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Explain the differing reactions of British people to the policy of evacuation during the Second World War.

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Introduction

Explain the differing reactions of British people to the policy of evacuation during the Second World War. In 1939 war broke out in Europe, this was one of the first "Total Wars". This meant almost the whole population had to get involved in the war effort to help Britain stride on throughout these dark years. No one was safe with constant threat of enemy bombing of Britain's major towns and cities. Even the countries children were unsafe. This is why in late August 1939, just before war broke out, evacuation was introduced throughout Britain for infants and teachers coming from major towns and cities to safe places in the countryside, far from the threat of enemy bombers. This was a massive change to how Britain functioned in the war, and it affected a lot of different people in different ways, The main five groups that were affected by evacuation were obviously the evacuees, the parents of the evacuees, the foster parents who looked after the evacuees, the teachers who were evacuated with the evacuees and the government. Lets take a look at some of the opinions that were involved in the evacuation program. ...read more.

Middle

Some parents did not let their children leave them, as this was optional for the parents. These parents didn't want their children being looked after by strangers. One Southend father of a seven-year-old child gave the reason to the observer that no one would look after his son in the countryside if he were killed, but at least with him he has family or friends that he could trust to look after him well. Other parents had different views and thought that the countryside was a much safer place for their children in wartime and sent their children straight off to be evacuated when the war began. Mr E Kingston of Vansittart Road, New Cross, who saw two of his children leave on the train said, "It is the only sensible thing to do. I am not worrying." Bernard Cooke (of Cornwall Street, Victoria), proud father of Patrick Joseph who was born a week earlier said, "I am sorry to lose my wife and boy. It's my first baby, you know, but I think it's wiser that they should go away," Stories of heart broken mothers gripping on to their children's hands as they were boarding the trains tell us what it was like for the parents to part their children. ...read more.

Conclusion

Posters were put up to encourage and persuade people to foster evacuees. The posters would make the people feel heroic for doing so and telling them it was doing the right thing, this seemed to work. Overall, the government stated that evacuation ran very smoothly with cooperation from everyone throughout the war. I think that evacuation was the right thing to do because children cannot defend themselves as well from the enemy so they must be kept safe. Also knowing their children were safe boosted the morale of the people of Britain which was a key factor in winning the war. In my opinion the group of people that were affected most by evacuation were the evacuees. This is because they were the people who did not have a choice in the matter and were sent off to a strange place they had never seen before without their parents with them, and a lot of them did not even know why and for how long they would be there for. This would be a life changing experience for any young child this is why I believe that the young evacuees were affected by the evacuation program the most. Alex Arkley 11.30 ...read more.

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