World War Two Accounts

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The Second World War broke out on the 1st September 1939, and ended on the 2nd September 1945. Evacuation started in late August 1939, just days before the war started. School children were the first group of people to be evacuated, followed by pre-school children and expectant mothers, then the adult crippled population. These groups were chosen because they were believed to be at highest risk. However, by the end of 1939, many families had started to return to their city homes, because they believed that there was no real threat. 'I was hoping that a nice looking lady walking through the hall would chose us but she walked right past. Soon there were children getting up from the floor and walking off with complete strangers.' –Ray Chaffey (An evacuee)

This source is reliable because it is an eyewitness account. However, the event was approximately 70 years ago, so the author may not have a very accurate memory of the events. Also, he was a child at the time, so he was very impressionable so his thoughts may have been influenced so that he was biased. Furthermore, Chaffey did not explicitly insinuate that life was terrible. He writes that ‘a nice looking lady’ walked straight past them, but he does not say how that makes him feel. However, he could only have been three years of age at the time, so he was probably uncertain as to what was happening to him. ‘Having come from a modern house it was like going back in time. The toilet was halfway up the garden. There was no running water. The house was sunless. I was just so homesick, you can’t describe that feeling. Mum kept saying to us that she didn’t send us away because she didn’t want us. But each time she came to visit us it got worse because I thought she was going to take us home and she didn’t.- Betty Taylor

This source is reliable because the author is simply recounting her personal experiences. It is very useful because it tells us about what countryside life was like compared to town life....
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