Evacuation took place on 1st September 1939, there is much to suggest that this was both a success and a failure, the sources certainly show a wide spread of views. However when looking at the sources much depends on who it is successful for, whether it is a child, a parent sending their child away to the countryside, or the government, it could even be argued that some sources show that the disorganisation caused by the bombing was a success for the Germans.
There are many reasons that show that the evacuations were a success. Firstly it was a new experience for the children, for many it was the first time that they had left their city, many would have viewed it as a challenge and an adventure. As many had not ever been into the countryside many did not even know what a cow was, from this point of view it was a learning experience. Whilst in the inner cities many of the children were poorly fed, being in the country meant that they were eating better food, and so were much healthier, there was much more space to run around in and there was not any smog as there was in the cities, and as a result the children were much healthier. The children had a new opportunity to form new friendships both with other people their age and also the host family.
From the parent’s point of view it was also good the children were ‘out of harms way’. From the point of view of a host there were also many benefits, they would have an extra set of hands for work at harvest, which would also have an affect on the war effort, but also as I have already mentioned for many there were new friendships to be made. By looking at it from the governments point of view it also removed children from great peril, and saved many lives, this was great propaganda and was also made to appear like it was well organised. By removing children from the cities it allowed people to concentrate on what was most important to the government at this time, the war effort, Mums and Dads could now both work if they didn’t already, as well as longer hours.
Whilst on the other hand it could also be considered a failure. Many evacuees came from working class families in poor areas of overcrowded cities. Some had never been to the countryside before and had led a very different lifestyle from the families that they stayed with; this would obviously create friction, as I will look at in some sources further into the essay. Evacuees were often very unfamiliar with the way of life in the country, for instance some had never seen a cow. Boredom and homesickness was also a very common problem, this would inevitably lead to misbehaviour in many cases.