History KS3: Konnie Ho: The girl from Chinatown

Evacuation and marriage gave Konnie a different life to the one she had before the war.

Although she grew up without a mother and father in Chinatown, one of the poorest districts in London, Konnie experienced first hand the warmth and support of her local community.

A neighbour brought Konnie up until she met and married a sailor, Leslie, at the start of the war.

To escape the devastation of the Blitz, Konnie was evacuated to Oxfordshire where she lived a different life to the one she had left behind in London.

At the end of the war, Konnie and Leslie moved back to Chinatown where they began a new life living in one of the new prefab houses constructed after the war.

This short film is from the BBC series, Our Greatest Generation.

Teacher Notes

Konnie’s experience of evacuation could be used as a starting point for an exploration of the role evacuation played in young people’s lives during the war.

You could ask your pupils to consider why Konnie was evacuated to the countryside and how she may have felt about it.

What would have been the main differences between her life in Oxfordshire and her previous life in Limehouse, London?

What aspects may have made her stay difficult, and which aspects would she have enjoyed?

Towards the end of this short film, she mentions that she moved back to Limehouse with her husband at the end of the war: why might she have done so?

Curriculum Notes

This short film will be relevant for teaching history at key stage 3 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and third and fourth level in Scotland.

More from Our Greatest Generation:

Jim Purcell: The boy with no shoes
Dorothy Hughes: The girl who broke the rules
Gus Bialick: The boy who loved Britain
Elaine Kidwell: The girl who loved the Guides
Konnie Ho: The girl from Chinatown