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

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Introduction

Question 2 a: Why do sources A to F differ in their attitudes to the evacuation of children? Explain your answer using the sourses and knowledge from your studies. In considering why the sources A to F differ in their attitudes to evacuation of children, it is necessary to examine the origin of the sources and the situation that faced the country in 1939/40. The evacuation of Britain's cities at the start of World War Two was the biggest and most concentrated mass movement of people in Britain's history. In the first four days of September 1939, nearly 3,000,000 people were transported from towns and cities in danger from enemy bombers to places of safety in the countryside in operation "Pied Piper." Most were schoolchildren, who had been labelled like pieces of luggage, separated from their parents and accompanied instead by a small army of guardians - 100,000 teachers. By any measure it was an astonishing event, a logistical nightmare of co-ordination and control beginning with the terse order to 'Evacuate forthwith,' issued at 11.07am on Thursday, 31 August 1939. ...read more.

Middle

In the first place, the estimates of casualties were grossly over-exaggerated and the subsequent Government propaganda caused near panic rather than controlled movement. In addition, the man in charge of evacuation, Sir John Anderson, was a cold, inhuman character with little understanding of the emotional upheaval that might be created by evacuation More critical sources such as the 1987 film by John Borman "Hope and Glory" and recent evacuee memoirs such as those on the BBC history website paint a very different picture from sources B and D. They describe a typically British wartime shambles. Hundreds of children arrived in the wrong area with insufficient rations and, more worryingly, there were not enough homes in which to put them. Twelve months earlier, the Government had surveyed available housing, but what they had not taken into account was the extent to which middle-class and well-to-do families would be making their own private arrangements. Consequently, those households who had previously offered to take in evacuees were now full. Keeping control of the whole thing became a joyless task. ...read more.

Conclusion

Mass observation according to Mr Stonier quoted in a George Orwell (1947) Tribune article "Would have elephant ears, a loping walk and a permanent sore eye from looking through key holes." This can account for the hostility which some conservative views had about mass observation. The statements in an interview in May 1940 are directly opposite to the government propaganda at the time with the fathers reply to questions suggesting that he had little faith in the government's policy of evacuation. "I'm not letting him go. They can't be looked after where they are sending them." The clear differences in source E and D show the concern with which many ordinary parents viewed operation pied piper. In conclusion the range of sources used reflects the intentions of the authors. Sources A and D reflect the government view. Sources B and C give a more personal interpretation of historical events. The Bristol evacuee memories and the film "Hope and Glory" giving a raw view of historical reality and standing apart from all the other sources is the seemingly modern interview with a parent which is the closest to a modern "2003" way of examining the situation. 971 words. ...read more.

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