"Evacuation was a great success" Do you agree or disagree with this interpretation?
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"Evacuation was a great success" by Jamie Clarke Do you agree or disagree with this interpretation? Explain your answer using the sources and knowledge from your own studies In the first world war , German air raids killed1, 1413 people. By the 1930's bombers were much bigger and British Government planners expected far greater casualties. They estimated that 600, 000 people would be killed in a few days. They also expected the use of biological weapons in the form of poison gas. From as early as 1935 plans were made to evacuate all children, pregnant mothers, mothers with young children and disabled people from the major cities of Britain, to much safer rural areas. On 1 September 1939 as war became more likely these plans were put into action. Over 4 days using buses and 4,00 special trains, 1,5million people were evacuated successfully To define evacuation to either success or failure is almost impossible.
It is from a mother who hosted children who had been evacuated. She tells of how terrible their manners were and gives the impression of her being of a much higher social class than them. This source is showing the failure of evacuation in the minds of the host family here. Source F is another eyewitness account but this time from an evacuee. This is a turn around from Source E. The evacuee tells of how they were stereotyped to be of a lower class but in fact believed themselves to be of higher class than the host and that the conditions they were forced to live under were of a poor standard. Source G is an extract from a novel. The reliability of this source is questionable as the facts could have been exaggerated for the sake of the novel. It is not an eyewitness account. It is written for children so the harsher and perhaps more truthful details may have been omitted.
However, there were some advantages of evacuation. It kept children away from the major towns and cities that were later bombed. It also drew attention to the city slums because people in the country were shocked to see the condition some of the children coming from the cities were in. They were stunned at the lack of nutrition, clothing and cleanliness. It brought about demands to reform and eradicate such social problems. Some evacuees were well looked after and enjoyed their experiences, working on the farms and eating better than they had done at home. As a result of the 'phoney war' many children returned home by Christmas 1939 despite government poster campaigns to prevent them from doing so. Later they had to be re-evacuated. Some children returned before the bombing and were not re-evacuated so they were originally evacuated for no reason. The lasting result of evacuation however was increased awareness of how bad life in Britain was for many families especially children. = 1000 words
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