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Why did the British Government decide to evacuate children from Britain's major cities in the early years of the Second World War?

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Introduction

Why did the British Government decide to evacuate children from Britain's major cities in the early years of the Second World War? The First World War brought about many changes in Europe's technology, society, politics and warfare. These all contributed to the change in nature of the Second World War. Not only were serving forces targeted, but innocent men, women and children living in cities and towns in Britain, France and Germany. Both sides knew this and so a 'fear factor' was created. This left the Government with a number of decisions to make, one being whether to evacuate children from major cities. But doing so could lower public morale which could be fatal to the war effort. There were a number of reasons why the Government did decide that evacuation would be put into practise. The first of which was the fact that children simply were of no use to the Government or the war effort; they were not able to work in factories or fight on the Front Line or Home Front. Without the children there would be more time for the adults to work towards helping the allied victory as not only could fathers work but mothers, who otherwise would have been looking after the children's needs, could help in factories and public services when the bombing began. ...read more.

Middle

to more important and helpful people who could make a difference to the war effort, or that they were in too much danger to be kept around. What were the differing reactions in Britain to evacuation in WW2? There were a number of different reactions to evacuation in the Second World War, ranging from excitement from the children to a feeling of a loss from parents, who more often than not would never see their children again. At the end of the war there were over 2 million children left unclaimed due to death of parents and parents who were unable to find their loved ones. Evacuation took place from train stations which were to be the last sight many children would ever have of their parents, and one child recollects his 'crying buckets of tears,' at the sadness of it all. But, even with the sadness of the departure, the child still managed to speak of his enjoyment at his adopted parent's home due to how well they were treated. Shamefully this was not always the case with the children and many found life in the safe countryside worse than in the city as a result of awful treatment from the country folk. ...read more.

Conclusion

They didn't want them to go but they knew that it was safer in the countryside and they wanted their children to survive more than anything. They needed the feeling of security in the knowledge that their children were safe from all the bombing raids of the Nazi's. They had possibly the hardest role as they were forever worrying about the people they loved the most being so far away from them, living in the fear of being killed and never seeing them again, but at the same time had to accept it as part of their lives as otherwise their children would be part of a torment adults should not see, let along young children who would be scarred forever if they managed to survive the bombing raids and the mass killings that happened every day. The feeling among the public was one of acceptance yet misery at the Governments plans to evacuate children. They didn't want it to happen, none of them did, but they knew it must and that everyone had to be part of the war effort if the allies were to win against the force that was so forcefully put to them as 'fascism.' MURRAY FULFORD 11:07 HISTORY COURSEWORK - EVACUATION IN WW2 ...read more.

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