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Evacuation was a huge logistical exercise which required thousands of volunteer helpers. The first stage of the process began on 1 September 1939 and involved teachers, local authority officials, railway staff, and 17,000 members of the Women's Voluntary Service (WVS).The WVS provided practical assistance, looking after tired and apprehensive evacuees at railway stations and providing ...


The evacuation of civilians in Britain during the Second World War was designed to protect people, especially children, from the risks associated with aerial bombing of cities by moving them to areas thought to be less at risk. Operation Pied Piper, which began on 1 September 1939, officially relocated 1.5 million people. There were further waves of official evacuation and re-evacuation from ...


In this lesson, we'll examine the child evacuation programs of WWII and see how they impacted Britain. Operation Pied Piper In 1939, Nazi Germany smashed into Poland and World War II began.


In preparation for the war, evacuation plans were put into consideration to avoid possible danger on children. Primary children, toddlers under five and moms were evacuated from predicted danger zones to safer areas. 4 million evacuees were expected to leave, however only 1.5 million left, yet it was still considered a mass migration of many ...


The evacuees were all given a gas mask and they had food for the journey to the countryside. Every child had a label pinned to their clothing. This label stated the child’s name, home address, school and destination. Although some evacuees didn’t enjoy their evacuation, many of the children adapted really well to country life.


It also led to an increased interest in childhood mental health: psychoanalysts such as Anna Freud (daughter of Sigmund) worked with evacuee children and developed theories on the effects of mother-child separation. Many argued that the future stability of the very state itself rested on the growth of well-adjusted children.


SS City of Benares was a steam passenger ship built for Ellerman Lines by Barclay, Curle & Co of Glasgow in 1936. During the Second World War the City of Benares was used as an evacuee ship to evacuate 90 children from Britain to Canada.The ship was torpedoed in September of 1940 by the German submarine U-48 with heavy loss of life, including the death of 77 of the evacuated children.


Search the 1939 Register for England and Wales at Findmypast.co.uk (£) for evacuees and their helpers – search for ‘evacuee’ in the Occupation field. The mass evacuation of children and other vulnerable people took place in early September 1939, before National Registration on 29 September that year.


Child evacuees from Bristol arriving at Brent in Devon in 1940 Over the course of the first three days of official evacuation 1.5 million people were moved. In England alone 673,000 unaccompanied schoolchildren, 406,000 mothers and young children and 3,000 expectant mothers were relocated.


Guernsey’s child evacuees After British troops retreated from Dunkirk in 1940, many Guernsey islanders evacuated to England, including 5,000 children whose parents hoped to follow on the next boat. Before they could do so, the Germans occupied the island.