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Why do sources A-F differ in their attitudes to the evacuation of children

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Introduction

Why do sources A-F differ in their attitudes to the evacuation of children? Explain your answers using the sources and knowledge from your studies. Source A is a photograph taken in September 1939 showing children and their teachers walking to the station to be evacuated. The photograph could have been taken for a newspaper or for government propaganda. The photographer is unknown but I assume that he was a professional and not a relative, as the photograph does not focus on one particular child. The adults in the photo are teachers who were evacuated along with the children to teach and look after them. This source is reliable as it was taken at the start of the war; however, it is only one person's perspective, in one place at one time. I know that evacuations took place in most English cities, not just London, so I think that this photograph is a typical example of what was happening all over England. ...read more.

Middle

It promotes fostering an evacuee as an enjoyable and rewarding task to encourage people to sign up as a foster parent. It was issued by the Secretary of State in 1940 and is designed to encourage more people to take evacuees. The two smiling children in the picture are there to make potential foster parents believe that these are the sort of children that they will be looking after. It takes a very positive attitude to evacuation because the government really needs more foster parents so they try to advertise it in the best way possible. Source E is an extract from a Mass Observation Survey taken in May 1940. The interview is with the father of a seven-year-old boy from Southend. This source, like source B, shows how little people involved in evacuation were actually told. The man being interviewed says that he doesn't want his son to go because they can't look after him where they are sending him. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although sources C and F are both fictitious representations of a child's view of evacuation, source C is far more reliable as it was written by a former evacuee whereas source F is made by people who had no personal experience of evacuation or the war in general. Source D is government propaganda and cannot be relied upon to give an unbiased view of evacuation. Source B, although still an eyewitness account was not taken until forty-eight years after the event. Consequently not only lapses of memory but also the impact of the propaganda of the years following the war may have influenced the teacher's view and feelings of the events compared to as they seemed at the time. It is different to source E because it is lacking the emotional impact of the time. The differences between these sources show why historians need a variety of sources from different times and origins to come to a reasonably balanced evaluation of any historical event. ?? ?? ?? ?? K.Matson. 29.6.03 ...read more.

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