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"Evacuation was a great success!" Do you agree or disagree with this interpretation? Use sources and your own knowledge to explain your answer.

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Introduction

"Evacuation was a great success!" Do you agree or disagree with this interpretation? Use sources and your own knowledge to explain your answer. Evacuation was introduced because Britain was at war with Germany and they expected the Germans to bomb Britain. There were three main evacuation periods. The first started on September 1^st 1939 and was called `The Phoney War'; this first wave of evacuation took place because Britain expected air raids. The second period ranged from May to December 1940. This second wave was taken due to heavy bombing warnings, the Blitz started shortly after evacuation started. The third period of evacuation was from July to September 1944, and this was because the Germans had developed flying bombs and `v2' rockets, which were both devastating weapons. People who were evacuated were school children, mothers and young children, blind and disabled people and teachers. The government tried to encourage evacuation by the use of propaganda. Source B is a photograph from the start of evacuation. It shows evacuee's walking to a train station. They are all smiling and look happy. We cannot fully trust this source because it may be a staged photo used by the government for propaganda. ...read more.

Middle

Source I is from an interview with a father from South end with a 7 year old boy. It has been written in May 1940, but before the heavy bombing started. It cannot be trusted because it took place before the bombing started so his opinion could have changed. Sources 7 and 8 suggest that the evacuation process was well organised and a success. The children on the trains are all smiling and are happy, and the children walking to the station also look happy. The government leaflet on evacuation: why and how, suggests that evacuation was well organised, it says that all children were evacuated to safer places called reception areas. Whereas source C suggest that it wasn't, it says people had no idea where they were going. The source comes from an interview with a teacher in 1988. This source cannot be fully trusted because it is only her memories and is only one viewpoint Some sources suggest that evacuation was well organised when evacuee's got there. For example, in the Internet sheet, a 5-year-old evacuee described his experience; he says that he enjoyed himself, and enjoyed his 2 - 3 years in Wales, and that the host wanted to adopt him. ...read more.

Conclusion

Cynthia Gillet described her experience of evacuation as terrible, she was evacuated twice and was beaten and worked. Another girl described her experience with a rich family as unhappy, she got very homesick and returned home a few months later. Source L also tells us of brutality towards evacuee's, other children would gang up on them in the playground. The successes were that evacuation saved thousands of lives and up to the end of 1942, only 27 children evacuated from London were injured, which was a tiny amount compared to the casualties of the people who stayed. Many evacuees saw world outside of the cities and many loved the countryside. It also highlighted poverty and the slum conditions people were living in. The failures though were that only 36% of people who should have been evacuated from London were evacuated and only 33% of people from provinces were evacuated; a lot of people weren't evacuated. Other failures were when the government tried to introduce a second wave of evacuation, response was very limited. In conclusion, evacuation was partly a success because of the lives it saved, but it partly failed because only a small majority of people who should have been evacuated were, and because of the haphazard placement of evacuees with hosts, most evacuees hated the countryside and returned home. ...read more.

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