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Why did the British government evacuate children from the major cities in the early years of World War Two?

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Candidate Name: Jeffrey Agyeman Candidate Number: 0003 Centre Name: St Michaels Centre Number: 10854 Why did the British government evacuate children from the major cities in the early years of World War Two? The evacuation of our cities in the early years of World War Two was the biggest and most concentrated mass movement of people in Britain's history. In the first week over 3 million people were transported from towns and cities in danger from enemy bombers to places of safety in the countryside. The reason why the government evacuated people because of the fear of gas bomb attack. They did not want to relive the experience of world war one. One reason why the government evacuated children because they were scared of mass demoralisation the idea that the public will give up. Another obvious reason why the government evacuated children because the fear of death. They were also afraid of mass bombing because they saw what the German airforce did in the Spanish civil war in which they bombed and destroyed a lot of cities including Guernica and Britain did not want to suffer the same fate. ...read more.


The British government wanted to avoid panic so they started planning as early as 1921 under John Anderson and the imperial defence committee. At the beginning of the war everyone was issued with a gas mask, which they had to carry with him or her whenever they went. Many people volunteered to join vital home defence services such as the ARP (Air Raid Precaution) wardens and the AFS (Auxiliary Fire Service). There were almost half a million recruits as Air Raid Wardens at the start of the war. They were key figures in the event of a bombing raid, ensuring there was calm, that people knew how the raid was progressing and that people were helped after the raid. The government also supplied its citizens with air raid shelters. The first shelters were delivered in February 1939. These were Anderson shelters, which were sunk in the ground in the back garden. They had enough room for a family and were safer than staying in a house. Later in 1941, the Morrison shelter was introduced. This could be erected indoors and 500,000 had been distributed by the end of the year. ...read more.


Britain anticipated mass bombing of its mainland after the French fell to the Germans and the evacuation of the soldiers at Dunkirk. When the bombs started to arrive there was a rapid need to re-evacuate and move children out again. Therefore I have come to a conclusion that the British government evacuated children from the major cities in the early years of world war two because fear of deaths, gas bombs, to save the future generation and to avoid mass panic and a collapse in morale. I think the most important reason why the British government evacuated children from the major cities is because of the fear of mass bombing. The fear of mass bombing links back to the memories of the first world war also the bombs which will be used in the second world war will be more effective more faster more bigger than before. Mass bombing could also wipe out the young generation who are needed for future jobs of the British economy also mass bombing is linked back to mass panic because if there is mass bombing more people will die which will then lead to more people panicking and having a 'surrender mentality'. If Soldiers hear about mass panic in the home front they will not fight a valiant war and in due course lose the war. ...read more.

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