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Britain since the 1930s
The Evacuation
Some activity ideas...

On the 1st September 1939, even before Britain went to war with Germany, the first Evacuation began. About one and a half million women and childen were evacuated, by the government, from places that were likely to be bombed by Hitler. A lot of the children came from poor families and they quite often didn't understand what was going on. On many occassions their parents didn't even know where they were going. Children were taken to the 'safer' countryside where they had to stay with foster families.

Activity 1 - Design A Poster
(provide the children with a 'happy children' evacuation propaganda picture)

This picture shows you how the government wanted people to see the evacuation. Look how happy the children look.
Many parents were unhappy about sending their children away. The government tried to convince them that their children would be looked after.

Imagine you work for the government. Design a poster to reassure parents that it's okay to send their children away. You may like to include information stating exactly why it is necessary for the children to be evacuated to the countryside.

Activity 2 - Identity Labels

Children arrived at their destinations and were taken to reception areas. Foster parents picked the children that they wanted to stay with them. Unlucky children got picked last or not at all! Each child wore an identity label to tell people who they were.

Imagine that you are one of the children who has been evacuated. Write a label to tell people who you are and why they should foster you.

Activity 3 - A Postcard Home

Many of the children who were evacuated came from poor families that lived in big cities. Some children enjoyed their time in the countryside. Other children didn't.

Pretend that you have been evacuated. Write a postcard home to tell your family about what your first day has been like. Remember to tell them whether you've enjoyed yourself or not.

Activity 4 - Evacuee's Kit List

Children who were evacuated had to take their gas masks and other belongings with them.

Imagine there was an evacuation now in 1999. What would you pack up and take with you? Remember, you can't take much. Make a list of what you would take.

Start your piece of writing with "If there was an evacuation now, in 1999, then I would pack..."


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