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Second world war evacuation.

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Introduction

I. Study sources B & C. Which source is more useful as evidence about the start of the children's evacuation journey? Source B is a photograph taken in 1939 at the time of the first round of evacuation in London. It is therefore a primary source. It shows children seemingly from an inner-city part of London on their initial journey to the train station. From here they would be transported to their pre-determined designations. The source portrays an atmospheric positivity amongst the children, mainly those at the front of the line who are waving and smiling. They are all walking in unison down a path in an orderly fashion, accompanied by a group of teachers. There is a definite significant level of organisation within the group, indicated by the tidy line in which they walk. This organisation was possible as they had practised this walk to the train station in the summer term of 1939. You can see that the teachers in the photograph have somewhat varied emotions. This mixture of emotion could perhaps be because they are aware that some of these evacuees will never again see their parents, as are the children, and it is the sensitive women who try to lift the mood by acting significantly happier than the male teachers. In contrast to the jolly children at the front, the evacuees travelling at the rear seem somewhat less excited and calm. ...read more.

Middle

It is because of this and a lack of sound that we cannot gather accurate, or even sufficient, evidence of the individual feelings and emotions present within the children. These are working class children from the 'inner city' of London, and because of the general mood of working class people in the 30s and 40s, this unprecedented positivity is again out of context and wholly unusual. For many of the children this is a first, they may never have been out of their district and are going away for the very first time. This would have been a very traumatic experience. Furthermore, there was an almost intimate closeness within these working class communities, not just geographically, but also emotionally, and the upheaval of all the children and some female adults would have caused great disruption in the community. In addition to this, the lack of sound means we cannot hear crying or any emotive noises projected by the young crowd. For some, evacuation was a big adventure. For others, it's a traumatic experience having never left the protection of their home or parents. Another observation is that they are carrying gas masks. It doesn't matter who you are, this can only inspire sheer fright with the possibility of an unstoppable noxious gas attacking your alveoli, diffusing into your bloodstream and corroding you - inside out. ...read more.

Conclusion

She could also have been influenced in her memories by how the media (films...etc...) portrays evacuation. If you are told something a sufficient amount of times, you will believe it. As a result of the media's influence, she could have subconsciously adapted her memories to fit the on-going media portrayal. Also, the header and footer fails to state what the interview was in aid of and who the interviewer was a representative of. If it was simply for a budding historian to gather evidence, he/she would have used all of the details provided, rather than omitting any single part, thus giving the most accurate account and being the most useful to the historian. In addition, it could have been a newspaper or magazine representative who would have used only the interesting parts or parts that sustain the stereotypical view of evacuation. More probable is the latter, and the stereotypical view is in many cases the most realistic. Other sources and our own background knowledge support this source, so we tend not to doubt it's reliability. To conclude, I believe Source C to be more useful as evidence about the start of evacuation. Source B, on the other hand, could be useful when dealing with organisation, for example. Despite this, in answer to the question, Source C is an account from a person who was there and so is, in this case, more useful as the required evidence. 1 Ashley M. Dickson, Yr.10 History. ...read more.

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