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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? During world war 2 children were evacuated in their thousands from London and other major cities to be dispersed to more secluded rural regions, out of range of German bombers flying from occupied France, or less at risk of attack. For many young evacuees, forced to live for years in some cases with strange people and in unfamiliar places, it was often a traumatic displacement. The policy may have saved many children, but it was later looked on as excessive and was reversed as the war progressed. The first mass bombing of civilians took place in 1937, during the Spanish Civil War. German planes destroyed the town of Guernica. The pictures were broadcast internally, and shocked the world. The destruction of Guernica convinced governments around the world that bombing civilian targets would be a feature of modern warfare. ...read more.

Middle

Some parents even visited their children at weekends. Within a week, a quarter of the population of Britain would have new addresses. At the start of the war schools were moved together. The children wore identity labels, gasmasks hanging from their necks and a small suitcase full of cloths and food for all the day. They left in the early hours of the morning when it was dark. The adults thought evacuation was a shamble. This was because hundreds of children arrived in the wrong area, with little or no rations, and the fact there were not enough homes to put them. The government emphasised the benefits of the countryside by the use of propaganda. It did this in many ways, such as; posters and advertisements to convince parents to send their children to a better place and exaggeration on the amount of carnage to caused in the future. The government ordered hospitals to prepare for the worst and stockpile coffins. ...read more.

Conclusion

Regardless, parents always had lots of questions about the fate of their children that no one able to answer. They lived a life of perpetual worry especially those women who prayed dutifully for a husband fighting overseas and an evacuated child. The government used propaganda to reduce worries. The government thought that there was enough housing to pack the children in, yet they were wrong. They thought that everything was well planned, but people were making arrangements behind their backs. Some families had to take more than three children. The National Health Service played a big part during the war. Later, with expenditure on the war continuing to the ' blitz' on Britain's cities over, the government asked parents of evacuated children to contribute to the financial cost of fostering their children. Most simply could not afford to do so increasing numbers. By 1944 the evacuation scheme had all stopped, and not even the panic caused by Hitler's flying bombs and rockets could get it started again. History Coursework 02/11/2003 By Nirmal Vadgama 11.T ...read more.

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