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Explain the Differing Reactions of People in Britain to the Policy of Evacuating Children during the Second World War

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Introduction

Explain the Differing Reactions of People in Britain to the Policy of Evacuating Children during the Second World War During the Second World War, the policy of evacuation touched many people's lives. Not only were children affected by evacuation, but also the hosts who allowed them to stay with them during the war and the others who were evacuated, including teachers and the blind and disabled. At the time of the war, there were distinct class divisions and evacuated children and their hosts would have sometimes quarrelled as they both had different mindsets of morals, manners and etiquette. These differences caused a wide variety of reactions from people during the evacuation. When war was declared on the 1st September 1939, there was a mass evacuation of all the target areas as people thought that their children were at risk. The Government produced propaganda posters and broadcast on the radio advertising this Government scheme. Millions of children were evacuated and for a brief period of time, the parents were satisfied knowing their children were away from harm. However, no bombs were fired during the first year of the war and so parents began to believe that the cities were safe and asked for their children to return to them. This meant that when the Blitz began in September 1940, many children had returned and so when the city was deemed too unsafe by their parents, some children were sent back. ...read more.

Middle

The hosts that took children in came from a large range of social backgrounds from the very poor to the peers. Families from every background volunteered to take evacuees into their home as they believed that they were helping their country with the war effort and saving the children from harm. Working class hosts often struggled with feeding all the people as they had very little to spend and so an extra person would have pushed their limited budget. As stated above, to make up for this addition to their family, the evacuees in working-class host families were often expected to work their share. However, the opinions of the working-class hosts were often ones of praise for the evacuees. Middle-class families did not struggle as much with the finances, and after the initial adjustment by both the host and the evacuee, the majority of middle-class families enjoyed the company and entertainment the evacuees brought with them. The upper-class sometimes took large numbers of evacuees into their large homes as part of the war effort. These evacuees would often not see the actual host, i.e. the member of the upper-class, much at all during their evacuation as in the majority of cases; the evacuees were looked after by the servants of the house. ...read more.

Conclusion

Mrs. Dransfield is described as "extremely strict" and found Angela as "an intruder", whereas Mr. Dransfield is said to have loved Angela. Although the majority of the country embraced evacuation as a sign of patriotism and helping the war effort, there were some parents who refused to evacuate their children. An example of this is Source I where a father does not let his son be evacuated as they would send him to a place that couldn't feed its own population before the war. Another reason he gives is that if he died, there would be plenty of people to care for him in the town that are "family and friends". In conclusion, there were many different reactions to the policy of evacuation when it was announced. Whilst some people did not integrate with the new people in their lives, the majority of people involved with the evacuation process happily adjusted to their new way of life. For hosts, it was seen as the patriotic thing to do for their country and for the children it did not take long for them to get used to their new surroundings. However, there were some people who either disagreed with the policy or did not find the process enjoyable due to differences, either because of social gaps or because of a lack of commitment and enthusiasm to the cause. Page 1 of 4 Page 1 of 4 ...read more.

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