Gallery: Colony for artists under six - evacuees to Dartington Hall, 1941


This gallery provides a glimpse into the lives of children evacuated to Dartington Hall in 1941, during the Second World War.

Around 250 evacuees, from London and Gravesend, Kent, stayed at Dartington Hall at this time. The captions beneath the images provide further context about the activities they enjoyed.

Gallery taken from the Ministry Of Information Second World War Official Collection, part of the Imperial War Museums archive.

Were you, or someone you know, amongst the evacuees or involved in their stay at Dartington? We’d love to hear your memories: get in touch via info@dartington.org. 

Colony for artists under six: evacuees to Dartington Hall, 1941

Colony for artists under six: evacuees to Dartington Hall, 1941

Children evacuated to Dartington Hall in Devon return to their billet after a walk in the countryside. Behind the children, part of the Fourteenth Century Great Hall at Dartington can be seen. The Hall and other parts of the Medieval estate were repaired and reconstructed by Leonard and Dorothy Elmhirst in the 1920s.

Colony for artists under six: evacuees to Dartington Hall, 1941

Colony for artists under six: evacuees to Dartington Hall, 1941

A group of children, including Alex McNiel and Georgie Earles, evacuated from Gravesend in Kent and Blackfriars in London, play in a hollow oak tree. They are on a nature walk from their billet at Dartington Hall, Totnes, Devon. According to the original caption, Alex and Georgie are pretending that they are Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

Colony for artists under six: evacuees to Dartington Hall, 1941

Colony for artists under six: evacuees to Dartington Hall, 1941

Children evacuated from London and Kent to Dartington Hall in Totnes, Devon leave the Medieval courtyard of Dartington for a nature walk in the countryside surrounding the estate.

Colony for artists under six: evacuees to Dartington Hall, 1941

Colony for artists under six: evacuees to Dartington Hall, 1941

Children evacuated to Dartington Hall in Totnes, Devon enjoy a painting class. The boys and girls have spread out their work on the floor in a room in Dartington Hall and are happily painting pictures of people.

Colony for artists under six: evacuees to Dartington Hall, 1941

Colony for artists under six: evacuees to Dartington Hall, 1941

A group of children evacuated from London and Kent, walk to school in pairs in the sunshine. They are staying at Dartington Hall, near Totnes in Devon.

Colony for artists under six: evacuees to Dartington Hall, 1941

Colony for artists under six: evacuees to Dartington Hall, 1941

A group of children, evacuated from Gravesend in Kent, climb a tree during a walk from their billet at Dartington Hall, Devon. They are assisted in their climb by their teacher Miss Betty Hall.

Colony for artists under six: evacuees to Dartington Hall, 1941

Colony for artists under six: evacuees to Dartington Hall, 1941

Teacher Miss Betty Hall helps three-year-old Marion Davison, the youngest evacuee to Dartington Hall, over a stile as part of their nature walk in the countryside surrounding the Dartington estate. Other evacuees can be seen in the photograph, many are holding small bunches of flowers, which they have picked along the way. The trees behind them provide a very different backdrop to the streets of London and Gravesend, Kent, that they have left behind.

Colony for artists under six: evacuees to Dartington Hall, 1941

Colony for artists under six: evacuees to Dartington Hall, 1941

A group of young evacuees look over a stable door, to see if they can see the horse that is inside. All the children are carrying their gas masks in boxes. They have stopped at this farm as part of their nature walk from their billet at Dartington Hall in Totnes, Devon, where 250 evacuees from London and Gravesend in Kent are staying.

Colony for artists under six: evacuees to Dartington Hall, 1941

Colony for artists under six: evacuees to Dartington Hall, 1941

Doreen Hogwood, aged 6, evacuated from Gravesend in Kent, gathers paint onto her brush from a palette on the floor to continue her painting at Dartington Hall, Totnes, Devon, where she is billeted with 250 other children.

Colony for artists under six: evacuees to Dartington Hall, 1941

Colony for artists under six: evacuees to Dartington Hall, 1941

Doreen Hogwood, aged 6, evacuated from Gravesend in Kent, concentrates on the painting she is working on at Dartington Hall in Totnes, Devon. On the other side of the easel that she is working on, another painting can be seen.

Colony for artists under six: evacuees to Dartington Hall, 1941

Colony for artists under six: evacuees to Dartington Hall, 1941

Danny Ludlow, evacuated from Gravesend in Kent, shows his teacher Miss Betty Hall a painting that he has been working on at Dartington Hall in Totnes, Devon. Miss Hall was evacuated to Dartington Hall with the children.

Colony for artists under six: evacuees to Dartington Hall, 1941

Colony for artists under six: evacuees to Dartington Hall, 1941

A full-length portrait of five-year-old evacuee June Mancini from Blackfriars in London, standing in a sunny field during a walk from her billet at Dartington Hall, near Totnes in Devon.