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Explain differing reactions of the British people to the policy of evacuating children in the Second World War

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Introduction

Explain differing reactions of the British people to the policy of evacuating children in the Second World War There were four main groups that were affected by the use of Evacuation in Britain. Parents, foster parents, government officials and the evacuated children. They all had different experiences. People had different attitudes and reacted differently depending on their situation. The government believed the evacuation of children was crucial and that it was successful. However due to the phoney war many children started going back to the cities. The government then decided to use propaganda to leave the children were they would be safe in the countryside. The propaganda they used showed the importance of keeping your children where they should be in the country side and safe. Evacuation began two days before was declared. It was not a compulsory scheme, although the government tried very hard to persuade as many people as possible to evacuate from the towns and cities. In September 1939 about 1.5 million people were evacuated on the government scheme, including children, pregnant women, and women with very young children and people who were ill or disabled. ...read more.

Middle

Other parents liked the idea of saving money so with their children out of the way it would be easier to do this, also with children out of the way parents could concentrate on the war effort and not have to worry about safety of their children. When it is time for the children to go, their parents would have to let them get on the train, some parents changed their minds at the stations and took their children back home. Parents would sometimes avoid evacuation because they can't leave their children alone so instead they would go and stay with family and friends in the country side. Some parents had doubts especially after the 1st wave of evacuation when children told them of their experiences, in that case the phoney war gave a chance to see what it would be like for children during the actual war. Foster families were another group of people who would have been affected by evacuation Most foster families were shocked at the look of the city children. Some children had never used a toothbrush before. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although we had 2 toilets they never used them......' this was mainly in cases where working class children moved into middle class. This source goes to show how children from the city were really like, they had never seen things like carpets and lavatories in their houses so this made them scared and didn't know what to do to fit in with the foster families life style. Many children did not know where they were going and for how long. They travelled by train or bus. Children below school age had to be accompanied by an adult. Each child had a medical examination. There was a mixture of feelings; some children were excited. For many children who had not travelled outside Londonbefore, evacuation was an adventure - many had not been able to afford holidays. Other children were very upset to be leaving their parents. Government posters encouraged children to think of evacuacuationas indefinate holiday and a goo experience, but this was not the case for all evacuees as the source shows. To conclude, the reactions of the parents, foster parents, children and the government varied to their own experiences and personal opinions. And some peoples reactions changed over time. ...read more.

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