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

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Introduction

Hannah Mahdavi 11b Explain the differing reactions of people in Britain to the policy of evacuating children during the Second World War People involved with the policy of evacuation, the hosts, children, parents and government, all had very different views about the whole idea of evacuation. Some agreed with it, others didn't. The most affected by evacuation were the children as they were directly involved. The children were by far the most influenced by the evacuation. They were taken on little notice, put on trains to unknown places and lined up in a village hall and chose to be taken in. This was traumatic for the evacuees, as few understood what was going on and why. Also, some of the evacuees were not chosen, so were unfairly dumped on a random family, whether they were wanted or not. They were also bullied in the villages and got in trouble as they were outsiders from the village. As a result of the stress that these children had, they would wet the bed and were even more stressed after being punished. The children felt strange as they were in a clean, warm house and had clean warm beds. ...read more.

Middle

Olivier Lyttelton, who allowed ten children from London to live in his large country house. Some, though were genuinely supportive of the evacuees' problems, and gave them help, teaching them manners and cleanliness. In actual fact, this was a rare occurrence and many hosts were unkind, whether due to prejudice, greed or even fact. The parents had their own views about evacuation. They were expected to hand over their children, their pride and joy to a person who they didn't know, as well as not knowing where their children went. Now most parents would feel a little apprehensive about this and quite a few were prepared to defy the wishes of the government and keep their children at home, or remove them from the houses they were assigned to in the countryside. However many parents welcomed this as they could concentrate on fighting the war without stress from their children Many parents were worrying even more about the children then if the children were left at home, and may even concentrate less on their work. "I am sorry to lose my wife and boy. ...read more.

Conclusion

The government also boasted that it could provide support for children whose parents were killed in wartime work, and help to reunite the families after the war. This was not particularly true, as out of the original amount of evacuees, only 50% would have been reunited with their families. The reasons for this would be that the parents might have been killed in war work, the children may have lost contact due to lack of communication, the children may have ran away or even that the children may voluntarily wish to stay in the country. As well as this, the government thought that the efficiency of the country's war effort would improve, as people with children could take possible working hours off by being with their children. Either way, the government's views were too optimistic as casualties in Britain would affect families, and most families would lose a member during the war. In conclusion, the people of Britain had a variety of views about the evacuation of British children. The children were mostly stressed by the change, the hosts were not pleased with the children's manners, the parents were worried about the children and the government tried to stand by the idea but failed. Some peoples reactions changed over time. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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