The British Library

Alvina’s Story

My father came to the UK around 1946. He is Latvian and now 93 years old. He came to England as part of the European Volunteer Worker (EVW) scheme. He was recruited from a Displaced Person camp in Germany where he had found himself at the end of the war. When Germany invaded Latvia he was forcibly recruited into the German army. He chose to come to the UK as by the end of the war Latvia was under Russian rule and he had no idea if his family were alive or not.

He worked as a manual labour in several jobs and assisted in a Prisoner of War Camp where some German men remained. Eventually my father started to work for Hover vacuum cleaners as a door to door sales man. Once vacuums were sold in stores he went into business on his own eventually selling kitchen equipment, and repairing it, to hotels and restaurants in the Lake District. My mother was English and live in Cumbria her entire life.

-Alvina, Kendal, Cumbria

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