Britain in the second World War: the Evacuation of British Children Explain the differing reactions of people in Britain to the policy of evacuating children during the Second World War. There were a variety of reactions towards the evacuation of children in World War 2. Everyone was affected by the evacuation but the main reaction was that it was needed. I am going to look at different groups and what their reactions would have been towards the evacuation. Firstly I think I should look at the children themselves. Many children would have wanted the evacuation, as they would be concerned for their safety.
Children would naturally be afraid of air bombings and the sound and sights of bombs would horrify them. If it meant they were safe I’m sure they wouldn’t mind leaving their homes. Well I definitely think that the more mature children would definitely not mind leaving. Many children then lived in poverty, and would not get to go on holiday; this would then be like a long holiday for them. Many children enjoyed the evacuation as they experienced new sights and new surroundings. An example of this is in the ” A Coursework Sources Booklet On : the evacuation of British children in the Second World War”.
On page 6 source 14, a boys says, “instead of having to play cricket in the garden, we went bird nesting”. This suggests that the boy did not enjoy playing cricket, but was enjoy himself more when evacuated. But I’m not forgetting this is only the reaction of one boy. But there were some children who would get homesick or not enjoy themselves. This can be expected when you put young children into new surroundings and they would have been scared. In the booklet, page 4, source N it quotes “And hot water from a tap. And there was a lavatory upstairs. And carpets. And something called an eiderdown.
And clean sheets. This was all very odd. I didn’t like it. it was scary. ” This shows that even though this person was now living in better conditions, they were not happy were they were and they would rather be home. I think it depended on your host. If you liked them, then you would likely enjoy yourself. If you didn’t like them the majority hated it. I will now look at the reaction of the mothers. I think the majority of mothers would have felt the evacuation was correct and would have felt reassured that the Government was taking some action and getting the children to safety.
The mothers would also like the evacuation because they would benefit. They could now concentrate more on work now and in the view of the economy this was an advantage of the evacuation. Knowing that their children were now safe and weren’t in danger of their school being bombed, they could work more efficiently and harder, therefore producing more artillery for example. If the mothers were working harder at work they would be tired at home and therefore if the children were away they wouldn’t have to worry about them misbehaving, or getting into trouble, but they could now relax more.
Also they would be better off financially, they may be getting better wages as they had time for over-time, and the didn’t have to spend money on the children or as much food etc. But some mothers may not like it as much as others, as they may worry about their children being away from them. They may worry that their temporary “parents” did not treat them well or feed the well etc. Some may feel that they would be safer at home “though this was obviously no the case). They may also find themselves very lonely, their husbands had gone and now their children, and there now would be less help around the house
Also mothers are very protective of their children and they may worry that their children may get ill or hurt, and if this was the case they would feel they should be there to care for them. I now think it is appropriate to look at the reaction of the fathers. As with the mothers I feel the majority of fathers would welcome the evacuations, as they could respect that it was for their safety. They would welcome it as it would be very comforting knowing their children were safe, and they knew that if they felt this way they could fight with more heart, effort and overall increase moral. So contributing to the war effort.