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

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Introduction

"Evacuation was a great success" Do you agree? On the 1st September 1939 the first evacuation began. 827,000 school children and 524,000 mothers and pre-school children moved in the following three days. 13,000 pregnant women, 7000 blind and disabled people and 103,000 teachers were also evacuated. This was a procedure that involved children and teachers leaving their homes in large cities to keep safe from bombing. Trains and buses were prepared to transport children out to hosts homes in the countryside. But was the whole process a success or failure? To say it was a success depends on how evacuation is judged. The government's aim of evacuation was to move children, teachers, blind and disabled people and pregnant women out of the major cities at risk from bombing, to reception areas, mostly in the countryside, so they would be safe, away from the bombing. Evacuation was both successful and unsuccessful. Evacuation was a great success for the government because at the time they managed to persuade people that evacuation was the right thing to do. The Government did manage to secure its objectives of keeping children safe and keeping the war machine going without the threat of children being killed which was a successful aspect of evacuation. Another success of evacuation for the government was that hospitals were freed up for the wounded war victims and school buildings could be used for other purposes. There were extra workers as parents didn't have to look after their children. The evacuees were not needed in the war effort. Although the conditions on the train were cramped and there was a lack of facilities, a vast amount of children were transported out of the cities quickly and efficiently. Most of the children who were evacuated also benefited from it although some did have bad experiences. However a major problem with evacuation was that a significant number of children either did not go or returned back to the danger-zones. ...read more.

Middle

They also pressured many people living in reception areas into taking in evacuees, even if they didn't want to. This resulted in many foster parents mistreating their evacuees. The government also failed to persuade parents to keep evacuees in the reception areas during the phoney war. Although they did achieve their main aim: 1.5 million people were moved and saved from bombing. So I agree that the evacuation was a success. EVACUATION COURSEWORK - Q3 Looking at source I evacuation after 1940 was a failure. The source shows what a father thinks of evacuation after 1940. He opposes evacuation and believes that his 7-year-old boy cannot be looked after where he is being sent. This source should be reliable as the source states the father's exact words. At a higher level for Britain evacuation was successful in making people more aware of each other. The problem of poverty was brought to Britain's attention. Source A shows this as it is basically saying that the rich were shocked at the state of the poor. Source E, F and I also back this up by saying that the rich were not used to poorly behaved poor people. Also parents weren't letting their children evacuate because of the difference in lifestyle of the hosts. In conclusion some aspects of the evacuation process were a success. It was a great success in some ways because if it had never occurred thousands more people would have died in the war. The preparation of evacuation was the main stage of evacuation that went well. However, evacuation may be seen as unsuccessful as the Phoney War saw a major return to the towns and during the Blitz few were evacuated. "Evacuation was a great success". Do you agree with this statement? Use your own knowledge and the sources provided. Despite the government propaganda, which contributed to the efficient way in which children were evacuated, many parents refused to allow their children to leave. ...read more.

Conclusion

The source is from 1988 and again cannot be fully trusted because the evacuee may have forgotten something and it is only his or her memory, and is only one viewpoint. Source G shows a misconception between hosts and evacuee's. The host assumes that they are poor children, because they have no slippers with them, it was written in 1973 for a children's novel, so we have to be careful because it is a storybook. There are some facts but as it is a story perhaps the author exaggerates and dramatises some of the feelings. Another fact that that evacuation wasn't organised properly for when evacuee's got to where they were going is that they were used for cheap labour and some were beaten, and many got very homesick. 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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