Was Evacuation a Success?

Essay by chrislloyd8189High School, 10th gradeB+, October 2004

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One could argue whether evacuation was a success or not. In terms of achieving objectives, it was. If evacuation had never taken place, thousands more people would have died. The preparation for evacuation was the stage that went well, which was achieved as planned. Source 2 on pg.301 of the textbook shows evacuees leaving the East End of London in September 1939. The children that are in the picture all look around the same age, therefore it could well be that these children are in the same class or most probably, in the same school. The fact that they are all smartly dressed and are well organised suggests that the school grouping system worked well.

Lots of government propaganda posters were put up around the cities which contributed to the effectiveness of evacuation. Of the 1.5 million people that were evacuated during the war, 1 million returned safely to their homes.

For most children, it was a totally new experience to them as most of them had never been away from their hometown before so it just seemed like an adventure them. To some mothers, this was a very hard decision to make, as they feared that if they let their children go during the period of evacuation, they wouldn't see them again. As most of the children were from a lower-class background staying in a middle class home, mothers felt that they would be unfairly treated because of the prejudice that would socially separate them. In a lot of cases, this did not happen. Children in general were usually given better homes to live in and got on with their new family.

Another advantage of evacuation was that it let the elderly play an active part in the war. Evacuation as a whole was compulsory and at first, many...