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Why did the British Government decide to evacuate children in the early years of the war?

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History Coursework - Why did the British Government decide to evacuate children in the early years of the war? In 1939 Germany refused to remove their troops from Poland, the British government had no other options than all out war with Germany. Everybody knew that for once the ordinary lives of the British Public would be shattered. To make sure that Britain didn't suffer heavy child casualties they drew up plans to evacuate them to less populated areas. Children from all over the country would be voluntarily moved out of danger and into village life. But why did the government decide to do this? In 1936 civil war broke out in Spain; Hitler decided to use this to fight communism and to test the new weapons that Germany had developed. A year later the world realised the destructive capabilities of Blitzkrieg bombings: whole parts of cities had been destroyed and 1000's killed in the firestorms that reeked havoc throughout their towns. The British government saw this and realised England could be completely crushed by air. ...read more.


With more work and duties to carry out, the average parent would have less time for their child. Children would probably start to get more rebellious without the supervising of an adult. This amplified the saying; 'out of sight out of mind,' with children in the countryside parents would not worry about the safety of them. As the parents showed a huge amount of concern for their children's safety in many opinion poles they voted majority in favour for the idea of evacuation. Some parents, remembering the First World War, sent their children overseas or moved into the country with them. The government knew that children relied on adults for their well-being and livelihood, especially babies and toddlers. If small children were kept in the towns and cities the overtime work production rate would not be able to increase to help the war effort. This was another motive for evacuation because with the children away in the countryside the parents wouldn't need to look after them or feed them. This therefore increased the amount of time and adult could spend working and so improve the overall effort put into the war. ...read more.


The government also knew that with a higher supply for food needed in the cities, children could help as farm hands or such and still be helping the war effort instead of making it worse. After a few months of the war and no movement had been made that showed any signs of bombings or deaths, many parents wanted their children back with them. This started a huge drift back into the major cities and towns. This lasted for a few more months and then when the bombings started properly a huge second wave of evacuation started again mainly caused by the blitz and v2 bombings. In the end the major reason for the government to evacuate children into the countryside was because they feared about the huge damage that might occur to the younger generations in the bombings. The government knew that for the many reasons I have stated, it was a much better idea than letting them stay in the highly dangerous cities. Parents also voted for these methods showing that the public was well behind the actions of the government and in the end it turned out as the right choice. ...read more.

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