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World War One Sources Questions

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Introduction

Question 1 Why did the British Government decide to evacuate children from Britain's major cities, in the early years of WW2? On the 1st of September Britain declared war on Germany. This declaration started many fears and concerns for how people would live their lives, when they were surrounded by war. One of the main concerns was the safety, and the welfare of the children. The government started to evacuate children from London, Coventry, Southampton, Plymouth, and Liverpool. These concerns came because the Government feared that there would be heavy bombing on these major cities. This was because of the recent wars in Spain and the Far East, where towns and cities were attrociously bombed. The Government took precautions long before the war began. The countryside was where it was thought to be safer, so plans were being made to evacuate vulnerable people into 'foster' homes. Parents weren't so keen to send away they're loved ones, so government used propaganda such as leaflets, posters, and messages on the radio to make some parents realise how important evacuation was. People who were fortunate enough to have family and friends who live in the country, made their own arrangements to stay with them. Other people considered going to countries which weren't involved in the war, such as Canada and Australia. In the first year of the Second World War 800,000 school children were evacuated, as well as 550,000 mothers with children under 5. In 1940 evacuation reached a new level as German air raids arrived. ...read more.

Middle

It clearly shows that there were differences between the classes. These evacuees were also not able to have a source of comfort because they weren't allowed to take items that they wanted. Source D is another positive source. It is an advertisement issued by the government. It is emphasising that the children are thankful to their 'foster parents'. It is repeatedly praising the foster parents, saying how grateful everybody is. It implies that they knew it would be hard work looking after the children, and that's basically why they did it. We are not sure who the author is, and who it was intended for. It could be used as propaganda, seeing as the Government wrote it. It is one of only a few statements made by the government which the public has easy access to. This gives an insight into what the Governments point of view. It is commenting on how being evacuated into the countryside gives the children a 'fresh' start. The Government is probably pleased with evacuation because it was their idea. Maybe they are appealing for more foster parents, because they aren't getting enough, or some of the foster parents that have enrolled are backing out. This Source (source E) also has a negative attitude towards evacuation. It is an interview with the father of a seven-year-old boy. It is part of a mass survey. The interview is with one parent out of quite a few, as it is a mass survey. ...read more.

Conclusion

Also the host parents found that having children there with them helped them cope with the war. They were shocked by the poor health, and how dirty the children's clothes were, and what state they were in. Some evacuees were covered in lice or were very thin. Children repaid their hosts by helping on the farms in the country. On the same token, some of the host parents were unwilling to take children. They didn't treat them fairly because they didn't give them the right food, and they kept the benefit money for themselves (40p/ eight shillings). Becoming a host parent came along with many problems. When the evacuees reached their designated area, they found that they weren't meant to be there. Villages expecting young children received hundreds of pregnant women. Some hosts found it difficult to deal with children who did not behave like their own. Many host families were short of money because when the price of food rose, their benefit pay didn't. It is hard to comment on whether I thought evacuation was a great success or not. There are too many different sides to the story. Some say that the host parents didn't care for the children properly, and some say that the health of the children did improve. I think that evacuation was not a success in the early stages of the war. This is because the children were taken away from their homes when there was no apparent need. As the war progressed, I think that the process was a success because the children needed to be taken away from the danger areas. ?? ?? ?? ?? Scott McBride Page 1 ...read more.

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