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Rabbi Lionel Blue

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A prominent Rabbi and radio commentator, in September 1939, Blue was put in a third class carriage to Exeter from Paddington along with soldiers and sailors and fellow evacuees. He wrote 'I learned a lot at Exeter. I did learn manners, which were much admired in the ghetto when I got back later.' 

While in Exeter, Blue's school doctor noticed him putting on weight and suggested he take up rugger or running. His Aunt Poppy put him in touch with a Jewish family in Exeter whose daughters took dancing lessons - Blue joined them at the dance academy and learnt to sing Run Rabbit, Run Rabbit, Run Run Run, while shuffling across a stage. 

He also made friends with a girl whose mother owned a shop in Sidwell Street and became known as Wonder Boy because of his extensive knowledge of geography.

By the end of the war Lionel Blue had been billeted with a dozen families. He refers to 'the kind Exeter people' in his book Bedside Manner.

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