bombings became too frequent in London.
He had fond memories of the place, and the Saunders family who took him in and were very kind to the boys.
When he was taken into the study, he recognised it straight away as the bedroom he shared with Sid, who died of a brain tumour in 1980.
However, Mr Jennings said times were more disciplined back then, and he and Sid were not allowed to enter the 'best rooms' or the other bedrooms, which meant much of the house was alien to him.
He spent most of the time with his brother in the basement, but on his return was unable to see downstairs as the steps were steep and there was no handrail to steady him.
He said his fondest memory was hiding in the coal cupboard with Mr and Mrs Saunders and their sons John and Bernard during an air raid.
He said: “We all got into the coal cupboard under the stairs and I remember we were all in there but Bernard had the measles and I was more worried about catching it.”
Mr Jennings said it was a shame that he and his brother lost touch with the family after the war. He never spoke to them again, and believes they left Cornwall.
His son Stephen said: “The house has been completely modernised, but I was pleased I asked the man if we could go inside.”