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"Evacuation was a great success." Do you agree or disagree with this interpretation?

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Introduction

"Evacuation was a great success." Do you agree or disagree with this interpretation? Evacuation was a success in many ways but was also unsuccessful in others. Evacuation took place because of heavy bombing in large civilian places, the aim being to keep children safe from the dangers of the war. It was successful in that respect, as many children were sent to a safer enviroment in more rural areas where they were not as likely to be in as much danger as they would if they had stayed home. In September 1939, 1.5 million children were evacuated. However, by 1940 half of this number had been brought back home. This shows that the evacuation process also had its down-sides. The propoganda value of the evacuation was quite often more of a success than the realities of evacuation itself. Source A tells us of how there were social differences between host families and evacuees. The evacuees came from poorer working-class familes so did not have as good manners as the country people and were seen as uncivilised. Many of the country people were shocked by the behaviour of the children, such as "fouling gardens, hair crawling with lice and bed wetting". The source wasn't written until 1988, and we cannot be sure of whether the author's source of information was a reliable one. ...read more.

Middle

The source isn't very reliable as it is written from a novel so it's fictional. However, some of the details of the novel match with what I already know. Like the fact that evacuees had very little room in their suitcases and that siblings were normally kept together whenever possible. This tells me that the author had a good source of information and may be writing true to the actual events of evacuation. Many parents chose to keep their children at home instead of evacuate them. In 1939, 50% of parents kept their kids at home, this tells us that many felt that evacuation was not a good idea and it was preferable to have their children with them even if it meant them being in more danger than if they were evacuated. Source J is an interview with a father who will not let his child be evacuated. He felt that the people in The Shire would not be able to look after his hobbit properly and that they have nothing to provide him with. Some parents had a negative views on evacutaion and on the country people, as before the town and country people were not as united. This source is a reliable piece of information as it gives us information as to why some parents felt they should not be allowing their children to be evacuated. ...read more.

Conclusion

It only shows us a small number of evacuees and while this may have been the case for them, it may have been a different experience for the majority of evacuees. Source H is an appeal for more people in Scotland to provide homes for evacuees. It gives many good reasons for becoming a foster parent. We cannot completely trust both sources though as they were issued by the government and government propoganda tried to present evacuation as a positive experience. The pro da value of the evacuation was quite often more of a success than the realities of evacuation itself. There were many good points to evacution though as well as bad points. Many of the children went to loving, caring host families and had had fun experiences of evacuation. They were exposed to better manners, better diets and healthier enviroments than they had known before. Also, the country became more unified on a social level. People from different classes mixes and had a better understanding of each other. There was propoganda value, showing the country "pulling together". Also it led to long-term improvements for health and welfare. For example, the NHS was formed as a result of inadequacies in health and education being revealed through evacuation. So although there were down-sides to the process and many children had unpleasant experiences of evacuation, it was successful in many ways and most importantly in its main aim of keeping children safe, as it saved the lives of many. ...read more.

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