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Evacuation. At the start of the Second World War, many children living in cities and towns were moved temporarily from their homes to places considered safer which was usually in the countryside.

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Britain in the Second World War At the start of the Second World War, many children living in cities and towns were moved temporarily from their homes to places considered safer which was usually in the countryside. The evacuation was introduced because the British government was worried that a new war might begin when Hitler came to power in 1933. They were afraid that British cities and towns would be targets for bombing raids by aircraft. People, especially children, were evacuated for their own safety. It would have been too dangerous for them to stay in places where the bombs land on their homes and schools. There were many children evacuated, there was schoolchildren (827,000) and their teachers, Mothers with children under five (524,000), Pregnant women (12,000) and some disabled people. The government recommended that in addition to their gas mask and identity card the evacuees were told to pack further items. ...read more.


At 11.07am on Thursday 31st August 1939 the order was given to evacuate forthwith. Over the next four days a quarter of the British population (nearly 3,000,000 people) were evacuated to the countryside. By the end of the Second World War around 3.5 million people, mainly children had experienced evacuation. No one was forced to go but parents were encouraged by posters and told that their children would be safer from German bombs if they moved to the country. In the lead up to World War Two, governments throughout Europe had been terrified of bombing. The destruction of innocent civilians at Guernica in Spain during the Spanish Civil War had been the proof that governments needed that bombing was the new horror of warfare. With this in mind, the British government introduced evacuation. Young children were sent with their 'minders' - either mothers or teachers - to what were considered safe areas that would be free from Nazi bombing. ...read more.


was on a phenomenally large scale. But people could see the reason 'For' Evacuation and 'Against'. In the first few weeks of the start of the war, nearly two million children were evacuated. The government, which controlled all aspects of the media, wanted to give the public the impression that evacuation was popular among those affected and put out propaganda pictures and film to this effect. However, many mothers were very unsure as to the usefulness of evacuation. Many children were evacuated but not with huge enthusiasm and when it became apparent that war was not going to lead to cities being bombed many children returned to the cities from which they had only recently left. The official government story was that all young children had been evacuated and that the whole process had been efficiently organised and executed with precision. However, this was not the whole story. Evacuated children found that their hosts were not always welcoming and that their two lifestyles clashed. Chris Hartley ...read more.

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