The policy of evacuating children during WW2

When evacuation was introduced in the Second World War, to reduce the deaths of children and valued members of society, there were numerous varying reactions towards it from many different people, from parents to hosts to evacuees. This was due to moving the children yet also the major culture clashes which happened when the maybe lower class children met the middle class countryside residents. Children from the inner parts of major cities were not well off and did not encounter many things which the country-siders were familiar with.

This was a particular difference in the category of hygiene and health. The young evacuated children would have probably had awful hygienic habits which some of the elder couples in the countryside disliked greatly. One host said, "They are all filthy. The smell of the room is terrible; they have made puddles all over the floor", showing her clear loathing of the children staying with her, which probably reflected the feelings of many host couples at the time. They had lived peacefully until they had an annoying child or two around, demanding their attention all the time.

The children also found it difficult to adapt to their new lifestyle, finding everything in their new home very different and daunting. They were afraid of the change, one child said, "Everything was so clean. They gave us toothbrushes. We'd never cleaned our teeth until then. And the hot water came from a tap. And there's a toilet upstairs. And carpets. This was all very odd. I didn't like it". Showing that even though the change was for their benefit they might not have liked it and, more likely than not, did not understand why they had been moved homes.

The change affected young children even more so, probably because they didn't understand why they were leaving their parents and they were very confused. Yet all this changed over time, the hosts began to teach their evacuated children hygiene and manners while in return the children were more well-behaved and helped working on some of the farms. "We go to school and the family here are really kind", one girl wrote back to her parents about her life outside the city.

There were many other situations which worked straight from the beginning, one host couple said, "It is as if we have a new son. We will hate to see him leave", which shows just how well some meetings went. Which confirms that not all encounters were negative ones. Yet not all Britain's supported the idea of evacuation, many Mp's and parents were against the idea. Many parents at home would've loved to see their children return, after the first year of war (Phoney war) when there were no bombings whatsoever parents wanted their children back, against the orders of the government.

Nearly all parents were very upset about sending their children away in the first place, but over the first year when nothing had happened they felt more anger because of what they thought was unnecessary evacuation. A mother said, "They forced me to give my baby away, now I want him back and they show posters saying anyone who says that is supporting Hitler"! This was after the propaganda posters of Hitler telling a mother not to take her children back to the city. But their views on evacuation also changed after the Blitz began.

Knowing that they had done the right thing and that their children were safe made the parents feel good about what they'd done. Teachers were also evacuated in WW2 to their displeasure. They had to move away from their home, family and friends to teach children who were probably also upset. One teacher said, "I have had to come one hundred miles to teach three gloomy children who would rather be at home, as would I", which portrays her complete lack of interest in trying to teach the children. Yet their views probably changed as well when they saw all the destruction going on in the major cities.

A teacher in 1943, after severe bombings, said, "They're so well behaved and it helps that the classes are only very small. It's a joy to teach them. " This quote shows how after the children's manners and attitudes had changed it made the teachers feel better about teaching them. There were many different views to evacuation in WW2 yet they all seemed to follow the same pattern. This was that they were initially upset or annoyed yet as they realised the dangers that they were avoiding, people started to acknowledge that evacuation was a good idea after all.