News & Events

A Meeting with Cynthia Ehrenkrantz

February 2, 2024

Cynthia was six in 1939 when Britain entered World War II and twelve in 1945 when the war ended. This positioned her perfectly to enhance Year 9’s understanding of our current topic on the Blitz. She shared a reading from her new book, “Seeking Shelter: Memoir of a Jewish Girlhood in Wartime Britain,” and took questions from the room. She explained how, during the Blitz, she and her mother made the short journey from Croydon to Godstone after witnessing the bombing and hearing of the loss of life on Addiscombe Road, a short distance from where they lived. Cynthia found a sense of safety in Godstone, escaping the necessity of enduring the dreaded Anderson shelter, which she had spent numerous nights in at her Croydon home. However, she was less impressed with having to be taught alongside boys! Upon returning to Croydon, Cynthia shared with us a harrowing incident where a V2 bomb landed near her and her mother as they were on their way to Croydon High School, marking the most terrifying experience of her life. Her story certainly brought to life the impact of the Blitz on young children.

Year 9 also had the opportunity to ask Cynthia about her time at Croydon High. She shared her pride in being a Croydon High girl, expressing her love for the uniform and the enduring friendships she had formed. It was heartening to learn that she had made friends for life and never lost touch with her Croydon High besties, despite eventually moving to America. It was lovely to hear from Cynthia and we continue to share extracts from her very informative book in our History lessons.

Ms. Katy Fenwick
Head of History