The children had very different reactions to the policy of evacuation. They all had a lot of different experiences. Some liked it and felt as if it was an adventure for them, everything was new to them so they enjoyed it especially the ones who lived with wealthy hosts, some did not want to leave. It was like a holiday. But for these children some felt scared and didn’t like the change, for example this is Source I, taken from the Modern World History Heinemann textbook page 138, ‘Everything was so clean in the room. We were given face flannels and tooth brushes. We’d never cleaned out teeth until then.
And hot water came from the tap. And there was a lavatory upstairs. And carpets. And clean sheets. This was all very odd. I didn’t like it. It was scary. ‘ This shows hard and weird it must have been for the children, all the changes would be very confusing. It was even worse though for the children who were mistreated, here is Source M from the same book and page. ‘Clarence and I used to sleep together and poor Clarence used to wet the bed because he was a very nervous kid. She (the foster mother) could never tell who’d done it so she used to bash the daylights out of both of us.
So, of course, the more Clarence got hit the more he wet the bed. It was then we started to get locked in the cupboard. ‘ This source tells us how hard it must have been for children like Clarence. First of all they leave their family behind, leave the city they grow up in and don’t know what to expect just that it would be safer than the cities. Then they end up getting beaten by the foster parents. They would feel terrified and would probably wish they had never moved. It would also be very hard for children as they would miss their family and for little kids of about 5 and 6 it would be even harder.
They would feel lost and not know what to do. For the mothers and fathers it would be probably be a sad experience letting your children go and live with strangers. You only knew that your children would be safer than in the city and hopefully wouldn’t be killed. You yourself wouldn’t know what to expect and would probably fear the worst. All you knew was that you had a job to do in the war and had to work hard. You didn’t know who you children were staying with or what they were like so it would be a traumatic experience for the parents as well as the kids.
Only mums with babies were allowed to evacuate out of the cities with them otherwise they had to work. But at least you knew you were doing your bit and hopefully the hard work would take your mind off things and stop you from worrying. The parents knew the policy was a good idea but probably still had their doubts about it. Another reaction was from the emergency services. They seemed to like it. It gave them a lot more time to concentrate on the war and big things rather than having little kids causing trouble.
They liked the situation and it helped them out a lot which was another reason why the evacuation itself took place. There was a lot less people in the cities, less crimes, fires etc. which made their job a lot easier which I’m sure they appreciated. They definitely liked the policy. So this shows the different reactions about the policy. There were a lot of mixed opinions on whether it was good or not. Some liked it some didn’t, but in my opinion it was a good thing but maybe if I was there I might have a different reaction to it.