Children being evacuated from London
Children being evacuated from London

The government also took action to ensure the safety of as much of the population as possible. Children, and to a lesser extent families, were evacuated from industrial cities to the countryside. It was thought they would be safe from aerial bombing there.

Those living in the countryside saw the arrival of women and children. Many of these children would stay with middle and upper class families. Many people in the countryside were shocked by the conditions of the people arriving from the industrial cities, especially the children.

City children often had poor clothing and were sometimes dressed in rags. They suffered from developmental illnesses such as polio and rickets. They were often poorly educated and had suffered from a lack of clean air.

Evacuation helped to change attitudes because evacuations meant that working class children mixed with more affluent families. It highlighted the severe poverty that still existed in cities after the reforms of the early 1900s. Upper and lower class citizens were brought closer together.