Friday, 13 August 2010

Evacuees

In the spring of 1940 the German army swept across Europe and by the end of June resistance had ceased. Only Britain stood in the way of Hitler's domination of the continent. On the 13th August 1940 the Luftwaffe started operation Eagle Day bombing the coast, docks, attempting to take out the radar and on to bomb London.

The events of 1940 have been commemorated by a set of stamps in 2010 called 'Britain Alone' portraying the home front.  This particular maximum card shows brother and sister evacuees, and the stamp, a group of children about to board the train. All with their luggage labels bearing their details and a small pieces of luggage.  Operation Pied Piper took place in 1939 when 3 million children were evacuated from the towns and cities at risk of bombing and moved to rural areas. In addition Mothers with small children under 5, pregnant women and some disabled were evacuated. It must have been a logistical nightmare and things did not always go smoothly, but everybody eventually muddled through. Later some children went back home but there was a further evacuation after the fall of France and the Blitz in September 1940.  One can only imagine what it would be like as a small child to be sent away to a strange place, away from family and friends and the evacuees had both good and bad experiences.  The lucky ones like someone I knew who was evacuated to village of Keswick in the north of the beautiful Lake District remembered the time with affection and used to go back and visit her 'war family'.  Last year a 70th anniversary reunion took place at St Paul's Cathedral and a brief articles about this and their experiences is here

The image that always stays in my memory is seeing films of platforms filled with labelled small children heading off into the unknown with all their possessions in a small bag.  Perhaps to board a train like this
Although it is carrying armaments in this instance, all transport was co-opted for the war effort.

Beth of The Best Hearts Are Crunchy is our hostess of  Postcard Friendship Friday.

9 comments:

Dorincard said...

Amazing stories of tough times and tough people...Great MC! :)

Christine H. said...

It is heart wrenching. You hope that we learn some lessons from these terrible experiences; that can be the only good that comes of it. On another note, these cards are both beautifully done.

Postcardy said...

Interesting history. It is hard to imagine so many children being evacuated.

Snap said...

Amazing maximum card. Wonderful story and history. Something we need to remember. Like the train card, too. Happy PFF.

www.dakotaboo.com said...

My mother was evacuated from the Kent coast to Wales at the age of 10. I have a 10 year old daughter and the thought of her being in the same situation is heart wrenching.

Strangely though, my mother tells me she was allowed to return home for holidays.

MrCachet said...

Great card and a great story to go with it.

Lyneen said...

Wonderful cards... the story is sad. Children evacuating during the war always remind me of The Witch and the Wardrobe.

Thanks for stopping by.
PFF

soda_santa said...

I had the same thought as Lyneen about The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. I saw the actual props/costumes at Disney MGM. Darling maximum card. As a mother, I can understand it's difficult to give control over your child's future to someone else.

viridian said...

Thanks for sharing, and great card. happy PFF.