[guide.chat] evacuation children

  • From: vanessa <qwerty1234567a@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "GUIDE CHAT" <guide.chat@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 18 Jan 2012 12:49:35 -0000

Why was evacuation introduced by the Government?

The British government was worried that a new war might begin when Hitler came 
to power in 1933. They were afraid that British cities and towns would be 
targets for bombing raids by aircraft.

Why was it important for people to be evacuated?

Evacuation tried to ensure the safety of young children from the cities that 
were considered to be in danger of German bombing - London, Coventry, 
Birmingham, Portsmouth etc. 

Who was evacuated? 

Schoolchildren (827,000) and their teachers
Mothers with children under five (524,000)
Pregnant women (12,000)
Some disabled people
A further two million or so more wealthy individuals evacuated 'privately', 
some settling in hotels for the duration and several thousands travelling to 
Canada, the United States, South Africa, Australia and the Caribbean.

What clothes did children take with them?

The government recommended that in addition to their gas mask and identity card 
the evacuees had the following items:


2 vests
2 pairs of pants
Pair of trousers
2 pairs of socks
6 handkerchiefs
Pullover or jersey


Pair of knickers
2 pairs of stockings
6 handkerchiefs
Slip (like a very long vest with shoulder straps)

What else did they pack in their suitcases?

Overcoat or mackintosh
1 pair of Wellington boots
Boots or shoes
Packet of nuts and raisins
Dry biscuits
Barley sugar (rather than sugar)
How were they evacuated?

By train and road

Where were they evacuated to?

To smaller towns and villages in the countryside. Some children were sent to 
stay with relatives outside in the countryside, but others were sent to live 
with complete strangers.

Billeting officers were responsible for helping to find homes for the evacuees. 
Householders in the country who billeted (housed) city children were given 
money by the government.

When were they first evacuated?

At 11.07am on Thursday 31st August 1939 the order was given to evacuate 

1.5 Million children, pregnant women and other vulnerable people such as the 
disabled, evacuated to safer countryside locations in just two days.

There were no big bombing raids on Britain in the first months of the war (know 
as The Phoney War) as a result by early 1940 many children had returned home.

When were they evacuated again?

They were evacuated again when heavy bombing raids started in the autumn of 
1940 - The Blitz - and then again later, in 1944, when Germany attacked Britain 
with V1 Flying Bombs and V2 rockets.
How many people were evacuated during the war?

By the end of the Second World War around 3.5 million people, mainly children 
had experienced evacuation. No one was forced to go but parents were encouraged 
by posters and told that their children would be safer from German bombs if 
they moved to the country.

What was it like for a child to be evacuated?

Being an evacuee must have been scary and exciting at the same time. The 
children had to leave their families and homes behind and try to fit in with 
host families in the country.

At the station

Children had labels attached to them, as though they were parcels. They stood 
at railway stations not knowing where they were going nor if they would be 
split from brothers and sisters who had gathered with them. They felt scared 
about being away from their families but also excited about going to a place 
they had never seen before and only read about in books.

On arrival

The children arrived in the countryside, tired, hungry and uncertain whether 
they would ever see their families again.

They were taken to the village hall, where they would be met by the billeting 
officer (the person in charge of finding them homes). A 'pick-you-own evacuee' 
sessions would then take place, where host families (the people they were going 
to live with) haggled over the most presentable children while the sicklier and 
grubbier children were left until last.

Vanessa The Google Girl.
my skype name is rainbowstar123

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