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Britain and the Second World War - source related study.

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Introduction

Coursework assignment 2 - Britain and the Second World War 1. Source B is a photograph of children being. In the photo, they look as if they are actually running to the train station, this indicates that they were excited about this "adventure" they were going on. Maybe they didn't realize then, but parents must have explained the idea of evacuation as a temporary holiday, this is why they might be excited. As this photo was taken in the beginning of the war (1939), it supports my idea that people that people wanted to send their children away to be safe. Although this photo is quite upbeat, the people may have been photographed for another purpose. Most people are smiling and waving at the camera, so this suggests that it might have been posed for a propaganda source. This supports my idea of this photo being used to encourage parents to send their children away to be evacuated. I know that propaganda was used to do this because evacuation was voluntary, with parents deciding whether to send their children away. Source C shows the tension of evacuation remembered by a schoolteacher of those times. ...read more.

Middle

Children across Britain were uprooted from their homes and sent into the safety of the countryside. In most situations evacuees were kept safe and led a better life. However, many discovered that life there was no picnic. The earlier evacuations went off with remarkable smoothness, especially evacuation of schoolchildren from London. The cheerful children left their parents and entrained for unknown destinations in the spirit of going on a great adventure. Parents felt at ease knowing their children would be safe. Their experiences lived up to the idea that was fed to them that they were going on an adventure to the countryside. Most children had never seen the countryside before, and clearly enjoyed their time there. This can be seen from a film that I have seen, "Goodnight Mr. Tom". In this film a mistreated boy was uprooted to the countryside and lived a better life. I would say this source is reliable, because it is an evacuation film, and the producers would have to do research on the topic to make it as realistic as possible. There were other cases where children were put in a better situation to their previous home. ...read more.

Conclusion

Some had to endure bad experiences, they were beaten, mistreated and abused by families who didn't want them and didn't care about them. A surviving evacuee describes to the BBC radio 4 his painful and darker experiences. His rations were stolen by his host family, He was horsewhipped for speaking out and, with a bruised and bleeding body, was eventually taken in by the police. There were many more cases similar to Johns. Children from different class or religion were also mistreated by people. Another evacuee tells us how parents told their children not to talk to him because he came from London. This separation is seen again in the film "Goodnight Mr. Tom", where the evacuees mother is appalled to know his son was socializing with a Jewish child. These kind of painful experiences did happen but only to a minority of evacuees. In conclusion, it would be wrong to suppose that evacuation was one long misery for those involved. Clearly it was only a minority that were ill-treated. Evacuation did achieve its intended purpose, to keep children safe. But at what extent did children had to go through to keep safe from the war. Therefore, evacuation was a success in keeping children safe, but a failure according to the painful and traumatic experiences faced by some children. Jamila Khan 11B ...read more.

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