BFI Key Films - Evacuation
Each episode of the Reel History of Britain is based around key films from the collection of the British Film Institute and local regional archives. The BFI is the home of the world's largest and most diverse collection of film, TV and film-related material.BFI key films on evacuation
You'll be able to see these key films and other content via the BFI website.
Evacuees arriving at Torquay station in September 1939
Torquay station as evacuees arrive as part of a mass movement of children during World War Two.Operation Pied Piper
The evacuation of Britain's cities at the start of World War Two was the biggest and most concentrated mass movement of people in Britain's history. In the first four days of September 1939, nearly three million people were transported from towns and cities in danger from enemy bombers to places of safety in the countryside.
Bombing of St Marychurch - Babbacombe
Although Torquay was chosen as a safe place to evacuate children to it suffered German bombing attacks.Remembering the casualties of the St Marychurch bombing
One of the worst was in 1943 when at least 20 children were killed when a bomb landed on the the parish church of St. Marychurch on a Sunday afternoon.
Alan and Derek Capel and the SS City of Benares
In September 1940 the SS City of Benares was being used as a refugee ship in the overseas evacuation scheme of Great Britain, organised by Children's Overseas Reception Board (CORB). The ship was on its way to Canada.Remembering the SS City of Benares disaster
On the night of 18th September 1940 in was torpedoed by a Germany U-boat and the ship sank within 30 minutes.
Derek survived but Alan was one of 77 children who died that night. Derek tells his harrowing story as part of this programme.
- Series Producer
- Dympna Jackson
- Melvyn Bragg
- Executive Producer
- Ruth Pitt