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Britain In The Second World War - source related questions and answers

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Assignment: Model A2: Britain In The Second World War Which Source is more useful as evidence about the start of the children's evacuation journey? Explain your answer using Sources B and C and knowledge from your studies. Source B is a photograph of children, carrying their luggage, towards the train station in September 1939, the point of which evacuation began. The purpose of the photo is most likely persuasive propaganda, used to show parents that this is what they should be emulating with their own children. Evidence for this is that most of the children are waving at the camera and therefore have noticed it. This could be because they have been told to wave, as a pre planned photo or the camera amazes them. However, from previous studies, children were scared and often petrified, due to moving away from their parents for the first time. So to look that excited would be most likely very uncommon, therefore the utility may be unsatisfactory for the purpose. Another contributing factor to it being a piece of propaganda is that the person taking the picture is up high and wishes to take a picture of a large group. Therefore, he is trying to obtain the best picture possible, most conceivably for a newspaper. All these factors would affect the utility of the source, as the source may not be reliable due to it being bias and therefore would not help a historian understand the subject or era any better. ...read more.


Nevertheless, when understanding and considering the word Novel, it is assumed that the story may stray away from the facts, as to accumulate more readers. However, it is moreover understood that the book is there for the younger generation to understand and conceive what it would be like to be in that situation. The book would not meander away from the true heart and emotions of the true story of evacuation. On the other hand, the story is written by only one woman and therefore the source is only looking at evacuation from one perspective. Another factor affecting the reliability is that she wrote the book in 1973, 34 years since she had been evacuated. Emotions and facts could have become vague over that long period and the way she wrote could have reflected the sorrowful or morose experiences during evacuation. The context of the source can also indicate whether the source is reliable. From previous studies, it is known that there was tension between different social classes. The host families commonly thought that the children arriving were poor, as can be seen from the line, 'Oh, I'm sorry, how silly of me, why should you have slippers.' In conclusion, the source is an extract from a Novel, written to explain the joys and adventure of evacuation and the tension and sadness that evolved around it. Moreover, it was written to educate children on evacuation and what it was like, developed into a heart warming story. Nina Bawden most likely wished to write the book to explain her emotions and attitudes towards evacuation and due to herself experiencing these emotions the source would seem reliable. ...read more.


This helped to bring Britain through, with a united front, boosting moral, which supports that evacuation was a success. However, from Source H, a desperate appeal has been sent out, urging Scottish people to foster children in 1940, a year after the first evacuations began. This is most likely the fault of the Government, miscalculating the number of willing families to the number of people needed to be evacuated. This could also be due to slow communication and organisation of transporting evacuees, not knowing which houses would be willing. This is a major factor in the question of whether evacuation was a success. In conclusion, the main aim of evacuation, transporting people away from danger occurred. It also happened efficiently and in doing so many lives were saved. From that perspective evacuation would seem a complete success. However, the downside to evacuation was the critical consequences. The conflicting and contrasting attitudes and social classes created problems. As rumours of the 'lower' class evacuees nuisances began to take off people in the country became hostile to evacuees. However, this tended to be uncommon and once this settled a greater community spirit began to develop, changing the lives of those in the country and most importantly the evacuees. This generation of inner city children were brought up much better than they could have been in their previous home. They were all better educated and better fed. This also caused the hierarchical social extremes to deteriorate and due to being in the same situation such as rationing, Britain became united against a common enemy. Therefore, I conclude that I agree that evacuation was a success. ...read more.

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