• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why did the British Government decide to evacuate children from Britains major cities in the early years of the war?

Extracts from this document...


History Coursework - Evacuation Question One: Why did the British Government decide to evacuate children from Britain's major cities in the early years of the war? On Friday 1st September 1939 - two days before war was declared - the biggest mass movement of people known in British history began. In the course of four days, almost 3 million people were evacuated from major cities and towns into the countryside. As you can imagine, the organisation this required was simply astonishing with masses of people involved including children, pregnant women, teachers and the disabled. There are a range of reasons (both short and long term) to explain why such extreme action was taken by the Government. Firstly, we must look back to the 1930's for the long term reasons that led to evacuation. After World War I, a series of events occurred that built tension among countries. The Great Depression can be used as a starting point; almost every country (both rich and poor) was affected by this, and international trading was close to coming to a standstill. The Great Depression led to global widespread anger and frustration, worst of all felt by Germany who were still suffering under the unending money-consuming reparations of the Treaty of Versailles. It was this, among other reasons, which led to the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany and eventually, Adolf Hitler becoming the German Chancellor in 1933. Additionally, the Great Depression is known to be one of the reasons for the failure of the League of Nations. After seeing the lenience shown by the League of Nations on crucial 'make-or-break' events such as the Japanese conquest of Manchuria (1931) ...read more.


Ev. 4 Government Evacuation Scheme. First of all, the children in the city were not productive. To be direct, they were economically and militarily useless in the war effort. They were far too young to engage in any type of combat in the war, and were also too young and uneducated to do any type of jobs. The children were a burden which prevented the rest of the civilians from getting on with the war effort, and therefore they had to be temporarily moved. On the other hand, in the country children proved far more useful. Although not able to fight or help with practical jobs, they could easily grow crops in the country which were useful as Britain had extreme food shortages due to attacks on their transport ships. In the city the children were nothing more than consumers, as they did not have the space nor skills to grow crops, though in the country there was far more room and the host families that they lived with were more used to growing their own food than buying it as their communities were smaller. To further this point, if children were in the city they were more of a burden not just to the war effort, but also to the Civil Defence Forces - those who had to rescue or prevent people from involvement in dangerous situations. The first reason for this is that naturally, if there are more people their job will automatically be made harder, but on top of this - children are more likely to get into trouble - they would not follow precautions as well as adults and may play in dangerous areas if not supervised. ...read more.


Despite this, an additional 11,000 children were sent overseas to through private evacuation, though parents were warned that they were doing this at their own risk. The final series of evacuations took place towards the end of the war (1944-45) when the V1 and V2 rockets were invented. These were the most dangerous aerial weaponry to be built yet and were boasted by Hitler of being the weapons that would win the war. Their full name is "Vergeltungswaffe" meaning 'vengeance weapon'. This caused widespread fear and the last wave (though smaller than the other two) of evacuations in Britain before the end of the war. In conclusion, the reasons for the evacuation of children were vastly varied, and the Government had to fuel the process with vast amounts of effort and propaganda. The two main reasons of evacuating children was that they were safer from aerial attack in the country than in the highly populated cities and that morale was kept high in the knowledge that the innocent future generation was secure. Evacuation was put into place because Britain was unprepared and underarmed for the war, so had to take a defensive position rather than offensive. Today - even with more advanced forms of transport - it still leaves some in shock that such a mass movement of people could occur in such a small space of time. Although it had some problems (i.e children leaving and returning to the countryside), evacuation has proved to be one of the key factors of Britain's success - it both sustained morale and worked as an excellent form of protection for the British youth. ?? ?? ?? ?? Daniel Morris ...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. Why did the British Government decide to evacuate children from Britain(TM)s major cities in ...

    the road above the station to collapse and 56 occupants were killed. On 14th October 1940 a bomb penetrated the road and tunnel at Balham tube station and 68 people were killed. But bombs were not the only thing dangerous about tube stations.

  2. World war 1

    much more positive and full of confidence because, 'All went like clockwork', it went as planned. This shows that Haig does care about his men however he wanted to warn the nation that soldiers were going to die; this was done so the nation weren't shocked when thousands of men died.

  1. Evacuation Of British School Children In World War 2.

    Source F also talks about how people had bad impressions of evacuees. IT is from an interview in 1988 with someone who was an evacuee in 1939. She wishes that the common view of evacuees that they were "raised on a diet of fish and chips" could be changed.

  2. Why did the British Government decide to evacuate children from Britains major cities in ...

    Consequently, Britain decided to move as many people out of major cities and places near aircraft targets, e.g. RAF bases. A nationwide blackout was also declared so that enemy aircraft could not use landmarks to head to their targets. In the Spanish Civil War, fought between 1936 and 1939, Hitler

  1. Why did the British government decide to evacuate children from Britains major cities in ...

    German planes were targeting anything that could help the British economy and their soldiers throughout the war. Britain was worried that not only would the factories, harbours and communications systems be under threat but ordinary civilians would be at risk because of this policy.

  2. Why did the British government evacuate children from Britain(TM)s major cities in the early ...

    In the war, Hitler supported the Nationalists and their leader, Francisco Franco. The bombing of Guernica came during this civil war, and caused destruction and public death (c1000 but in recent research it was much less). The bombings came in three waves of terror, killing innocent civilians and destroying the town.

  1. (TM)Why did Britain fail to confront Germany over the occupation of the Czech city ...

    Political opinion had been changed to a great extent after the fall of Czechoslovakia to German occupation in 1939. They had seen that appeasement hadn't worked to control Hitler's expansionist plans, as he had clearly disregarded the Munich agreement made in 1938.

  2. Why did Chamberlain follow a policy of appeasement?

    The Labour party wanted to spend money on housing not rearmament, conservatives liked Hitlers strong, right-wing government, young people did not want to fight and Guernica had showed what German bombers could do to Britain is there was a war.

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