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Why did the British Government decide to evacuate children from Britain's major cities in the early years of the 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 war? During the war over 3,000,000 children were evacuated into the British countryside and sent abroad to escape the bombing of Britain. Children were evacuated from most of the major cities including London, Portsmouth, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle and were sent to live with foster parents in the country who would sometimes treat them well or sometimes treat them badly. If the children were very young then their mothers were evacuated with them but most of the children were evacuated with their schools and teachers, also pregnant women, and blind and disabled people moved to the country. There were three main times in the war when the children were evacuated. First was when the war began, second was after the phoney war when the battle of Britain began and third was in 1944 when the Germans bombed Britain using V2 rockets. ...read more.

Middle

When the war started the government were surprised that the bombing didn't start straight away and the bombing didn't start until April 1940 7 months after the war began. The period at the beginning of the war was called the phoney war as nothing happened in Britain so it didn't seem like Britain was involved in the war. During this time many parents brought their children back to the main cities against the advice of the government. This meant that when the battle of Britain started in April almost 80% of the children who had been evacuated returned. Many of the children had to be evacuated again and some of the children that had been evacuated to areas between Norfolk and Sussex had to be re evacuated to South Wales and the Midlands to escape the danger. Some of the children were evacuated to avoid the bombing but others stayed where they were until they had no other choice, like in Birmingham many children weren't evacuated until the water supply was threatened. ...read more.

Conclusion

There are two main reasons why children were evacuated from the major cities in Britain during the second world war and which are fear of being bombed and people being forced out of their homes by bombing. The Government feared the bombing attacks because of what had happened in the Luftwaffe attacks on Barcelona, the testing of German weapons in the Spanish Civil War and how quickly the bombs were dropped during the war in the Far East. If people had done as the government had said and sent their children away to the country at the beginning of the war and left them their to the end then there would only have been one wave of evacuation and it would have been done in a more organised manor. However people missed their children and thought it was needless to keep them away from home when no bombs were falling which meant they were brought back to the cities and had to be evacuated again when the bombs finally started falling. Evacuation was a very necessary precaution of world war two and saved many children's lives. ...read more.

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