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Why did the British Government Decide To Evacuate Children from Britain's Major Cities at the start of WW2?

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Jaimes Charles History coursework - Evacuation Why did the British Government Decide To Evacuate Children from Britain's Major Cities at the start of WW2? I n August 1938 Adolf Hitler began to make speeches to suggest he was going to send the German army into Czechoslovakia. The British government began to expect a war with the Nazis and the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain ordered that A.R.P workers were mobilised. Cellars and basements were turned into air raid shelters and underground shelters were dug in public parks for communal use. On 3 September 1939, the people of Britain heard over the radio that war had been declared. Outline plans had been drawn up as early as 1935 after the Munich conference however they became much more detailed. ...read more.


The next area was neutral. People wouldn't have to be evacuated from these areas because they weren't considered to be dangerous but people wouldn't be evacuated to these areas either because they weren't considered to be quite safe. The last areas were places like Scotland and North Wales, which were considered to be safe and people where evacuated to these areas. Mass evacuation actually began on 1 September. The children were evacuated from train stations with their nametags and only what they could carry themselves, clothes wise. Also all the children were issued with gas masks. This was because of the awful memories of the gas attacks in world war one. Children under five were evacuated with their mothers and children of school age were evacuated with their teachers. ...read more.


Instead of just being able to bomb only the East Coast now they could bomb anywhere in Britain. By Christmas almost one million of the evacuees had started to return home. This was due to the phoney war. No bombing had taken place for nine months. People wanted to be evacuated again however when the bombing restarted. Many of the people who returned however weren't evacuated again. The second evacuation wasn't nearly as well organised as the first one. This was simply because it hadn't been planned for as long. Since evacuation happened there have been many critics of it. People have asked 'why?' and 'wouldn't it have been better for families to stick together?' Some people obviously had bad experiences but with a scheme so large, this is only to be expected. I have concluded that it may not have been a perfect system but it still saved millions of lives. ...read more.

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