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Child evacuation during The Second World War Assignment

Evacuation is when the government want to preserve the future of Britain by sending out the children, pregnant mothers, the disabled and teachers to the countryside. To get away from the cities, that are likely to bombarded by air. Which happened in late September 1939. The government also were well prepared for the war by issuing gas masks out to the evacuees, to be worn in case of gas attacks.

Evacuation is portrayed in source A to be a failure. This source is taken from a textbook which is written for British schools. It says in the source ‘ that things did not go smoothly for the evacuees’ and ‘the local people were shocked with the deprivation and bad manners’. The source is likely to be reliable because it is written for a textbook that needs to be fair. Also the author of the textbook will probably be in his mid 40’s because about the usual age when you have experience. I think he will have experienced evacuation, making the source reliable. This source clearly shows the failure of evacuation.

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Source B seems to be reliable because it’s a picture and it was taken in the time of evacuation. Its sole purpose is to show Evacuation as a success. It shows evacuees smiling and being happy, which is a sign of success. It shows the evacuees going to the station, which is probably why they are so excited. Source B was taken in 1939 so it might have been used as propaganda to encourage other evacuees to be excited.

Source C is taken from an interview in 1988 with someone who was a teacher around evacuation, describing what it was like. It shows evacuation as a failure because it describes the children as being scared and confused. This is likely to be a reliable source as it’s with someone who was evacuated with the children getting the feeling and emotions that the families are going through. As it was fifty years after the evacuation parts of the story might have been changed or forgotten, making it less reliable.

Source D is a picture taken by the government during the war showing the evacuees having a bath. This likely to be not so reliable, which is probably used for propaganda. It shows partly that evacuation was a success. It shows the evacuees having a bath which they would probably never of had before. The children in the bath look cheerful and they all look clean. To some extent it shows over crowding and probably set up, because not many house would have that many baths or that many evacuees.

Source E clearly states that evacuation was not a success. It tells us about the evacuees urinating on the walls and the parents not listing. It shows the massive cultural change for the evacuees and that host families did not realise that. This source like Source C is an interview with a host family mother in 1988, so it’s likely to be partly reliable.

Source F is a sympathetic view of evacuation telling us that not all evacuees were bad. Some evacuees moved from middle class homes in the cities to poorer homes in the countryside. To me this source is very reliable because its by someone who was an evacuee. It from an interview in 1988 some stuff might have been forgotten or changed. I feel it shows evacuation as a failure because the evacuees were not grouped well. And a success because it shows that whoever they were put with they got on well with them.

The reliability of Source G is very unreliable it is a novel written by an author who has not much of an idea of evacuation. It portrays the evacuees very badly again by saying that they are poor and cant afford slippers. It is another stereotypical view of the evacuees saying that they were all poor, bad mannered and had bad behaviour. I fell this is very negative about evacuation and outlines the problems faced by hosts and evacuees. This source shows the failure of evacuation.

Near to the end of the year 1939 most of the evacuees returned home, because the cities were not being attacked. They called this the ‘Phoney War’. The government produced many posters in 1939 and 1940 showing evacuation as a success, needed for the backing of the country throughout the war. Source B gives the evacuees the sense of safety, bringing confidence to the parents to evacuate their children.

The experience for the evacuees will have been unforgettable, even though they might not of enjoyed it. From my knowledge and the majority of these sources I fell evacuation was a success because not many had died in air raids throughout the war.

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