• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9

Evacuation was a great success - do you agree or disagree.

Extracts from this document...


On 3rd September 1939, World War II was declared. The British Government was all too aware that the international warfare that was to follow would be disastrously horrific, threatening the lives of thousands of civilians. It was quite obvious that the main targets would be the highly populated areas, and the government felt it was absolutely necessary in order to keep civilian casualties and fatalities to a bare minimum. The first round of this life-saving process commenced on 1st September 1939, and within the first month of war, a staggering 3,500,000 people were moved. 1.4 million of which were relocated within the first four days of September. It is somewhat self-evident, then, that the logistics of such an operation would be nightmarishly chaotic, and millions of evacuees were heroically moved. Despite this, there were many problems with evacuation. Social problems arose due to social mis-matching, the incompetence of billeting officers and the supposed 'Phoney War'. Organisational problems, along with the infamous negative experience stories, contribute to the notion of failure of evacuation. However, the very fact that it saved the lives of millions of people shows a slight success. The significant word there is people. We are all people, and it our duty bound to protect and guard each other's lives, but there are other factors involved as the subject is not 'black and white'. Evidence and sources of information have varied greatly, over the years, as to the success or failure of evacuation. This includes the sources I am analysing that will follow. This variation of evidence is because success or failure of such an event that involves people is reliant upon personal experiences of evacuees and hosts. Obviously, experiences and feelings felt during evacuation differed vastly. It is because of this that there is such a wide range of evidence available. Evacuation was a huge process. It was inevitable that organisational difficulties were going to occur. ...read more.


Source D was issued by the government during World War II. It is a photograph that portrays a mood of happiness and content among the children as they bath together. A primary source, it immediately indicates success. Its obvious intention is to encourage further evacuation, but it is also showing prospective hosts just how angelic the darling little evacuees are. But it is indeed because of this that this source can be considered somewhat unreliable. In fact, the only positive aspect of reliability in this case is the fact that it's a photograph, and photographs do not lie. However, the people in them do. There is the whole concept of 'staging' to consider, and the idea that this day within their experience was one that was unusually happy due to a special treat. Additionally, the source is government propaganda. Again, if the government felt it was necessary to publish such propaganda that is aimed at so many different groups of people, there has to be an indication of failure. This source highlights success for these particular evacuees, and that they are genuinely happy in their surroundings. The negative technicality, though, is that the government had to use one of the very few available 'happy scene' examples to show the inner-city public just what it is like. Quite frankly, the British Government pursued the blinding of the public, telling an almost blatant lie. Primarily, Source D indicates success, but due to unforeseen details indicates an overall failure of evacuation. Source E demonstrates experiences from both the evacuee's and the host's point of view, both of which seem to quite unpleasant. The evacuated children are of an extremely poor background and have been evacuated along with their mother. The children are obviously used to urinating in the walls in their own abode that can only too easily be described as 'humble'. Despite our reaction of disgust, this is all they knew and so being told off about something they believed to be perfectly normal and something they had probably done all their lives must be quite devastating. ...read more.


Who'd look after him?'. Quite obviously, this is an extremely negative response to evacuation. 'I'm not letting him go. They can't be looked after where they're sending them.' 'They've nothing there: they were starving there before the war.; So, there we have it: the Phoney War, the negative response, returning evacuees, experiences, billeting officers and social mis-matching were all huge failure of evacuation. The only minor success was the organisation due to pre-evacuation practise. However, I believe that there is nothing more important and valuable than life and it is our duty as the human race to create and perpetuate life. It is because of this that some could proclaim evacuation as a success. The simple fact that evacuation save lives, despite any inter-evacuational problems, is additional to the fact that some good could have arisen from social mis-matching. 'Rough' and uncultured children (through no fault of their own) may have indeed gained social abilities and could have been refined as people. They could have accepted the better food offered and become healthier. They might have actually enjoyed their time at their foster parent's homes. And finally, it prolonged life. But, these are only small possibilities that were very rare to actually occur. The amount of positive evidence towards evacuation is sparse to say the least and the negatives are wholly atrocious in their content, and if they aren't, they are reliable failures. Evacuation was intended to save the lives of children in areas of high risk areas. Indeed it did do that, but how many lives were saved we do not know, nor are we aware of the figures of how many people had what sort of experience. It is because of this that I believe evacuation was a success in parts such as in the organisational aspect, but based on the sources (A to I) evacuation on the whole was a process full of problems, difficulties and dilemmas. I conclude that, based on my own knowledge and the previously analysed sources, evacuation was indeed a failure. THE END. 1 Ashley M. Dickson, Year 10 Coursework, GCSE History. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Britain 1905-1951 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Britain 1905-1951 essays

  1. "Evacuation was a great success" Do you agree? Source based work.

    Source H from the question sheet is an advertisement issued by the government in 1940, appealing for more people in Scotland to provide homes for evacuee children. It says that the children who had already been fostered were happy and healthy.

  2. 'Evacuation was a great success' Do you agree?

    An example of this in the sources is source C in which the man being surveyed doesn't want his kid to be evacuated because he sees nothing happening, the source is reliable and so is a good example of evacuation being a failure during the Phoney war.

  1. Assimilation. The problem with immigration in Britain was that the people werent coming from ...

    In a speech he argued that experience has shown him that the concept of assimilation is not merely flawed but rejected by other people who see it as a threat to their culture, tradition and personality. Immigrants who came to Britain wanted to integrate but refused to give up their

  2. Was Evacuation A Success

    It was also in 1988 when the interview occurred which was approximately 50 years later after the war and evacuation so it is not taken from the time and the teacher may have forgotten many important details. It is also only an extract from the entire interview, only a small part and therefore it is unreliable.

  1. British Evacuation in World War II

    The government also knew that as a consequence of evacuation, women would be free to take on the jobs that men who were fighting could no longer do. Jobs such as munitions, would keep Britain fighting. By the end of the war almost 7 million women were contributing towards the war effort.

  2. Why do sources A to F differ in their attitudes to the evacuation of ...

    because she is writing a book for children but the author of source B is giving a more realistic and believable view of evacuation. However, both these sources are only extracts so it is impossible to know what other views were shown in the rest of the interview and the rest of the book.

  1. Free essay

    why do sources A to F differ in their attitudes to the evacuation of ...

    "the children were too afraid to talk" This shows that the women believed that the children did not enjoy their evacuation and that they were scared. The teacher also claims that the mothers were allowed walk with the children, which gives a reason for why the children were scared.

  2. Evacuation was a great success

    The Source was produced along time after the event, which means that it was not propaganda and it is likely to be a factual account of her experience, however being so long after the event means that her opinion could have changed over the course of time, or by someone or something influencing her memories.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work