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Evacuation, Second World War Coursework.

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Introduction

Evacuation, Second World War Coursework. 2002-12-08 By Rosie Wild, 11K 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 evacuation. 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. ...read more.

Middle

This makes it a secondary source, as it has not come directly from the mouths of the children or the foster parent. Written by a lady presumably for the purpose of educating children on evacuation, language and content is dulled slightly to be more appropriate for children. If it had been a book for adults it would have been described differently. The children would not have 'giggled' but would have been offended by the automatic presumption of poverty. They may have even explained that their slippers would not fit in the case. Written for children, no bad points would have been inserted and simple language will have been used. The source may lose reliability due to being edited for children as children are not to be exposed to the negative side of evacuation. This is not a source, which shows the failure or success or evacuation, but if it was to highlight one over the other I would say it shows the successes mostly. I know from other information that one of the main products of evacuation was the sudden realisation from the middle class of the poverty and poor education of children and adults living in the slums. Shown here in the source the woman does presume they are too poor to have slippers, and is embarrassed that she presumed they would own some. Even though the children giggle about it, it is very serious that some children evacuated were too poor to have slippers and some too poor to form the necessary kit of items required. ...read more.

Conclusion

Surely if war comes it would be better for families to stick together and not go breaking up homes?' But you have to think of families densely situated in busy places which are prime targets for bombing and then think if you would rather break up your household for a couple of years, then be re-united, or face death together. Evacuation was purely voluntary so it is said, but increasing propaganda by the government and fear of bombing was enough to make it a heart-wrenching, but compulsory decision. British propaganda encouraged evacuation, but German propaganda did the opposite- showing children being dragged away from their parents screaming... and Hitler leaning over saying 'don't do it'. Despite the fact that foster parents were volunteers, not many did it for the pure interest of the children. They could use the children as housekeepers, labourers or cooks and the foster parent was paid around 10/6p for keeping the child. Sometimes the children were the culprits though, 'if you sat two words to them they turn round and swear at you' from one foster parent. It was rare that both the children and the foster parents lived in harmony. It is hard to deduce whether evacuation as a success or not overall. I can say that there were some failures like the rude children, rude foster parents and children being home again before Christmas, and some successes like the happy foster-households, the efficiency of it, and the lives saved. ...read more.

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