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Why did the government decide to evacuate children from Britains major cities in the early years of WW2?

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Introduction

Coursework "Why did the government decide to evacuate children from Britain's major cities in the early years of WW2?" This coursework is investigating the evacuation of Children at the beginning of WW2. Evacuation was initiated in September 1939, when 1,474,000 people were moved from the cities to the countryside, however in 1940 many evacuees returned home to their cities under the belief that it was a "phoney war" only to be evacuated again during the Blitz of 1940. These evacuees consisted of vulnerable people: children, disabled people, pregnant women and skilled workers. It became clear that civilians were now to become targets in this war, because of new forms of aerial combat which were widely understood by Britain as being crucial to the outcome of the war. German bomber planes were well equipped and were easily capable of bombing Britain and its industrial areas, ports and major cities. ...read more.

Middle

The fears stimulated from ww1 memories were an important long-term reason as it was always in people's minds and there would always be worry, concern and suspicion within people's minds after that war. This is why I believe it to be an important reason. If WW1 had not been so horrific people would have been less apprehensive. Evacuation was necessary as it countered the threat of a British surrender due to low morale in many ways as it helped the public to feel reassured that their children were safe; encouraging them to keep their faith in the war effort. It was common for people not to want to send their children away from home, because of fear of the unknown and of where their children were going. The government combated this by producing many pieces of war focused propaganda: posters, films and newspapers. ...read more.

Conclusion

Whilst in the processes of being evacuated the children had little or no idea where they were going or indeed the wider implications of what was happening to them. In many cases leaving their homes was a very traumatic experience. Above all children were the future of Britain and were vital to the country and needed to be protected at all costs. Children's deaths were the last thing that the government desired as this would increase fear within the country and thus increase the public's doubts of the war effort and of government. I believe that the government introduced evacuation to reinforce the war effort in this country through giving the British public reassurance and belief. The evacuation also protected many children and showed the government was making an effort to protect its people in the state of war and save the lives of probably thousands and thousands of children. ...read more.

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