Between 1939 and 1945 Britain and Germany were fighting the Second World War. On 7th September the first German bombing attack on Britain launched against London. This means that it was the end of the Battle of Britain and the beginning of the Blitz. The Blitz was the heavy bombing of Britain’s vital cities by the Luftwaffe.
The most important reason why women and children were evacuated to the countryside was because the British government were afraid that the people would get hurt by the bombing of the Luftwaffe. This meant that it was too dangerous for the children to stay in vital cities.
Another reason was because during the Blitz most houses were bombed and children didn’t have any shelter to stay, this meant that they had to get evacuated so they have shelter in a safer area. Parents weren’t evacuated they had to stay in vital cities and fight the war.
A final reason women and children were evacuated was because Hitler tried to make the peoples’ morale bad to try invade Britain this meant that Hitler had to kill people in the cities to make people’s morale low. Morale is the confidence of people and by killing people Hitler would make peoples’ morale low.
Source 5 shows a man telling a child to ”Leave this to us sonny – You ought to be out of London”, which means that the man wants the child to be out of London because it is dangerous. This suggests that the government wants children to get evacuated so they stay safe. From my own knowledge I know that the government evacuated children out of cities to country sides because there is bombings’ taking place in cities. This poster was by the government to the parents of children to persuade them to evacuate their children.
Source 4 shows an area in London that has been bombed, there are destroyed houses, bricks on the ground. This helps to support the idea that evacuation had to take place because it was dangerous and children could have died if they never got evacuated. Therefore women and children were evacuated to the countryside because it was dangerous for people to stay in cities while the bombing was taking place. However the effects of the Blitz were devastating. Around 60,000 people lost their lives also about 87,000 were seriously injured and about 2 million people were made homeless.
In this section I am going to analyse sources about the experiences of the evacuees. Many evacuees had bad experiences and some had good experiences with the host families.
Source 8 shows middle classed girls on a train getting evacuated. It suggests most children were evacuated from schools by trains. From my own knowledge I know that people were evacuated by trains because of the bombings of the Luftwaffe. This source is a photograph. It was made by a teacher in 1940 to show how children were evacuated. This might mean it is reliable because you can see girls on a train smiling. On the other hand this photograph is a one second moment we don’t know if they were sad afterwards.
Source 10 describes the experience of Bernard Kops when he was evacuated to Buckinghamshire. It suggests that before he was evacuated his life was very different he says ”Hot water came from the taps” which suggests in his old house he didn’t have hot water. From my own knowledge I know that some evacuees were treated fairly well and some treated badly. This source is an extract from Bernard Kops autobiography. It was made by Bernard Kops in 1963 this might mean it is reliable because Bernard Kops experience was good and he might want to keep remembering his experience. On the other hand it might not be useful because he only writes about how the house was and not how the family was.
Source 11 shows a little from a 10 year old girl to her mother. It suggests how the host family is and she is telling her mother she doesn’t like the host family. From my own knowledge I know that some host families were nice people and some were bad. This source is a letter. It was made by a 10 year old girl in 1939 to her mother in Liverpool. This might mean it is reliable because she says ”Perhaps it will look better in daylight” which suggests that she just got to the host family and it’s too dark for her to see the host family’s face and hasn’t had much experience from the host family. On the other hand it might mean it is unreliable because the girl has just got there and she is just telling her first thoughts about the host families and she hasn’t had much experience with the host family.
Source 12 shows a general idea of the experience of evacuees. It suggests that how some evacuees’ experiences were pleasant and some experiences were unpleasant. Dr. Penny Starns’s main point is that the evacuees didn’t have much of an experience he says ”only shared a sense of isolation and loneliness at a dangerous time of war.” This suggests that the evacuees only had the experience of being separated from friends and families. From my own knowledge I know that not all evacuees had a good experience and had to be separated from their friends and families. The source is an extract from a book called ”The Evacuation of children during World War Two.” It was made by Dr. Penny Starns. In 2004 to whom he lectures. This might mean it is reliable because I know that evacuees got separated because their parents had to stay at vital cities and their children had to be sent to the countryside. On the other hand it is not reliable because we don’t know how the host families were towards the evacuees.
In this section I am going to analyse sources about the experiences of the host families. Many host families had bad experiences and some had good experiences with the evacuees.
Source 14 describes if the evacuated children were hygienic or not. It suggests that a small number of children were filthy. From my knowledge I know that some evacuees were from poorer families and couldn’t afford to bathe themselves. The source is an extract from a report. It was made by the National Federation of Women’s Institutes. In 1940 to inform people how the evacuees were. This might mean it is reliable because the evacuated children were unbathed for months. On the other hand it might not be reliable because it doesn’t tell us about the other evacuees that have been bathed.
Source 15 describes the evacuees’ behaviours and the complaints of the host families. It suggests that the host families disliked the behaviours of evacuees who were using insulting words, thieving, bed-wetting and general smelliness. From my own knowledge I know that host families disliked the behaviour of evacuees. The source is a magazine article. It was made by Reader’s Digest magazine, in 1993 to inform people about the past. This might mean it is reliable because this article is for people who wanted to know about the past so the article wouldn’t be telling the readers the false. However on the other hand it might be unreliable because it has been a long time for it to be published so some information could be made up.
Source 16 shows a boy leading a donkey and a girl is on it. The boy is smiling. This suggests that the evacuees are having a good time. From my own knowledge I know that some evacuees and host families had good experiences but others had bad experiences. The source is a photograph. It was made by a BBC radio journalist. In September 1939. To inform people how the boy felt with the evacuees. This might mean it is reliable because the boy in the picture seems happy with the evacuees. On the other hand it might not be reliable because we don’t know what happen after they for home or finished donkey riding.
Source 18 describes how poorly young children were who have been evacuated to rural areas. This suggests that the children were badly clothed and dirty. From my own knowledge I know that some children were poor who couldn’t afford to get clothes for themselves. This source is an extract from a school textbook called ”Peace and War.” It was made by the school’s history project, a group of history teachers in 1993. To inform people how the evacuated young children were and how they were dressed. It is reliable because some of the evacuated were from vital cities back streets. However on the other hand it is unreliable because the source doesn’t tell us about the other evacuated children.
Some people had a negative experience of evacuation. The sources that people had a negative experience of evacuation because evacuees got isolated from their friends and family. For example source 11 s a letter from a 10 year old girl to her mother. The girl suggests that she doesn’t like the faces of the host families. This is because it’s the first time the girl is seeing the host family.
However some people had a positive experience of evacuation. The sources that people had a positive experience of evacuation because evacuees made new friends with host families. For example source 16 suggests that the young boy made new friends with two girls and had a good time showing them around.
I have used many sources for both positive and negative experiences of evacuees and host families these sources are source 4, 5, 8, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16 and source 18.
Overall, the main factor that affected whether someone had a positive experience was if they had good relationships with the host families and the evacuees. If they got along with host families then they would have good times together, also if they understood the language they spoke so they can communicate. If they couldn’t communicate it was going to be hard for the evacuees to understand the host families this could cause problems like if the evacuee needs something the evacuee needs to express themselves to the host family.