Evacuation in the Second World War
Evacuation is defined in Collins dictionary as being 'a movement from
a dangerous area, especially in time of war'. Surely this is a good
solution to the enemies' bombing.
It was a fast and effective process, 1st September 1939 saw 1.5million
people moving to safer areas. As successful as this sounds many began
to filter home within weeks. Homesickness drove some, hard labour
enforced by the foster parents drove others, but mothers fetched the
majority home by Christmas as no bombing had occurred.
In my coursework I will combine sources and my background information
and research to write an essay on the successes and failures of
Source A is a photo of a group of young children heading towards a
station in London, ready to be evacuated to new homes. They have happy
expressions on their faces and some are waving at the camera. This
shows a good point of evacuation. We do not know who took the picture,
but I can predict that it was taken as a part of the government's
propaganda to persuade people into letting go of their children to
others who live in safer areas. The government viewed evacuation as a
saviour for children in dangerous areas, and would do anything to
encourage this movement, such as taking this photo of happy children
to promote the idea of it being a positive experience. This photo only
shows a sample of the population who were to be evacuated, and it is
only these children who are happy, so we can not base our opinions of
the rest of the evacuated children on this photo.
The photo was taken in 1939, at the beginning of the war, when not
many people had been evacuated yet. In 1940 although, when much of the
suspected bombing had not taken place, many parents fetched their
children home. Children did not know of the terrible homesickness and
the bad experiences, which came in some cases of evacuation. Instead,
they were nervous of the thought of being away from home, but excited
at the prospect of travelling for the first time and seeing different
people and animals.
From my background research I know that some children departed with
spades and buckets because the parents had not that heart to tell them
what was really happening. One of these children asked why his mother
at the school gate was cryingâ€¦ the quick-witted teacher replied that
'because she can't go on her holidays too'. Excellent propaganda was
sent out, posters, pictures and photos such as this one that
encouraged both children and parents.
Source B shows the negative sides and is more personal that the first
source. Extracted from an interview with a teacher in 1988, the
teacher remembers being evacuated with the school children. The
interview was made in 1988 many years after the war so the lady would
be of old age. Her...