Evacuation from London
Starting in 1934, as Germany began to strengthen under Hitler, British leaders began to secretly plan for a possible evacuation of women and children from those cities and towns which were considered likely targets for bombing raids.
Just before declaring war in September of 1939, Britain began mass evacuations. Within three days, 1.5 million schoolchildren, their teachers, mothers with children under five, pregnant women, and some frail, elderly and chronically ill people were moved to the countryside. 600,000 left London alone, considered the most likely target. (Objects, too, were evacuated for safekeeping -- paintings, museum treasures, historical records and books.)
Many evacuees returned by the New Year as non-events lulled British citizens into a sense of false security. But later waves of flight followed, triggered by the fall of France in June 1940, at the onset of the Blitz in the fall of that year, and with the German use of the V1 flying bomb and, later, the V2 rocket in 1944.
Evacuation was never required, but many families made the difficult decision to send their children away in the hope they would escape German air raids.
Many authors have written about the subject, frequently from personal experience, and it has been examined at length in the media.
Author Nina Bawden | Evacuation from London | Who's Who
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