Why did the British government decide to evacuate children from Britain’s major cities at the start of the Second World War? Essay

Evacuation was an idea formed from the lessons learned in World War One when around fourteen hundred of the civilians of Britain had been killed in just over a hundred raids. The Second World War however, affected the lives of the public much more. As in previous wars, there was the worry of family and friends dieing fighting for the country, but this time the war was actually fought on British land. This meant that there was a very high level of danger for the civilians due to the threat of gas attacks and the bombing raids which left a large amount of destruction.

In 1994, there became the danger of V1 bombs which where bombs with no pilot that where aimed at random towards the country. As these bombs did not require a driver, there was more of a threat as there was no fear of where to go or of being shot down and killed. So the women, children, elderly and people who were unable to fight had their lives at stake.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

Children were evacuated to the relatively safe countryside as there was a much less chance of a bomb raid in rural areas as the Germans would have wanted to focus on destroying the important areas of Britain such as office buildings and banks. The British government had realised that the Germans would not bomb the countryside, as a few dead cows would barely affect anybody.

Another reason for the evacuation was that it would keep children away from any ruined buildings and the temptation to look ‘brave’ in front of their friends. The bombed out buildings would have been very weak and there would have a chance that the building could give way and kill someone. Younger children would not have had the ability to move very fast if there was a raid, therefore increasing their chances of being hit or even causing somebody else’s death by either getting in the way or if someone were to try and help the child escape. Also, as there would have been masses of injured children, they would have taken up a lot of the much-needed space in the hospitals that was needed for any injured soldiers that had been sent home or for adults that had been injured.

Masses of injured or dead children would have distracted the government and also many parents who were needed to have their minds on their work would be trying to keep their children safe. Everybody was needed to carry on doing his or her job in order to keep the country running as a country that has no control has a very minute chance of winning any war. The loss of so many children could have lowered the morale of the soldiers causing them to want to surrender and also causing the people at home to demand that the government should give in to the Germans to stop the upsetting consequences of war.

Evacuation was named War Task Number 1. It was essential that it was successful and orderly, as then the public would have confidence in the government’s organisation and eventually the government’s ability to have victory in the war. A government that had failed its first task would not have had the public’s confidence.

Older children were needed to be kept safe, this was because as well as it being unnecessary death, the youths were able to be trained as future soldiers and were also needed to form future generations. There would have been a massive drop in population after the war due to child deaths as there would have been very few people left able to create families.

Overall, the evacuation processes prevented much death and trauma in Britain and as a bonus, gave many people who had never been to the countryside an insight to what life was like there and left many with a life-long love of the countryside.


I'm Tamara!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out