Evaluating the Success of the Evacuation

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Evaluating the Success of the Evacuation Evacuation was what took place in order to prevent people being killed or injured due to the heavy bombing of major cities during the war. 1,474,000 schoolchildren, mothers and children, handicapped people, teachers and pregnant women were moved from areas prone to bombing to countryside areas by the government. 2 million people were also evacuated privately, staying with friends and relatives away from the cities in 1939. The first evacuation was brought into effect on 1st September, though this was done in vain due to the 'phoney war' and many people returned home. When the Blitz began in 1940, they were re-evacuated, and again in 1944 when the V1 and V2 rockets were sent over. Many different groups of people had different aims and ideas for evacuation. The government brought evacuation into effect with the aim of moving as many people and saving as many lives as possible. They used methods of propaganda to encourage parents to evacuate their children. Source D is a photo of evacuees at bath time and was issued by the government during the war. The boys all look happy and well, they are being washed and cared for, and, most importantly, they are safe from the German bombs. As the government issued it, the photo would have been used as propaganda, because seeing the children safe would put parent's minds at rest, or encourage parents who had not sent their children away to do so. Evacuees had very varied experiences of evacuation, from being very scared, as seen in the following quote from Source C: "All you could hear was the feet of the children and a kind of murm... ... middle of paper ... ...o talk." "…We hadn't the slightest idea where we were going." Which shows how some evacuations were not well organised. In conclusion, I think evacuation was generally a success. Many lives were saved because of it, and many evacuees had great experiences. Though, there were many failures of the system as well. During the war, 43000 people died in the bombing and many of them were children. However, many more children would have died had evacuation not taken place. Evacuation also had many successful after-effects. After seeing the state of some city children, it brought their living conditions to the attention of others. Following the war, a new Labour government was elected, who created a 'welfare state', which featured services for health and poverty. This helped make Britain a much more equal place.

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