The Drift Home
This unit looks at the reasons that many of the evacuees did not stay in the Reception areas for very long. Some were re-evacuated when the phoney war came to an end and bombing raids on Tyneside began to take place.
Click on the thumbnails below to view the sources.
Northumberland County Council Education Committee Report (September 1939)
The number of evacuated children in the County on the 30th September compared with the number still remaining on the 20th November is shown as follows:
Northumberland County Council Education Committee Report (February 1940)
Use the tables in Source 1, 2 and 3 to prepare a bar chart to show:
a. the number of children expected to arrive as evacuees
b. the actual numbers of children who remained in the County at the end of September 1939
c. the number of children who were still evacuees in November 1939 and January 1940
T.572 - Brian’s story: Oral history with transcript and image.
Born in Byker in 1931, Brian was evacuated with his older brother from Heaton Council School to Berwick upon Tweed at the start of the war.
(Brian is on the left)
Click here to listen to Brian's story.
Click here to see a transcript of this clip.
T.476 - Enid’s story: Oral history with transcript and image
Enid was 7 when war broke out. She was evacuated from East Walker School to live with an elderly couple and their adult daughter on a farm on the Ministeracres estate, near Slaley.
Click here to listen to Enid's story.
Click here to read a transcript of this clip.
Education Committee Report, September 19 1939
Education Committee Report, November 1939
How far do Sources 4, 5, 6 and 7 support the view that the decline in the number of evacuees by January 1940 was mainly due to the children’s homesickness?
After the outbreak of war in September 1939, there were no bombing raids on British cities and British troops were not involved in any battles abroad. Life seemed to be going on as normal and people wondered whether the dangers they had been warned about had been exaggerated. This was known as the Phoney War. But as country after country in Europe collapsed before Hitler’s invading armies, the threat of attack or even invasion became more urgent. The children who had returned home from their billets or who had never been evacuated were once again thought to be at risk. A new phase of evacuation was planned, but how would people react?
County Council Education Report (September 1939)
Notes for Billeting Officers
County Council Education Report (February 1940)
County of Northumberland Education Committee Monthly Circular to Schools, July 1940.
PC/20/20 [B] p.2
Blyth News and Ashington Post 22 August 1940
NRO 5630-01 (1940-33)
a. Use Sources 8, 9, and 10 to make a list of reasons why some people might not want to volunteer to take evacuees a second time
b. What measures could the authorities take to persuade parents and /or householders in Reception areas to participate in a second phase of evacuation? Use Sources 9, 11 and 12 in your answer.
In 1944 there was another wave of evacuation. This time it was children from the south of England, especially London, who were arriving in Northumberland.
Stanley was one of the many children evacuated to Northumberland from London.
Click here to listen to his story.
Click here to see a transcript of this clip
Blyth News and Ashington Post.
NRO 5630/01 (20/7/44)
a. Listen to Stanley in Source 13 and read Source 15. Why were more people evacuated to Northumberland in 1944?
b. Use Sources 11,12 and 14 to calculate what percentage of the original group of official evacuees (September 1939) from Newcastle, Tynemouth and Wallsend into Northumberland were still in the county in 1944.
‘The evacuation of children during the Second World War was a failure.’ Using the sources in this unit, how far do you agree with this statement?