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Evacuees in World War 2: Children evacuated abroad in radio link-up

Context

Children weren't only evacuated to safer places within the UK.

Many went to countries that formed part of the British Empire and, in particular, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Often this was to send the children to existing family or friends; sometimes it was because families were sufficiently wealthy to arrange for their children to spend the War abroad where it was felt they would be safest.

The radio networks in Canada and elsewhere arranged radio link-ups (especially at Christmas) so that children overseas could speak to their parents back home in the UK. Here Polly and Geoffrey Carton speak to their parents on 27 July 1941.

Click here for further information about evacuation to Canada from the National Archives and to study some contemporary source material.

Transcript

And here in Ottawa we have little Polly and Geoffrey Carton, aged 8 and 5. Now...come in Mrs Carton and say hello...
Hello, Polly.
Hello, Mummy.
How are you?
Alright, thank you!
This is the nicest thing that's happened to me since you went away - a sort of extra birthday present, isn't it?
Yes.
Tell me about yourself. What have you got on?
I've got on my party dress.
What does it look like?
The blue one with white spots.
Oh yes, that's a very pretty one, isn't it? How are you getting on with your piano lessons?
Alright, thank you.
You enjoy them?
Yes.
That's fine. Are you learning French?
Yes.
Oh, that's fine. I'm so pleased - it's a grand chance to learn, isn't it?
Yes.
Out there. Here's Daddy. I'm sure he wants to talk to you...
Hello old girl...

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