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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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History Coursework Why did the British Government decide to evacuate children from Britain's major cities in the early years of the Second World War? Even before the war broke out, it was positive that the prime target for the Germans would be the city of London, because of the amount of people and how urbanized it was. In 1939, Germany declared war on Poland, and Britain and France declared war on Germany. The British government had a safe idea for children living in Large, heavily industrial and built-up cities. This was to evacuate them. Cities like London and Birmingham were the main targets for the German Bombers, and because they were very built up in some parts with tall buildings, they would be very easily seen and were very easy targets, for the Germans. If the children stayed in these developed cities, they would be under a great threat. This would have scared children living in London for example, where a great deal of the bombing occurred. The earlier that the government reacted to move the children the better for them, and there would have been more chance that they would have been safer. 830,000 children were evacuated from these urban cities in the first three days, from September 1st to September 3rd. ...read more.


Some children in the picture are with an adult that could be a parent or a minder. The children in the photo probably don't know exactly why they are being evacuated, and that is why they don't look too upset. It might have been the first time that the children had been away from their parents, so they would have been quite anxious or nervous, but wouldn't have shown it in the photo. This is a primary source, and was taken as the children were leaving, so it shows us almost exactly what it would have been like for the children. Source B is a teacher who was evacuated from her school, and has gives us a better idea of what the atmosphere would have been like when the children had to leave their parents. The pupils were very scared to leave, and there was hardly any talking, only a murmur because of how afraid they were. The mothers of the children were not allowed to go with the evacuees, so some younger children would have been very upset; however mothers followed the groups to the stations. The children, mothers and teachers didn't know where they were going so they had to rely on the Government to accommodate them, and were probably bewildered by the whole situation they were in. ...read more.


It was about people's attitude towards evacuation, and if the children stayed then they might be succumb to gas and bombs, but if they go then they might miss their parents and adapt strange habits, There were children on the video who remembered the experience of being fostered and they compared it to being auctioned off. Sources B, C, and E are quite similar, in the way they are presented, because they are more realistic sources, as they are from a point of view of one or a few children. Source B is clearly more likely of what the whole ordeal of evacuation was about, but source A gives a completely different picture, with the children looking quite happy. Source C, although it is not a primary source is a other good example of what life would be like when you had been fostered, when the children moved in with the parents, they knew very little about each others way of living, and would have been a strange experience on both parts. Source E is much like the last two, because it is from the time, actually from a parent who would have been feeling very unhappy, and gets the message through about evacuation a lot better, rather than a poster showing children thanking their foster parents. I believe that the sources with knowledge in, and have points of view portray a better depiction of what life really was like. ...read more.

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