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Civil Defense Measures
for the

election of Children
Report of Observations in Great Britain
February 1941



Bureau Publication No. 279


Children's Bureau
United States Department of Labor

t l B RARY
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

A|rtMttnr«l & Medrantwl College sf Tw s*
College Station. Taxas.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Civil Defense Measures
for the

Protection of Children
Report of Observations in Great Britain
February 1941

Martha M. Eliot, M. D.
Associate Chief, Children's Bureau
United States Department of Labor
and a member of the United States Civil Defense Mission
to Great Britain

United States Government Printing Office • Washington - 1942
For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, Washington, D. C.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

_ - - Price 30
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

L etter



r a n s m i t t a l ---------------------------------------


P r e f a c e _____________________________________ __________________
I n t r o d u c t i o n --------------------------------------------------------------------------- P R O T E C T IO N



Sh elter


C h i l d r e n -------------------------- J ----------------------------

C o m m u n a l F e e d i n g ------------------------------------------------------------------G a s M a s k s --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------M e d i c a l S e r v i c e s --------------------------------------------- ------------------ ..
Emergency Medical Services---------- ---------------------------------------Civil Nursing R e s e r v e ...------------------------------------ -------- ---------EFFECT




S o c ia l S e r v ic e s




A i r R a i d P r e c a u t i o n s i n S c h o o l s ----------------------------------------- ------------Sh elters
---------------------- --- ---- --------------------------------------R e s t C e n t e r s f o r B o m b e d -O u t F a m i l i e s a n d O t h e r T y p e s o f T e m ­
po rary








C h i l d r e n ------------------------------------

Congregate care------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Mass billeting vs. selective placement---------------------------------------P h y s i c a l C o n d i t i o n o f C h i l d r e n ------ ------------------------------------------------In evacuation areas-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------In reception areas------- ---------------------------------------------------------P r o t e c t i v e F o o d s f o r C h i l d r e n ---------------------------------------------------------G e n e r a l M o r a l e A m o n g C h i l d r e n a n d Y o u t h ---------------------------- E f f e c t o f E v a c u a t i o n o n t h e E m o t i o n a l L i f e o f C h i l d r e n . -------------Child guidance-------------- -----------------------------------------------------------------------Child-care workers----------------------- ---------------------------------------7 --------------------Reports and articles on psychological aspects of evacuation---------------Liverpool study---------------------- ---------------- :—
--------- ■-----------------------Cambridge survey---------------------------------------------------------------J u v e n i l e D e l i n q u e n c y ----------------------- ------------------------------------------------Y o u t h R e c r e a t i o n C e n t e r s -----------------------------------------------------------------



P e r io d


I n it ia l P l a n n in g — M

ay- S eptem ber


The Anderson report------------------------------------------------------- The crisis of September 1938--------------------------------- ----------------------------------F i r s t L o n g - T e r m P l a n — S e p t e m b e r 1938- S e p t e m b e r 1939-----------------Central responsibility-------------------------------------------------------------------------------Local responsibility---------------- ------------------------------------------ -------------------------Regional organization---------------------------------------------- - -------Thé general plan----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------hi
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F irst L ong-T erm Plan — Continued.
Planning for evacuation from the London area_
a. The priority classes_________________
Unaccompanied school children___
Mothers with children under 5____
Pregnant women__________________
Blind persons_____________________
Handicapped children_________________
b. Identification of children_____________
National registration, ___________________
c. Some comments on plans for evacuation________
Planning in the reception areas_________________
a. The evacuation survey____________
b. General plan for reception of children and pregnant women
c. Billeting___________________
Billeting allowances,__________________
Government Recovery Scheme________________
d. The plan for education of evacuated children_______
e. Some comments on plan for reception areas_____ ___ _
F irst M ajor E vacuation— September 1939_____
The evacuation_______________
Lack of medical examinations_____________
The arrival in reception areas_____
Assignment to billets_______________________
Community social services in reception areas, ^________
The return to London_____________ _
C ontinuing E vacuation P lans— O ctober 1939-S eptember 1940~~~
Adjustments following evacuation_______ [
o. Readjustment of school medical services,
b. Adjustments in reception areas_____________
Public-health services for evacuated mothers and children.
Communal services______________
Nursery centers_______________
c. Visits by parents to children in reception areas_________
Modification of original plan__________
a. Registration of children________________
b. Billeting allowances_________________ _
c. Hostels______________________
d. Maternity and child welfare________________
e‘ Preparation of the children for evacuation____
Medical examination and treatment__________
London plan for medical examination_____________
Second G eneral E vacuation— J une 1940________
School children________________
Expectant mothers____ ______________
Children under 5 evacuated to residential nurseries_______ _
E ffect of B ombing— September 1940____________
Organized Government scheme______________ _
Private arrangements_____
The adjustment .of mothers and children in reception areas______
Responsibility of public-assistance authorities_________
Use of empty houses for evacuated mothers and children, _.
Welfare workers______
Employment of women__________
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E f f e c t of B o m b in g — S e p t e m b e r 1940— Continued.
Health services for evacuated civil population, including priority
groups--------- -------------------------------------------------------------- ¡|
Compulsory evacuation of children on basis of medical examination. _
H e a l t h a n d W e l f a r e S e r v i c e s U n d e r E v a c u a t io n S c h e m e i n L o n d o n
in R e c e p t io n A r e a s ---------------------------------------------------------- --------Maternity care----------------------------------------------------- *-------------------------------------a. Administrative arrangements-------------------------------------------------------


b. Antenatal care-----------------------------------------------------------------------------c. Delivery and postnatal care-------------------------------------------------------Maternity homes--------------------------------------------------------------Postnatal hostels----- --------------------------------------------------------------

d. Com m ent__________________________________________________________
Children under 5 „ ------------------------------------------------------------------“
a. Billeting------------------------------------------ -------------------- ---------------- 7
b. Nursery parties in residential nurseries--------------------------------------Personnel--------------------------- ------- -------------------------------------Play equipment-------------------------------------------------------------------------Food__________________________________________________________ _
Medical supervision in residential nurseries----------------------- - c. Private arrangements------ -------------------------------------------------------------School children-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------a. Billeting-------------------------------------------------------------------------- r
b. H ostels-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------c. School camps--------------------------------------------------------------- * --------- : ~ '
Health and medical services for children------------------------------------------------

a. In London_______________________________________ ______________- Children under 5---------------------------------------------------------------------School children------------------------------------------------------------------------Medical care of sick children--------------------------------------------------

b. In reception areas----------------------------------------------------------------- 1
Children under 5------------------------------------- -------------------------------School children . . . -------------------- --------------- ------------------------------Medical care of sick children------------------------------------------------ c. Immunization against diphtheria-----------------------------------------------Community services in reception areas-------------------------------------------------o. Local welfare committees and personnel----------------------------------Welfare officers-------------------------------- ----------------- - - ------------------Child-guidance workers------------------------------ ---------- — ----------Health visitors, district nurses, school nurses, m idwives. . .
School physicians, child-welfare physicians, and dentists. _
Helpers, child-care reservists, and others-----------------------------Volunteers___ _ — .-------------- — ----------:- - -------------------- f----------

b. Communal-feeding centers and school meals---------------------------c. Community centers------------------------------------------------ -------------------Social centers--------------------------------------------- ----------------------------Community laundries------------------------------------------- -----------------Nursery centers-----------------------------------------------------------------------E f f e c t o f E v a c u a t i o n o n E d u c a t i o n ------------------------------------------------Education in evacuation areas--------------------------------- ----------------------------Education in reception areas-------------------- ------------------------- ------------------а. Secondary schools----------------------------------------------- ------------ :§
б. School holidays---------------------------------------------------------------------------
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E f f e c t of E v a c u a t io n o n E d u c a t io n — Continued.
Education in reception areas— Continued.
c. School leaving____________|_________________ _ _
R epo rt



Financing the education of children in reception areas___ __
C o n d it io n s in R e c e p t io n A r e a s — “ S h a k e s p e a r e R e p o r t ’ ’ "

13 4

1. Policy of dispersal of population in congested areas and evacuation of
nonessential population_____________________________ _ _
2. Timing the evacuation_______________________________
3. Priority classes.________________ ____ _______




Noncompulsory nature of the evacuation________________________
Health and medical services for children_____________________
Maternity care________________________________
The welfare program__________________________
Child guidance___________ ___________________________
Education___________ ___________________________



General situation in February 1941_________________________

j ^2
I 44
4^ .

T h e P r o t e c t io n a n d W e l f a r e o f C h i l d r e n i n a C i v i l - D e f e n s e
P r o g r a m i n t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s _____________________ __
R e c o m m e n d a t io n s __________ ___________


A P P E N D IX — W O M E N ’ S V O L U N T A R Y S E R V IC E S F O R
G e n e r a l P l a n o f O r g a n i z a t i o n _________ ;________
Headquarters organization and staff____________________________ ___
Regional organization and staff___________________________
County and local-center organization____ ____________________



S e l e c t i o n a n d A p p o i n t m e n t o f V o l u n t e e r s a n d P a i d W o r k e r s _______
Selection of volunteers____ _____________________________________
Qualifications for a volunteer________________________ 263
Need for skeleton staff of paid full-time workers________________________
Appointment of workers__________________________________
Paid workers____ _______________________________________
Volunteer workers______________________________________
L i n e s o f A u t h o r i t y a n d M e t h o d o f O r g a n i z a t i o n ______________ 165
Method of organization in local centers___________________ ___


R e l a t i o n o f t h e W .V .S . t o O t h e r N a t i o n a l W o m e n ’ s O r g a n i z a t i o n s . _
T y p e s o f W o r k U n d e r t a k e n ___________ ______
Technical department_________________ __________
Housewives’ Service_________________________________________
First-Aid Section__________________________________
Information Department_______________________________________
Information Bureau___________ ,_____________
Publicity Department______________________________________________
Hospital Department____________________________________________
Evacuation Department_______________________________
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T ypes


W o r k U n d e r t a k e n — Continued.


Food Departm ent. ------------------ --------- ----------- -------------------------------------------Salvage Department----------------------------------------------------------------------------------Overseas Department---------------------------------------------------------------------------Refugee Department---------- ----------------------------------------------------------------------London Department-----------------------------------------------------------T o W hat I s Success of the W.Y. S. D ue ?----------- ------- -----------------------

1 *^

L ist of R eferences--------------

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


1‘ ®

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

U nited S tates D epartment of L abor,
C hildren ’ s B ureau ,

Washington, January 0, 191$.
M a d a m : There is transmitted herewith a report entitled ‘‘Civil
Defense Measures for the Protection of Children in Great Britain,
bv Martha M. Eliot, M. D., Associate Chief of the Children s Bureau.
This publication is a report on the services for children including
those connected with evacuation, as observed by Dr. Eliot in Great
Britain during February 1941 as a member o f the United states
Defense Mission to Great Britain. The other members o f the Mission
were Lt. Col. Eugene Ridings, General Staff Corps, United States
War Department; Thomas Parran, M. D., Surgeon General, Public
Health Service, Federal Security A g en cy; Geoffrey May, Associate
Director, Bureau of Public Assistance, Social Security Board, f e d ­
eral Security Agency ; and Frederick C. Horner, Consultant to Trans­
portation Commissioner, National Defense Advisory Commission.
The report comprises a record of observations, summaries of omcia
memoranda, and comments, and a series of recommendations on meas­
ures for the protection and welfare of children in a civil-defense
program in the United States.
It is believed that these observations will form an invaluable back­
ground for the civil-defense program in its relation to children.
Respectfully submitted.
: „
K atharine F. L enroot, Chief.

Hon. F rances P erk ins ,

Secretary of Labor.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Since this report o f observations in Great Britain was written, in
April 1941, and the conclusions and recommendations in respect of
protection and welfare of children in a civil-defense program in the
United States prepared, many changes have occurred that increase
the urgency for action. In May 1941 the Office of Civilian Defense
and in September 1941 the Office of Defense Health and Welfare
Services (superseding the Office of the Coordinator of Health, W el­
fare, and Related Defense Activities) were created by Executive Or­
der. On December 8, 1941, a state of war was declared to exist
between the United States and Japan; on December 11, 1941, between
the United States and Germany.
Protective services of civil defense, such as the civil-defense patrol,
air-raid-warden service, fire fighting, air-raid drills, are being vigor­
ously pushed forward in the United States by the Office of Civilian
Defense and State and local defense councils. School officials in col­
laboration with defense councils are developing the details of pro­
cedure for the protection of children in schools. State and local
defense councils are beginning to give serious attention to the health
and welfare problems that would result from air raids on cities where
. the population is dense. Many defense councils are planning the steps
necessary for medical and hospital care o f the injured.
With the declaration of a state of war in December there arose a
widespread demand from parents for information on the best pro­
cedures for the care and management o f children during air raids.
At least partial answers to questions have been given by civil-defense
authorities and by many public agencies and private organizations.
As the realization grows of what war may mean to families and
children living in cities and areas that might be military targets, there
is an increasing demand to know what steps the Government would
take to give protection to children in such areas and in case of real
need to provide for their evacuation to relatively safe areas. In
August 1941 a Joint Committee on the Health and Welfare Aspects of
Evacuation of Civilians was appointed by the Director of Civilian
Defense and the Director of Defense Health and Welfare Services to
develop policies and plans. This Committee represents the Social
Security Board, the Office of Education, and the Public Health Serv­
ice, of the Federal Security Agency, and the Children’s Bureau o f
the Department of Labor, as well as the two defense offices. A few
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State councils of defense are working out preliminary plans for
civilian evacuation in case of emergency. The American National
Red Cross is cooperating with State councils through its disasterrelief division, especially on emergency procedures.
As this report goes to press there is no reason to expect a general
evacuation of children from cities unless future occasion warrants it,
but the possibility that partial evacuation or removal of families from
certain areas of particular danger may become necessary should not be
overlooked, and against that contingency plans are being made ready.
The knowledge that plans are in preparation for the orderly evacuation
o f children and other priority groups of civilians from danger areas
in case of real need should allay public concern, not arouse it.
The experience of Great Britain in handling the evacuation of chil­
dren and others from her great industrial centers is invaluable to us
in the United States in planning for any evacuation, large or small.
It should be realized that conditions in the United States, both geo­
graphic and political, are very different from those in Great Britain
and Scotland and call for plans that may be different in many ways
from the British plan.
The attempt has been made in this report to present the British
experience in a way that will be most useful to persons in this country
who are concerned with protection of children. Attention should be
drawn particularly to those parts which have to do with procedure,
the changes and adjustments in plans in response to experience, and
the provision of health and welfare services, and to the report on con­
ditions in reception areas (the Shakespeare Report) published in
January 1941.

January 191(2.
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E l io t ,

M. D.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Photograph courtesy M inistry of Health, Great Britain.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

A historic mansion is being used as a residential nursery for evacuated children under fire.

Civil Defense Measures
for the
Protection of Children
As Observed in Great Britain, February 1941
Civil-defense provisions for the protection of children and youth
in Great Britain have been of two types : Those to protect children re­
maining in the cities under bombing, and those necessary for the evacu­
ation o f children to areas o f relative safety and for their protection
in a new environment. The steps to protect children in time o f war by
the agencies of government and others charged with their protection
in time o f peace took place in three general periods : The period cover­
ing the organization of the prewar program of child welfare, the plan­
ning period just before the declaration of war, and the later period of
action under the impact of war.
The basic provisions for child welfare and child care1 which had
been developed gradually during the 20 years from 1918 to 1938 and
which had originated as a result of the last war were, without doubt,
fundamental to the success of the special emergency measures for the
protection of children in the present war. The excellent morale of the
parents and of the children themselves and the voluntary acceptance
of the drastic measures for the protection of the children depended to
a very considerable extent upon the general knowledge that child-wel­
fare services and school medical services were available everywhere
in the provinces as well as in the large cities. The authorities were
aware of the fact that child-welfare clinics, school medical services,
district nursing services, health visitors, and midwives were available
under the jurisdiction of practically every local authority.
For instance, in rural counties in the reception areas for children
from London, child-welfare clinics and district nursing service were
available to mothers and children living in nearly every village and
1 The term “ child welfare” in England is used in general in the same sense as “ child
health” in the United States. The term “ child care” refers to the social services for chil­
dren provided by trained social workers or child-care committee volunteers.

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town. It was said that no mother would have to go more than 6 or T
miles at the outside to take her child to a child-welfare clinic (except
perhaps in certain rural areas of northern England and Scotland not
generally used as reception areas) and that the majority could attend a
clinic within their own home communities. School medical services
were available in some degree to all school children. School meals
were being served to children in a good proportion o f provincial
schools. Prenatal clinics had been made available by all local authori­
ties, and the service of trained midwives had become universal since
the passage o f amendments to the Midwives Acts in 1936. Consultant
service from physicians and, in case of need, from obstetricians had
been made available everywhere. On the recommendation o f a physi­
cian, hospital care for maternity patients could be made available at
least in a nearby town, though not always within the smallest local
The existence in both evacuation and reception areas o f these health
facilities and services before evacuation took place was a m ajor factor
in the success o f the whole project. Evacuation placed a heavy extra
load on the clinics and workers, and supplementation o f the existing
service became necessary. The basic services have stood the strain,
however, and are being strengthened and expanded as far as possible
to meet new burdens.

Mention should be made also of the progress in the development o f
nursery schools because of the important place they hold in the pro­
visions made for care o f young children under war conditions. A t the
outbreak of war the number of nursery schools in the country was not
large, but the principle of nursery education had become well estab­
lished. Even in day nurseries, which were still numerous in the in­
dustrial cities, nursery-education methods were being used to a con­
siderable extent. When plans for evacuation were being formulated,
it was the national organizations concerned with nursery schools, day
nurseries, and other child-welfare activities that were ready with ad­
vice and suggestions as to how the young child should be cared for.
The tradition o f the use o f volunteers in child-welfare and child-care
services was well established before the war. F or many years citizens
had participated in the work o f local government, as magistrates, aidermen, council members, education or child-care committee members
child-care committee workers, and in other comparable positions’
Groups o f women had been organized in practically every locality o f
the country by one or another o f the various national women’s organi­
zations such as the National Federation o f W omen’s Institutes, the
National Council for Maternity and Child W elfare, W omen’s Coopera­
tive Guilds, Girl Guides, the British Federation o f Business and P ro­
fessional Women, and many others.
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It was apparent, therefore, that the groundwork had been laid dur­
ing the years since the last war for effective planning for the protection
o f children under war conditions. Without the basic services provided
and without the Nation-wide assistance o f volunteers it would not have
been possible for parents to receive assistance even to the degree that
was possible under conditions of bombardment or for plans to be
worked out for the care of evacuated children in the towns and villages
o f the reception areas.
Comment should also be made on the courage and confidence with
which the responsible agencies o f government and the voluntary organi­
zations undertook the most difficult and drastic plans for the protection
o f children and on the ingenuity with which they approached new
situations and made major changes in their plans when unforeseen
events proved a given course to be untenable. To protect the life and
health o f children was their first objective, their second to continue to
provide educational and social opportunity to the fullest extent feasible.
To move hundreds o f thousands o f children from areas o f danger, to
house, feed, and clothe them, to give them medical attention, and to
provide educational facilities, even if partially curtailed, was a social
undertaking o f no small dimensions. It was indeed the greatest
planned migration that has occurred in history. To continue as they
did to give protection to children in cities under bombardment or liable
to bombing rather than to order a compulsory evacuation to places of
relative safety was to live up to the long-established tradition of the
rights o f the individual. Though costly in terms o f money spent in
reevacuating the same children two, three, or in some cases even four
times, in the end the procedure followed would appear to have been
justified because o f its acceptance by an overwhelming majority o f
parents when bombing became a reality.
It is true that the authorities did not foresee the effect that the
absence o f bombing would have on the willingness o f parents to leave
their children in the reception areas. It is true that lack o f foresight
meant that thousands o f mothers with young children and thousands
o f unaccompanied school children soon returned to the evacuated cities
because o f incomplete planning for their reception or their­
justment to wholly new and strange surroundings in the country and
because o f the women’s natural desire to return to care for their own
households in the city since there appeared to be no danger. It is true
that the closing o f schools in London on the declaration o f war meant
that thousands o f children were foot-loose and “ ran wild” in the city
for a while. It is true that conditions in the large shelters were bad
during the early weeks o f the “blitz” because the authorities had not
intended to have them used as they were. It is true that there was
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great disorganization in caring for bombed-out families in the early
weeks and that children who had not been evacuated suffered greatly.
The point that should be made, however, is that a great metropolitan
area was undergoing an experience new in its history and one for which
complete planning ahead was not possible. The absence of bombing
for a whole year of war could not have been wholly foreseen, nor the
effect o f the subsequent period of destruction which dispossessed thou­
sands o f families from the tenements while causing less physical injury
to human beings than was anticipated. But in spite of the struggle
and difficulty, planning for improved care went forward, and adjust­
ments were gradually made to facilitate more prompt and effective.
effort. Lessons learned in the early stages resulted in major changes
in procedure both in preparing children for evacuation and in pro­
viding more adequately for their congregate care as well as their care
in individual billets in the reception areas. To have developed as
effective an evacuation scheme as was done during the first year of the
war when there was no bombing meant that subsequent evacuations
under bombing have been orderly and that to a great extent the scheme
has worked.
To have organized communal-feeding facilities and mobile canteens
so that fleets o f canteens and corps of organizers were constantly avail­
able to go to the aid o f any bombed and stricken city was a great
To have brought a very considerable degree o f order out of the chaos
into which the school program was plunged after the declaration of
war and the closing o f the schools is in itself a noteworthy accomplish­
ment. That the education authorities in the evacuation areas were
able to reopen some of the schools and reassemble pupils within 3
months in the face o f the disorganization and to keep even part of them
open after bombing is only slightly less extraordinary than that the
authorities in the reception areas should now, at the end o f some 18
months, be providing practically full-time educational programs to
hundreds o f thousands of children in addition to those of their own
To have developed a plan for providing welfare officers (social work­
ers) in the reception areas where no such service existed before evacuation marks an advance in the social services which to all appearances
will become permanent. The impetus given to the child-guidance
movement in the provincial boroughs and districts should mean a last­
ing extension o f this service, so essential at the time, if training facilities
can be made available.
A ll this indicates that foresight and constructive planning are being
brought into play to protect children in the face o f danger and great
emotional and physical strain. The emotional effect on children o f the
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consequences o f bombing and o f separation from their families is
clearly recognized and, so far as resources are available under the con­
ditions o f war, steps are being taken to meet it.
Many lessons may be learned by child-health and child-welfare
workers, by housing and education authorities, who one day may be
faced with situations where mass-protection measures must be used.
To learn the most from the experiences of the British, a careful followthrough study should be made to evaluate the effect of the war on child
life, on education, on child-health and child-welfare services, to learn
how satisfactory the mass child-placing scheme has been, and to de­
velop plans for the most effective reconstruction of family life. To
make such a continuing study possible would contribute substantially
to the ultimate solution of many problems of readjustment after the
war in England and would bring out sharply those features of the total
child-protection program which would be useful and applicable under
different conditions in this country. It is recommended that a way
be found to undertake and carry out such a study.
The observations upon which this report is based were made in Feb­
ruary 1941. London was the only evacuation area studied in detail,
but it was believed that all the problems of the protection of children
under bombing could be found there, as well as the problems of prepa­
ration o f mothers and children for evacuation. Two reception areas
for mothers and children from London were visited and studied in some
detail—first, the area west of London, and, second, part of the area
north of the city. Both towns and villages and even open rural areas
were visited to observe the households in which children were billeted,
the hostels for congregate care of children or mothers, the various
provisions for aiding the social adjustment of evacuees, such as com­
munal feeding, social centers, communal laundries, nursery centers,
and, lastly, maternity homes and residential nurseries for children
under 5 years of age. A brief visit was made to Edinburgh and Glas­
gow and one smaller town in Scotland to observe the program in that
Throughout the period o f observation many interviews were had
with Government officials, both at the Ministries in London and in
their regional offices in the reception areas, with local authorities, and
with representatives of volunteer organizations involved in work for
children and families. The large amount of time given and the
untiring interest shown in providing information and help by all
those interviewed are greatly appreciated, but special thanks are due
the officers of the Ministry of Health, the Ministry o f Food, the
Ministry of Labour and National Service, and the Board of Education,
and the Department of Health for Scotland, the local authorities in
London, the Chairman and many local workers of the Women’s
432652°— 42----- 2
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Voluntary Services fo r Civil Defence, and the representatives o f a
great number o f social agencies in London and elsewhere. The
willingness and thoughtfulness o f each in giving time and effort can
be adequately appraised only in the light o f the difficult conditions
under which work was being carried on, and exemplified the confidence
and courage with which the total situation was being faced by the
whole people.
This report w ill discuss first the protection o f children in areas
under bombardment and second the program o f evacuation o f children
xrom such areas to areas o f relative safety.
The report is not intended to be a complete or exhaustive treatment
o f the whole subject o f the protection o f children in wartime, but
rather a review o f steps taken by Government to institute and carry
out procedures fo r their protection and o f some o f the kinds of
assistance given by voluntary groups to aid Government in carrying
out its program. M any phases o f work for children are not described
m detail; it is regretted that visits to the headquarters o f a number o f
national organizations and interviews with many other individuals
concerned with some o f the problems investigated could not be made.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Civil-defense provision for the protection of children and of youth
in areas under bombardment include such measures as air-raid pre­
cautions in schools, the equipment of shelters, provision of gas masks,
medical services, care in rest centers for bombed-out families, special
refuges for young children separated from their parents, and com­
munal feeding.

Air Raid Precautions in Schools
Local authorities have been responsible for “ Air Raid Precautions
under general plans recommended by the Ministry of Home Security
cooperating with other Government departments such as the Ministry
o f Health and the Board of Education. Provisions for children in
general have been similar to the provisions for all members of the civil
population with the exception of the special types o f service necessary
in schools. Plans for air-raid precautions in schools and for the pro­
tection of the civil population in time of air raid through the use of
shelters were started in 1937. The Board of Education published its
first official circular (1461) [7],1 A ir Raid Precautions in Schools, on
January 3,1938, a second circular (1467) [#] on April 27, 1939, and a
third (1535) [s] on December 18,1940.
The first of these circulars gave general advice on the protection
of children in schools against the dangers o f air attack. In those areas
where the risk of air attack was believed to be great, the collection
of children in large numbers in school was not considered justifiable,
and the Board of Education established the policy that for such areas
schools should be closed during the whole period during which raids
might be expected. The desirability of evacuating children to safer
districts was appreciated, and though the difficulties of the scheme
were also recognized, the Board of Education felt that the difficulties
should not prevent its careful consideration. This first circular issued
by the Board of Education indicated that, since evacuation might not
be completed even if undertaken, it would be necessary to undertake
advance planning for the protection of children in school in the
evacuating area should a raid occur when the children were in school.
Advice was given on the provision of respirators for children and the
home instruction of children, during peacetime, in their use. The
1 Numbers in brackets throughout the report refer to the appended List of References,
p. 179.
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provision o f shelters and structural precautions to make buildings
safer were discussed in this first information circular, but no specific
instructions with regard to shelters were given. It was recommended
that boarding schools in areas of potential danger from attack should
be evacuated to places of greater safety. Recognition was given to
the fact that school buildings offer particularly good facilities for
first-aid posts and rest centers and that since Air Raid Precautions re­
quirements would probably demand a large number of such posts it
was considered likely that in time of emergency a number o f schools
would be used for this purpose.
In the circular [*] of April 27, 1939, it was stated that as part of
the general A ir Raid Precautions arrangements in areas of potential
danger from attack, all day schools would be closed for instruction
when an emergency first arose and that the reopening of such schools
would be a matter for the discretion of the local education authorities
m the light of actual experience o f air raids and protective measures
which it was found possible to provide for the safety o f the children.
It was recommended, however, that, in order to assist in preserving
the morale of the children, as well as in the interest o f education
o f the children, the schools should be reopened as soon as practicable,
particularly in areas receiving evacuated children.
The Board of Education adopted the policy of keeping schools in
the reception areas open but also pointed out that plans for precau­
tions to be taken in the event o f a raid when the children were in the
schools should be made even though raids seemed unlikely. It was
recommended that, if an air-raid warning should occur when the
children were on the way to or from school, they should return to
their homes at once unless quite near the school (in which case they
should continue to the school) and that careful instruction should be
given to the children to this effect. It was pointed out that school
children, being under discipline, might be expected to carry out any
instructions given them by the teaching staff should necessity arise
The teachers were advised that they should be familiar with all Air
Raid Precautions services and that a certain number should acquire
elementary knowledge of first-aid and antigas precautions. It was
recommended that classes be arranged by local authorities for this
Recommendations were made further that the children should be
given respirator and air-raid drills.

With respect to the question o f structural precautions in the schools,
it was recommended that in time of danger children should be as­
sembled in groups of not more than 50 in one room or protective
compartment. Alterations of major importance to school buildings
were not contemplated, and where no alternative to such major altera­
tion appeared practicable the school was to be closed. As a rule it
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was recommended that protection required should be provided out­
side the school buildings, and trenches (which should preferably be
covered) were regarded as the most suitable form of shelter to give
protection against the effect of blasts and splinters. Where new
schools were under construction, reinforced basements were recom­
mended. With respect to expenditures connected with such pro­
tective measures in school buildings the Board of Education decided
that local education authorities could be reimbursed for 50 percent
of the amount of approved expenditures for construction of trenches,
the provision of equipment and material for sandbags, the protection
of windows, or first-aid equipment.
With respect to the use o f schools as first-aid posts, the circular
[#] of April 1939 indicated that in those areas where it was decided
that the schools should continue working during wartime, school
buildings should not be diverted from their normal use except in
agreement with the local education authorities and that wherever
possible other buildings should be used for these purposes. In par­
ticular, in reception areas where local education authorities would be
faced with the problem of providing for the education of consid­
erably increased numbers of children, school buildings should not,
save in the last resort, be taken for first-aid posts.
With the announcement by Kenneth Lindsay for the Board of
Education on November 1, 19392 that schools in evacuation areas
would again be opened, it became apparent that steps should be taken
to provide protection for children in the schools. On November 11
and November 23, 1939, Circulars 1483 [4] aud 1487 [*5] were issued
by the Board of Education, and on November 11, 1939, Circular 304
[tf] was issued by the Ministry of Home Security, giving instructions
with regard to necessary shelter precautions and such matters as
selection o f schools to be reopened, selection o f shelter accommoda­
tion, protection o f windows and doors, and the further use of school
buildings for civil-defense purposes.
On December 18, 1940, the Board o f Education issued its Circular
1535 [<?], reviewing information given in the previous circulars and
setting forth advice and information for evacuation areas, neutral
and reception areas, and rural areas, with regard to protection of
windows, lighting, heating, ventilation, sanitation, increased space,
camouflage, emergency rations, protection against fire, and protection
against gas. Further instructions were given with respect to the use
of school shelters by the public, the rate of grant* by the Board of
Education for the improvement of shelter accommodations, the ob­
servance o f the “ alert,” and the dispersal of children from a school not
2 Parliamentary Debates: House of Commons Official Report— Wednesday, November 1,
1939 (Vol. 352, No. 190), p. 1937.
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provided with its own shelter to nearby houses with Anderson or
other suitable shelters.
In February 1941 instructions given in the circular o f December
1940 were being carried out in the schools of London approximately
as described.

Shelters [ 7, 8]
With the exception o f provisions in a few large shelters, no special
accommodations for children have been provided in London. In a few
shelters special sections were set aside for mothers and infants or
young children, and mothers were found to be traveling considerable
distances in order to take advantage of such accommodations. In most
o f the large shelters children slept either on the cement floors or in the
cots provided by the Government. During the early months of the
bombing, sanitary provisions were very inadequate in the large shelters.
As soon as the policy of permitting the use o f tube stations and other
large shelters was decided by the Government, measures were taken
for the provision o f proper sanitary arrangements and for the general
welfare of the people. In February 1941 sanitary provisions were
reported by the Ministry o f Health to be reasonably good on the whole,
though not yet adequate in some shelters. The Ministry had previously
taken vigorous steps to provide the necessary equipment and bring
about adequate supervision. Provision had also been made for first-aid
units in nearly all large shelters and for canteens serving soup, cocoa,
and other light articles of diet. Marshals were assigned to all shelters
to give advice and aid in the general welfare o f the public coming to
the shelters. Nurses were employed to give assistance to mothers with
children. Visits were made by physicians to the largest shelters each
evening. Policewomen also visited certain shelters regularly every
night and gave general supervision to all the shelters. Measures for
protecting young people will be discussed later (see p. 37).
Many o f the shelters were damp and cold, and, though they were
not overcrowded in February 1941, children were sleeping in rows close
to one another and to adults in many of the shelters visited. The
opportunity for spread of infection was great. The service offered by
nurses and physicians for first aid and for general advice in case of
illness probably helped to keep down the spread of infection. Shelter
life as observed in a number of visits was certainly an unwholesome
and wholly unfortunate experience for any child.

Rest Centers for Bombed-Out Families and Other
Types of Temporary Shelter for Children
Provision was made for bombed-out families in the so-called rest
centers. No special accommodations for children were made in most
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of these centers, but, so far as possible, children were given special
consideration. Volunteers aided the staffs o f the rest centers and gave
special assistance to mothers in the care o f young children.
The establishment of information or administrative centers m vari­
ous parts of London after bombing began greatly facilitated making
plans for evacuation of mothers and children or children whose mothers
wished them to be evacuated alone, or for the rehousing or billeting of
families with children in the city when evacuation was not desired. In
each of these administrative centers there were representatives of the
various public-assistance and other agencies responsible for the re­
habilitation o f families—a plan which greatly simplified the adjust­
ment o f various family problems. For instance, through these workers
arrangements would be made for admitting mothers with young chil­
dren to Emergency Medical Service hospitals for their temporary care
immediately after being bombed out and before billeting.
n o er
cases families received temporary cash assistance, aid m rehousing, an
many other kinds of help.
„ .
, K•
When organizing the program for placement of children under 5 n
residential nurseries in reception areas, it became necessary in 1940 to
establish in the city of London an emergency nursery. This emergency
nursery was managed by the Women’s Voluntary Services. The num­
ber of placements of children in reception areas through this emergency
nursery reached its height during the bombardment of the last 4 mont s
of 1940, during which time 2,251 children were received, examined, and
placed in one o f the outlying residential nurseries. _
In October 1939 the Ministry of Health issued a circular (1900) L 1
asking the various boroughs within the metropolitan area of Lon on
and certain neighboring boroughs to make provision for places o
refuge for young children who might become separated from their
parents or guardians in the event of air raids. It was suggested that
such places of temporary refuge should provide food and facilities for
sleeping and rest for a short period until the children could be returned
to their parents or relatives. To meet this problem of lost children, day
nurseries or residential nurseries, as well as the rest centers, were used.
As temporary measures, housewives who had registered m the W.
Housewives’ Service often undertook immediate care.
Mention should be made here also of the Citizens’ Advice Bureaux
which have been established by existing agencies or by ad hoc commit­
tees as centers to which bombed-out or evacuated persons or refugees
could go for free advice without a bar of any kind. They were not se
up as relief agencies. These bureaus have been of utmost assistance to
parents who wish to get aid or clothing for their children or to learn
about the existing evacuation schemes. There are some 900 of them
scattered throughout centers of population (either evacuation or recep­
tion areas) in England, Scotland, and Wales. A handbook \10\ for
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the use o f workers in the bureaus has been issued by the National Coun­
cil o f Social Service.

Communal Feeding
Communal feeding under the civil-defense program was made the
responsibility of the local authorities charged with the provision of
A. R. P . and fire-fighting services, the education or reception authorities
responsible for children and other evacuated persons, and the publicassistance authorities responsible for the relief of those in distress in
case o f sudden emergency. A variety o f communal-feeding; centers
have been established by these various local authorities, such as:
1. Communal kitchens or feeding centers (now frequently known as
British Restaurants) set up for feeding bombed-out or evacuated people i
and others requiring full meals at regular hours. Such communal-feed­
ing centers for evacuated school children or mothers and young children
were often an outgrowth of the local school-meal program.
2. Cook houses to supply mobile canteens or individuals wishing to buy
ready-cooked food to be taken away.
3. Canteens, or centers for the provision of food of all kinds, particu­
larly for snack meals and for feeding A. R. P. personnel or those requir­
ing food when it is not available from ordinary sources.
4. Mobile canteens supplementing stationary canteens to supply food—
а. Where difficulty in obtaining it is experienced owing to the
scattering of the population.

б. To people not able to reach ordinary canteens.
To small numbers of people who are unable to leave their

The organization o f communal-feeding centers or community kitch­
ens in areas under bombardment and in reception areas has been
encouraged by the Ministry o f Food, which has provided funds for
the purchase o f equipment and initial outlay of various kinds. The
Ministry of Foods sees that food is made available to the communalfeeding centers and canteens; the cost of the food served, together with
a proportion o f the overhead, is met by the amounts paid by the people
coming to the communal centers. The communal-feeding centers, thus
subsidized by the Ministry o f Food, are run on a nonprofit basis, but
they are expected to meet the cost of the food.
The number of people feeding at communal-feeding centers varies,
according to the need of the community served, from less than 100
persons a day to 1,000 or 2,000 persons. The average center in the
cities feeds from 250 to 500 people.
The meals cost, as a rule, 6d. to 8d. for soup and main course with
2d. or 3d. extra for dessert. The meals observed in at least a dozen
centers in London and the provinces were well balanced, including a
nourishing soup, a fair-sized helping o f meat, and an ample amount
of potato and fresh vegetable. Dessert usually was a pudding, often
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containing egg, or a fruit pie or stewed fruit. Tea and coffee were
served at the majority of the centers. A variety of meals were pro­
vided. The flavor of the food was excellent, and it was well served
and attractive in appearance. Great assistance in the organization of
communal feeding has been given to the various responsible authori­
ties by the Women’s Voluntary Services. The Women’s Voluntary
Services issued a pamphlet [71] called “ Communal Feeding in War
Time,” which not only describes the organization of the kitchens and
canteens but also gives detailed instructions on buying and cooking,
and lists types of food suitable for canteens and communal meals.
Two chapters are provided on feeding children in reception areas and
set forth the varieties of types of communal meals. Menus are given
with, again, special emphasis on menus for children of preschool age
as well as older children. The Women’s Voluntary Services has organ­
ized a special department of its service to handle this part of its work.
Circulars and folders have been issued to its local representatives
giving advice on the organization of community kitchens [7$], and
circulars giving detailed instruction with regard to the construction
of mobile canteens and wheel trailers of various sorts have been
issued [15].
The London County Council has developed an extensive meal service
[14] starting in mid-September 1940. By the middle of February
1941 there were some 146 centers in operation in London County, serv­
ing about J15,000 meals a week. The meals may be eaten on the
premises or they may be taken home. A booklet [15] carrying infor­
mation on management of canteens was issued by the London County
Council in January 1941.
The Ministry of Food has issued pamphlets, posters, and various
other types of publications [15, 17] on the subject of food and com­
munal meals. In February 1941 the Ministry was about to publish a
new illustrated pamphlet on the whole subject of communal feeding
and national restaurants. In reception areas communal feeding for
evacuated school children and for mothers and young children has
been very generally established under the auspices of the local authori­
ties and the Women’s Voluntary Services. As a rule these communalfeeding centers serve from 50 to 200 persons a day. Often the school
feeding projects are combined with communal feeding for evacuated
mothers and young children. The establishment of such communal
centers in reception areas has in many cases served to minimize diffi­
culties arising from the billeting of mothers and young children in
The Board of Education has issued a pamphlet [75] to aid the
people in preparing canteen meals for school children.
The principle of communal feeding is also being extended to the
factories. In January 1941 the Minister of Labour and National
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Service issued a leaflet [10] making suggestions with regard to the
organization o f factory canteens and giving the advantages o f this
service to workers living in billets, those who have been bombed out,
and those who must work overtime.

Gas Masks
When masks for protection in case o f gas attack were issued to the
population, special types were provided for children and infants. The
mask for the child from 1 to 5 years of age has been specially adapted
to the use of little children. In many cases special decorations have
been painted on them in the hope that a young child might be taught
to wear the mask as a part of his play. The reports received were
that it was very often difficult to get the young children to learn to wear
these masks. Other children were quite willing to try them on and
easily got used to wearing them. The problem of teaching children
to wear masks, however, is a major one.
The problem of the use of a respirator for an infant was even more
difficult to solve. The respirator provided is a large baglike structure
in which a small baby can be placed, with a string around the opening
which can be drawn up tight. Attached to the respirator is a pump
which must be operated by the adult who holds the baby. Fresh air
must be pumped constantly into the respirator. Each mother on leav­
ing a maternity home is provided with a respirator for her baby and is
taught how to use it. These respirators have been found to be useful
for very young infants. Greater difficulty is encountered when an
infant 6 to 18 months of age is put in such a respirator if he is unac­
customed to it; most of these infants are frightened and rebel against
the use of the respirator. It is problematic how useful these infant
respirators would be in case of gas attack.

Medical Services
Emergency Medical Services.

Medical services for children, as for other members of the civil pop­
ulation, were provided in areas of potential danger or under bombard­
ment, through the Emergency Medical Services, the School Medical
Services, the child-welfare centers, or by private practitioners if the
family could afford to pay for care. The effects o f the evacuation on
health and medical services for children in London will be described in
detail (see p. 112) in the section on health and welfare services. The
use o f child-welfare centers as first-aid posts, the use of schools for
various A. R. P. purposes, and the evacuation of many of the London
hospitals to prepare them for service as casualty hospitals resulted at
first in decrease in many of the usual health and medical services for
children and mothers. With the adjustment following the first large
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evacuation and the return of many families to London, the health serv­
ices in child-welfare centers and schools were restored to some ex­
tent. Though emergency obstetric and pediatric service is given in the
London hospitals, patients are transferred to outlying hospitals as
rapidly as possible. Outpatient-clinic service for children and ante­
natal clinics for women are carried on in connection with the Emer­
gency Medical Services in the city. Care at delivery is given largely
in improvised maternity homes outside London under the supervision
o f the Maternity and Child Welfare Division of the Ministry of Health
(see p. 97 for detail).
Immediately after the order for evacuation, all health visitors em­
ployed in the child-welfare program under the borough councils were
assigned to first-aid posts and other A. R. P . services. Likewise, as will
be described more fully later, school physicians and nurses were as­
signed to the Emergency Medical Services. With the relatively small
number o f casualties resulting from bombing, it became apparent that
the health visitors could continue to carry on their regular service to
mothers and young children, at the same time having their headquar­
ters at first-aid or other A. R. P. posts. With the reopening o f schools
in London in November 1939, a number of school physicians and nurses
were returned to school medical services to carry on their regular work.
Civil Nursing Reserve.

The Civil Nursing Reserve [20,21] has been formed for the purpose
o f maintaining a reserve of trained nurses, assistant nurses, and nurs­
ing auxiliaries to supplement nursing staffs of casualty hospitals and
to provide local authorities with nursing personnel for their first-aid
posts and for certain nursing services in reception areas. The Civil
Nursing Reserve is a responsibility of the Ministry of Health and is
directed by the Principal Matron for Emergency Nursing Services of
the Ministry of Health.
The Civil Nursing Reserve includes three types o f workers [20] :
1. Trained nurses, who must either be State-registered nurses on the
general or special parts of the register or hold certificates of general
training for at least 3 years in a recognized training school.
2. Assistant nurses, who are only partially trained.
3. Nursing auxiliaries who—
а. Undertake and satisfactorily complete the course of training
approved by the Minister of Health and set out in part I I ; or
б. Belong to the St. John Ambulance Brigade or British Red Cross
Society and have previously completed satisfactorily a similar course
of training; or
c. Are already qualified by reason of auxiliary nursing experience
during the last w a r ; or
d. Being engaged in a profession allied to nursing (e. g., massage)
can offer temporary service as nursing auxiliaries pending employ­
ment in their own profession.
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The register o f the Civil Nursing Reserve is maintained on a terri­
torial basis in county and county-borough areas. In each county or
county borough a local emergency organization considers applications
and arranges for training o f nursing auxiliaries, allocates members to
the posts at which they will be required in an emergency, and is re­
sponsible for the efficient organization of the reserve in its area. As a
rule, the local emergency organization consists o f the county or countyborough medical officer of health, with a representative advisory com­
mittee, and is centered at the office of the medical officer o f health.
The training for nursing auxiliaries is in two parts. The first part
comprises two courses o f instruction, one in first aid, the other in home
nursing, and candidates are required to reach the standard recognized
by the St. John Ambulance Association, the British Red Cross Society,
and other agencies giving courses in first aid and in home nursing. The
second part is a course of practical work in hospital, including not less
than 50 hours’ practical work. Candidates are advised to take 96 hours.
In certain areas which are reception areas under the Government’s
evacuation scheme, a course o f practical instruction by a district nurse
may be substituted for the hospital instruction, but in such circum­
stances the candidate’s offer o f service would be confined to assisting in
district nursing and school medical work in reception areas.
On December 31, 1940, a report [21] from the Ministry’ o f Health
indicated that 69,346 nursing auxiliaries were registered; as of that
date, 26,917 were employed, and 2,896 were standing by for duty at
hospitals or first-aid posts.
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Influence on Social Serviced for Children
The provision o f social and health services for children during the
war has been influenced profoundly by the Government’s policy of
evacuating children from cities under bombing, by the necessity
of withdrawing personnel from regular service for Air Raid Precau­
tions and Emergency Medical Services, by the provisions necessary
for the care o f bombed-out families, and more recently by the steady
increase in the number o f women going into industry. Though many
well-established services have been disrupted, many new ones have
been developed.
Health workers have had to adjust their work to new conditions,
and shifts in emphasis have occurred.
Social workers have found that their services were needed in new
channels, and many have been moved from city to country. Social
workers, formerly employed as child-care organizers for the London
school system, have been assigned to regional staffs of the Ministry
o f Health or to county health offices to assist with community or­
ganization in reception areas. The demand for this type of worker
has become greater than the supply.
The need for extension o f the child-guidance service has become
pressing, and skilled workers are being sought in cities and in the
reception areas.
Impetus has been given to the nursery-school movement, though the
pattern has been modified to some extent to meet the new demand for
community nursery centers and residential nurseries for evacuated
In every phase o f the social and health services there is evidence
that difficult situations have been met with a surprising degree of
success, and initiative in capitalizing on the present situation to
build something better for the future is widespread. (A more detailed
description of the changes in the health and welfare services will be
found under the discussion o f the evacuation. See pp. 97-128.)
Congregate care.

In the industrial centers there has been an increasing demand for
the establishment of day nurseries and nursery schools and for the
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extension under Government control of the “ minder” system commonly
used in the past in certain industrial cities where mothers o f young
children have been accustomed to go to work leaving their children
to be “minded” by a neighbor, often o f dubious qualifications as a
caretaker for children. Though it was not the intention of the
Government to call up married women with young children in large
numbers in connection with the national registration, it was recognized
that in many o f the industrial cities women were already being em­
ployed increasingly in munitions and other factories, and the need for
places where young children could be cared for in groups, such as
day nurseries, nursery schools, and nursery centers, was very pressing. The need was so pressing, in fact, that serious consideration
was being given to expansion o f the “minder” system because, in the
opinion o f some in the Ministry of Labour and National Service, it
could be developed more rapidly than could day nurseries and could
be supervised by the health visitors under health agencies who had
been accustomed to supervising boarding homes under the Child
Life Protection Act. Opposition to the development o f this system
was already being expressed by workers who realized the dangers
o f the Government’s giving approval and financial support to such
a scheme, even though every effort was made to use only registered
and approved “minders” and to require frequent inspection and
National organizations concerned with day nurseries and nursery
schools were active in giving assistance in the care of children under
5, not only in planning and supervising the evacuation of day nur­
series and nursery schools from London and other industrial centers
under bombing, but also in stimulating the establishment o f new
nurseries and nursery centers in industrial cities where women were
at work or in reception areas.
As the war progressed, the demand increased steadily for residen­
t i a l nurseries in reception areas to house new groups o f young
children from the evacuation areas—children from bombed-out
families whose mothers could not leave home or children whose
mothers were working in some war industry. Late in the first year
o f the war a number o f additional residential nurseries were established
with the financial assistance of the Government and under the super­
vision o f the Ministry of Health. As was the case with day nur­
series evacuated from London at the beginning o f the war, voluntary
agencies were given the responsibility for management of these new
The establishment o f new nursery schools during the period fol­
lowing evacuation had to give way temporarily to the development of
a modified form known as a “nursery center” organized in reception
areas to assist in the over-all problem of adjustment of the evacuated
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mothers with children under 5 to their new environments. Similar
centers were established in industrial cities, but under these conditions
they resembled day nurseries more than the typical nursery school.
The shortage o f well-trained nursery-school teachers seemed to be the
chief reason why nursery centers rather than nursery schools were
established in reception areas. The Ministry o f Health and the
Board of Education have encouraged the development of nursery
centers. (See pp. 79 and 125.)
Owing to war conditions and the evacuation scheme, certain changes
have taken place also in the congregate care o f older children.
Children attending special day schools in London and other large
industrial cities were evacuated in many cases as “special parties” to
school camps or other large residential estates where whole classes or
even whole schools could be accommodated together. This plan
involved, particularly, children who were retarded mentally and chil­
dren who were in special classes because of crippling or had heart
disease. These two groups in London were evacuated to the London
County Council’s special convalescent home outside the metropolitan
area. A special group of children with diabetes was evacuated to one
of the residential establishments. These “special parties” remained
under the general supervision of the London County Council though
under the immediate supervision of the local authority also.
Classes o f senior-school or secondary-school children were some­
times evacuated from London to school camps, which were thereby
transformed into boarding schools. This procedure was not univer­
sally approved, but many believed that it was an intensely interesting
experiment in education o f secondary-school children in tax-supported
boarding schools which should not be condemned until it was tried out
On the other side o f this picture was the experiment of placing out
in private homes children who had lived, sometimes most of their
lives, in institutions under the charge of public-assistance authorities
in London. With the evacuation order the public-assistance author­
ities agreed that children over 5 in their institutions could be placed
in billets with children from the regular schools. One worker
reported that the experiment had been a complete success with 70 per­
cent of the children so placed from one institution and that still
further adjustment would undoubtedly take place. It was reported
that the agency would never 'return to the institutional form o f care.
Mass billeting vs. selective placement.

Under the conditions o f evacuation from a city in actual or poten­
tial danger from bombing, selective placement of each child was
impossible. The plan for mass placement will be described in detail
under the section on evacuation (see pp. 43ff.). The results of
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this procedure have been surprisingly good and should be weighed
in the light of the fact that the children to be placed were “ run of
the mine” children from all the schools of the cities evacuated. That
thoughtful observers of the movement estimated that only from 10
to 15 percent o f the total groups turned out to be more or less difficult
to place is a significant commentary on the success of the plan. How
successful the adjustments were o f the remaining 85 percent is not
known as yet. A majority must have been reasonably successful or
more information on difficulties would be at hand. Nevertheless, the
authorities were aware that serious consideration should be given to
the need for special placement o f many children, and that the use of
nostels for difficult children (see p. 110) was not the best solution
in many cases.
Thoughtful consideration was being given, especially by childguidance workers and by child-care workers who had been placed in
reception areas, to the special need for selective placement in foster
homes of young children and older children with various behavior
problems. Child-placing agencies, such as the Invalid Children’s
Aid Association and the Children’s Country Holidays Fund, have
continued their programs and have given assistance to the authorities
by placing in selected homes difficult children or children from
bombed-out families who could not be cared for under the Govern­
ment evacuation scheme. Because of the great number of children
that had to be billeted in a very short time under the initial evacua­
tion scheme, the great crowding of all reception areas near London,
and the relative lack of trained workers, it was impossible to attempt
to carry out an extensive plan of special placement, desirable as it
might have been. It was, however, current belief among social
workers that more-selective child placing was much needed.

Physical Condition of Children
In evacuation areas.

Reports from the Ministry o f Health and from various health offi­
cials in regional and county health offices, from education authorities,
and from other observers received in February 1941 indicate that the
physical condition of children in the cities under bombardment had
not so far been seriously affected by the situation. Undoubtedly the
physical condition of many children has been affected by the kind of
life they must lead in evacuation areas, but to identify such children
has been found exceedingly difficult.
No detailed records of examination of children were available for
study to determine whether the nutritional status of the children was
being affected by rationing or by the disturbances in family life or con­
tinued experiences in shelters. The interference with normal sleep and
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EFFECT of w a r an d c iv il d e f e n se o n c h il d r e n


the exposure to infections must have some deleterious effect on children
continually subjected to the discomforts of spending the night in shel­
ters. Colds were reported to be prevalent, though epidemics of more
serious import had not occurred. Reports from social workers indi­
cated, however, that the effect on individual children in terms o f loss
of vigor and general well-being was apparent.
That concrete manifestation o f ill effect could not be identified
readily by physicians came out after the issuance in January 1941 o f
the circular from the Ministry of Health calling for compulsory
evacuation of children found at medical examination to be suffering
in mind and body as a result of hostile attack or in such a state of
health as to be likely so to suffer if they remained in a specified evacua­
tion area. (See p. 96.) By the end of February, in only a few cases
had physicians been willing to certify to conditions that required com­
pulsory evacuation. On the other hand, the possibility that com­
pulsion might be used had served as a lever to get a much larger num­
ber of mothers voluntarily to evacuate children known to be in gen­
erally poor condition because of the life they were leading in shelters.
In reception areas.

Reports of health, education, and welfare authorities indicated that
the physical condition o f children evacuated to small towns and villages
in the reception areas has on the whole been greatly improved.
Though again statistics were not available to show gains in weight or
other evidences o f improved physical health except for reports [##] on
small groups of children, workers in the reception areas consistently
reported that children from the city gained in weight rapidly during
the first few months after evacuation—in the opinion of some, more
rapidly than would be expected normally. Reports from others indi­
cated that the gains were not unusual or that if they appeared to be
very rapid at first the rate decreased later and the gain continued in
the curve that would be expected. The opinion of many workers was
that the general vigor and activity o f the children were greatly im­
The only widespread epidemic that had occurred since evacuation
started was the epidemic of measles still current in February 1941.
Measles had been prevalent throughout reception areas and had oc­
curred in many of the residential nurseries. Reports indicated, how­
ever, that there was no abnormal increase in bronchopneumonia asso­
ciated with measles, and no increase in mortality. Statistical data on
mortality were not available and will not be available until the vital
statistics are prepared at a later date.
A report [2S\ from one reception area, dated January 1941, indi­
cates that epidemics of infectious diarrhea were not uncommon in the
residential nurseries established for evacuated day nurseries or nursery
432652°— 42--------3
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schools in September 1939 or thereafter. In many cases the adult
attendants also had the disease or complained o f sore throat. Some
children were seriously ill with fever, jaundice, diarrhea, and vomiting, and several children died. In a number o f cases septic sore
throats were reported. A few cases o f scarlet fever, whooping cough,
and chicken pox were reported, indicating spread o f these diseases
within one nursery, but no widespread epidemic occurred.
The epidemics o f infectious diarrhea were attributed, by the repre­
sentatives o f the Ministry o f Health with whom it was discussed,
largely to the overcrowding that existed when these nurseries were
established under the pressure o f the first evacuation in September and
October 1939. The organization o f these nurseries had been left to
the voluntary agencies responsible fo r the groups o f children in L on­
don, and detailed standards o f care and housing had not been set up
by the Ministry. The Ministry, on receiving reports o f sickness, im­
mediately sent women inspectors or physicians to the nurseries, who
looked into the housing conditions and the milk and water supplies.
Standards o f housing and care were set up, isolation quarters estab­
lished, overcrowding reduced, trained State-registered nurses placed
in each nursery, laboratory facilities made available, and medical care
provided, with pediatric consultation if required. In February 1941
the situation appeared to be under control, though some cases o f
diarrhea were still being reported, and on visits to two nurseries chil­
dren isolated because o f diarrhea were observed. The Ministry o f
Health was receiving reports from all nurseries o f any illness among
the children or staff. The opinion was expressed, however, that more
medical-inspection service was needed from the regional offices o f the
Ministry i f the conditions in the nurseries were to be really satisfactory.

Protective Foods for Children
W ith rationing o f food fo r all the civilian population, special efforts
have been made to provide the protective foods in adequate quantities
fo r children. The Ministry o f Health early declared that children and
pregnant women should be given priority in the distribution o f milk
and a scheme to distribute dried milk through child-welfare and pre­
natal centers and the schools was organized by this Ministry in 1940.
In February 1941 an additional proposal had been made by the Ministry
o f F ood to issue an order giving young children priority in the use o f
oranges. B oth these priority orders have recently been supported by
the M inistry o f Health. Shortages in the supply make the strict en­
forcement o f the priority orders essential i f children are to be pro­
tected. The foods necessary to provide a well-balanced midday meal
in the schools were being made available by the Ministry o f Food and,
as has been pointed out, communal-feeding centers have been estab
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of w a r

an d

c iv il d e f e n s e


c h il d r e n


lished in many o f the evacuation areas and also in reception areas for
evacuated children.
The scarcity o f eggs, cheese, and meat, and their limitation to indi­
vidual families through rationing, has meant that the amounts included
in the diet o f children are greatly limited, except so far as they can be
included in the school meals.1
•Visits to residential nurseries brought out the fact that oranges had
not been available for a good many months for the young children liv­
ing in these nurseries. Health visitors, welfare workers, and others
reported that the shortage of foods containing vitamin C was very
great. Though they preferred to have a supply of orange juice or
grapefruit juice, since the people had been taught to give these foods
to their children, nevertheless they felt that there would be no diffi­
culty in teaching mothers to give their children vitamin C tablets
daily, should these be made available through child-welfare centers and
the schools. The importance o f increasing the supplies o f vitamin C
was emphasized by experts o f both the Ministry o f Health and the
Ministry o f Food.
In July 1940 the Ministry of Food inaugurated the National Milk
Scheme, under which every expectant or nursing mother and every
child under 5 can obtain 1 pint o f milk daily at the reduced price o f 2d.
(compared with 4i/2d. in most areas). I f the parents’ income does not
exceed 40s. a week (plus 6s. for each nonearning dependent) the milk
may be obtained free. After a year’s operation of the scheme, over
3 million persons were benefiting from it (in August 1941). Dried
milk (full cream or half cream) can be obtained on similar terms if a
doctor prescribes it in place o f liquid milk.
Though cod-liver oil was still available to some extent fo r infants,
the resources were very limited, and it was apparent that an in­
crease in the supplies of vitamins A and D would be needed shortly.
Workers in the child-welfare field indicated that vitamins A, D,
and C put up in special capsule form for use for infants would be very

General Morale Among Children and Youth
The morale and general emotional condition of children, both those
under bombing and those evacuated to areas of relative safety, were
on the whole amazingly good under the circumstances. Reports
from many types o f workers with children indicated that, though
1 A report [2Sa] on the “ Deterioration in Health of the Elementary School Children in an
Area of Gloucestershire in Relation to War Conditions,” published since this report was
prepared, indicates that shortage of meat, fish, fruit, and cheese was believed to have
accounted for the increase in absenteeism. There was also an increase in colds, coughs,
and sore throats.
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before the air attack it was expected that many children would
suffer emotionally, the actual facts o f the situation did not prove
this to be the case. The reports indicated, on the other hand, that
many children reacted to the bombing as if it were an adventure.
Even child-guidance workers repeatedly stated that the effect o f the
bombing on children was less than had been expected; and though
great preparations had been made for war neuroses among adults
the number o f cases was extraordinarily small.
A certain number of severe psychoses among children did result,
however, from experiences associated with bombing. Some o f them
finally found their way to hospitals or to child-guidance clinics.
Many less severe disturbances were known to workers, but the total
effect will not be known for some time to come. In the opinion of
some social workers many more children were suffering from emo­
tional disturbance than seemed to be at this time. It was the
opinion o f some child-guidance workers that the neuroses or psy­
choses that did occur were nearly always in children who had his­
tories o f previous emotional disturbances or behavior difficulties
which had flared up as a result of the situation created by bombing
or evacuation. It was evident that children insecure in their own
homes were not able to stand up against the total situation and that
these children particularly reacted unfavorably when they found
their homes destroyed or were removed and placed in foster homes.
Child-guidance and other workers reported that often the fears of
children were transmitted to them by their parents and, vice versa,
a courageous attitude on the part o f parents meant courage and con­
fidence among the children.
Though in general many children did not show severe emotional
strain, observers who continued to live in London during the attacks
indicated that the strain of night after night in shelters and the
continuous uncertainty, coupled with loss o f homes and o f regular
family life, were beginning to tell in the general emotional life of
.the children living in the areas where bombing was most severe.
Reports from settlement-house workers in the east end o f London
brought this out most clearly.
Little children under 6 or 8 years o f age seemed on the whole
to react more favorably to the situation, .but that in some cases
bombing had a severe effect on the emotional life o f even young
children was borne out by the reports of psychologists with regard
to little children suffering from typical psychoses or anxiety neuroses.
Fortunately, the number o f these cases was relatively small. The
effect on the young child who has shown little or no overt reaction
to what must be a seriously disturbing situation in thousands of cases
is not as yet known.
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Older children and young people were reported as reacting with
an urge to activity and a restlessness which resulted often in in­
ability to concentrate on any serious activity. Social workers re­
ported that one group o f young people com ing to the settlement
clubs at the time when the “blitz” began did not want to continue
their usual club activities, but demanded to be allowed to dance late
into the evening. This urge to dance was continuous throughout the
several weeks o f the “blitz,” and nothing that the settlement work­
ers could suggest would divert the young people from this interest.
W hen alerts sounded and the young people found that they must
seek shelter, they often preferred to go to shelters in groups, sepa­
rate from their families. It was not until some weeks after the
“ blitz” had started that the settlement workers were able to get theyoung people to participate in other types o f activities or to initiate
any projects that were constructive in character. The first type o f
new activity that the young people wanted to undertake was dramat­
ics. In February 1941, 6 months after the onset o f the “ blitz,” the
young people in this settlement in the East End were once again
finding an interest in a somewhat larger variety o f projects, though
their chief interest still was in dramatics.
Except for this urge on the part o f young people for activity, which
may have led them to seek adventure away from their families, the effect
o f the “ blitz” was to solidify fam ily feeling and family life. Many
families when bombed out, though theoretically desirous o f evacuating
their children to safer areas, kept them at home because o f the desire
o f the parents to have the children near and to protect them. The
sense o f insecurity which children o f all ages must have had as a result
o f the loss o f homes and the general destruction about them was miti­
gated perhaps, at least to some extent, by their feeling o f security
within the family. One social worker, in speaking o f this tremendously
strong family and home feeling, pointed out how difficult it was for
city dwellers, even though bombed out o f their homes and shelters, to
decide to break up the fam ily life and leave home to go to the country.
Families that had never before had to depend on public authorities
fo r assistance knew fo r the first time what it was to have to seek aid.
In many cases families that were bombed out could make no plans that
would give them a sense o f security and had no promise o f new homes.
Many families preferred staying in the area o f the city which they
knew as home and where they had friends, even though it was seriously
damaged, because o f the strangeness and the sense o f insecurity that
came with moving into a new area where new friends would have to be
made. A ll this instability o f family life, loss o f home and possessions,
movement from place to place, must be having its effect upon the
children in the families.
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It is difficult, however, to weigh the effect on children of life o f this
sort in the city against the effect of separation and of insecurity result­
ing from removal from the home and placement in a foster home in
the country. The history of evacuation, however, would indicate that
public opinion was in favor of removal o f children from the bombed
areas. The decision which the authorities made in establishing the
policy o f evacuation was based primarily on the consideration that
the preservation of the lives, safety, and general well-being of children
was the primary objective. The opinions expressed among social and
health workers in London after 6 months of bombing would bear out
the wisdom of the Government’s policy. Nearly every worker or
observer interviewed agreed in February 1941 that children were best
off away from the bombing. The fact that the parents of five-sixths
o f the school children and of the children under 5 had by January 1,
1941, voluntarily cooperated with the Government in evacuating their
children to places of relative safety indicates that the people agreed
with the Government.

Effect of Evacuation on the Emotional Life of Children
The mass evacuation of children which took place both before and
after the onset of bombing must be regarded as an important civildefense measure, and one not undertaken without careful considera­
tion o f the many effects upon the children. In the first evacuation, in
September 1939, nearly a million children were removed from their
own homes and placed largely in foster families in the country within
a period o f 4 days. It was a planned mass migration—the greatest
child-placing project ever undertaken. It should be borne in mind
that the group placed was a cross section of all children in the popu­
lation except those in families who were in a position to find their own
accommodations. This meant that the majority probably were children
from homes where family life was on the whole reasonably well
adjusted and that the proportion of children who were “ difficult” or
were known to have behavior problems before evacuation, or whose
parents were in difficulty, was smaller than in any group o f children
coming to a child-placing agency for foster-home care in normal times.
Though many children placed in strange surroundings immediately
showed reactions which without doubt were due to emotional disturb­
ances, such as the sudden onset o f enuresis or other psychosomatic
difficulties, petty delinquencies such as thieving, or other asocial be­
havior, the great majority o f children fitted into their new homes with
reasonable success.
The return home of a large number of children of school age during
the first few weeks after evacuation was apparently due more to the
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absence o f bombing in London and to the desire of the parents to have
the children with them, or the unwillingness of parents to leave chil­
dren in a community the life o f which was very strange to them, than
to maladjustments o f the children themselves to their new homes,
though naturally “ misfits” did account for the return of a good number.
Later, when the drift back to London had practically ceased and the
400,000 children left in their new homes had settled down to a normal
routine, it was possible to judge more accurately the number o f misfits.
It was estimated in some areas where data were available that not
more than 10 or 15 percent o f the children should be classified as diffi­
cult for placement. The difficulties were due to a number o f causes,
among which various behavior problems or minor emotional disturb­
ances took first place.
Authorities did not foresee the need that would arise for the imme­
diate congregate care o f children who for one reason or another were
difficult to place in individual foster homes. Enuresis was a common
cause o f difficulty. Many cases of acute enuresis were handled suc­
cessfully by rebilleting children in families that were responsive to the
children’s emotional needs. Cases of chronic enuresis frequently had
to be dealt with in hostels for the care of such children. In the analy­
sis of a series o f cases carried by a child-guidance worker in a county
north o f London during the first year of evacuation, enuresis accounted
for nearly 28 percent of the original complaints. Other psychoso­
matic disturbances, such as fecal incontinence, speech disorders, sleep
walking, contributed another 10 percent, and psychoneurotic disorders,
including anxiety neuroses and depression, 25 percent. Behavior dis­
orders, including petty thieving and other types of aggressive and un­
manageable behavior, made up still another 25 percent, and educa­
tional difficulties, including mental defects and retarded speech, ac­
counted for 11 percent.
Child guidance.

The occurrence o f these behavior and emotional disturbances among
children in the reception areas stimulated almost at once requests on the
part of health and other officials for the assignment of social workers
and child-guidance workers from London to assist in the supervision
and care of these children, the establishment of suitable hostels for
their temporary or more permanent care, their supervision in foster
homes, and the development o f other community activities to help in
the adjustment o f these and other children to their new surroundings.
Almost immediately after the first evacuation in September 1939, the
Mental Health Emergency Committee [&£] offered to assign mentalhealth workers to a few of the reception areas for the purpose of help­
ing to deal with evacuation problems among children, to set up childguidance clinics, and to establish registers o f social workers trained in
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mental health and o f voluntary workers. The number o f workers
that could be lent was small, but during the year and a half since the
first evacuation a number o f workers have been lent to reception
areas, seven new child-guidance clinics have been opened in the prov­
inces, and the importance o f the contribution to be made by these
workers has become fully realized by the health and other authorities
in many o f the counties.

In November 1939 the Mental Health Emergency Committee sug­
gested to the Ministry of Health that a useful purpose could be served
if a survey o f existing hostels for children were instituted. In May
1940 such a survey was requested by one of the senior regional medical
officers o f the Ministry o f Health. This survey was carried out and
proved valuable to the Ministry o f Health and the local authorities
because it assisted in reclassifying the hostels and indicated the types
o f hostels it was necessary to establish on a regional basis. The survey
\%5] pointed out that there should be not only sick bays for children
suffering from minor physical conditions, but also clearing and obser­
vation homes where difficult children could be observed for a period of
time, homes for children suffering from temporary emotional disturb­
ances, and, lastly, homes for children with persistent psychological diffi­
culties. The recommendations included statements concerning the
qualifications of personnel necessary to staff the observation homes
for difficult children and pointed out that all the homes should, when
at all possible, have psychiatric advice available.
The need for providing more workers in the child-guidance field, and
therefore the need for more extended facilities, was stated repeatedly in
interviews. It was believed that social workers and others suitable for
training were available. The finances and facilities for training are
inadequate at the present time.
Child-care workers.

The appointment o f child-care workers from the London child-care
committees to serve in the regional offices of the Ministry of Health and
also in the county health departments will help very considerably in
meeting the need of the local authorities for workers who understand
these emotional disturbances in children. It was the opinion o f local
health workers that with a child-guidance worker available to give
specialized advice and a child-care worker in the county to help with
community organization o f case-work and group activities most o f the
problems among children could be handled.
Reports and articles on psychological aspects o f evacuation.

Much has been reported in the press, in parliamentary debates, in
magazines and books regarding the problems arising from evacuation.
Perhaps the most pertinent o f the printed articles that relate to the
emotional life of the evacuated child are those prepared by a group o f
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child-guidance workers and published first under the general title,
“ Emotional Problems of the Evacuation” [80], and later as a booklet
called “ Children in War-Time” [87]. Here are to be found discussions
and recommendations for further action on emotional disturbances
among children removed suddenly under conditions of stress from their
families, on problems of the young child, on the reactions of the mother
who has been deprived o f her children, on the problems o f foster par­
ents and teachers, on visiting by parents, and on homes for difficult
children. Some conclusions reached by these writers are worth repeat­
ing here.
In summing up her article on “ The Uprooted Child , Dr. Susan
Isaacs says:
Evacuated children have three deep needs. First, they need not only
shelter, food, and clothing, but warmth of atmosphere, love, and friendli­
ness. They need a home. They can no more live without love and warm
friendliness than they can without food and shelter.
Secondly, they need an active social life among their companions, to­
gether with the space, material, and opportunity for play, and for all the
creative activities (arts and crafts, drama, books, excursions) which
will enable them to feel that they are still learning and creating, and help
them understand the new aspects of life with which they are surrounded.
Play centers and their own schools should give them these active experi­
ences of the new world they now live in.
Thirdly, they need help in keeping alive the images of their parents and
their loyalties to their own homes. The foster parents, the schools, the
social agencies, cannot serve these children fully if they break these links.
They can do so only if they show a friendly attitude to the children’s own
family and home life. And this is not a mere matter of allowing or en­
couraging visits from parents. It has much more to do with attitudes
and feelings. The boon of good food, country air, new experiences, a bet­
ter way of life, are little worth if they are allowed to drive a wedge
between the child and his own parents.

Dr. John Bowlby, writing on “The Problem of the Young Child”
from the psychiatrist’s point of view, recommends:
1. That suitable accommodation should be provided in reception areas
for those mothers who are willing to go with their younger children.
Such accommodation should not be in other people s houses, but should
provide the evacuated mother with a little home of her own either in an
empty cottage or as part of a community of mothers and children in a
large house.
2. In the case of children whose mothers cannot leave the danger
areas, every effort should be made to arrange for them to go either to
friends or relations already in a safe area or with friend^ who are them­
selves being evacuated.
3. Where this cannot be arranged it should be considered whether the
child is not better off with his mother in an evacuation area than in a
reception area with a stranger. Babies under 2 years old should on no
account be evacuated to the care of strangers.
4. I f small children are evacuated without either mothers or friends,
every possible care should be taken to see that they remain in the care of
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one person during the period of their evacuation. To this end it is sug­
gested that as many children as possible should be placed in families
with willing foster mothers, but that where special workers are em­
ployed these workers should be appointed as foster mothers to particular
children instead of as nurses to a large group of children. In this way
it is hoped to encourage a sense of personal interest and responsibility to
individual children amongst the helpers.
Every encouragement should be given to mothers to visit their little
children regularly, if possible at least monthly.

In his article, “The Deprived Mother,” D. W. Winnicott summarizes
as follow s:
1. When a mother is suddenly relieved of her children her whole life
is thrown out of gear. Time is required for her to reorganize her
interests satisfactorily.

2. She is helped by being accurately informed of the extent of the real
danger of keeping her children at home.
3. She is also helped by knowing her child is to be well cared for in the
billet, especially if she can feel, and can be allowed to feel, that she and
the foster mother are cooperating with each other.
4. Strong feelings are liable to be roused when children and parents
are separated from each other. Jealousy and suspicion appear, as well
as blind overreliance. It is more valuable to study the causes of such
feelings than to condemn them.
5. When children return home their mother has to make another
difficult adjustment, one which will again require time.

The problems of foster parents are presented in an article on “FosterParents,” by Ruth Thomas, an educational psychologist. Miss
Thomas points out that—
1. The problems of selection of foster homes, of fitting children into
suitable homes, of seeing behind the reasons which people adduce for
their difficulties, call for the skill of a trained social worker.
2. Information about children and foster parents must be of a more
than haphazard kind.
3. Permanent workers are needed to keep in close and constant touch
with foster parents.
4. Social workers are needed to set up foster-home registers from
which billets for especially difficult children are chosen and for which
special allowances are paid.
5. All the problems are not psychological, but involve setting up cer­
tain community services to relieve the strain on the foster parents, as
communal laundries, communal feeding, mending and sewing clubs, and
play centers for children.

In her article on “Visiting,” Dr. Sybille L. Yates, a psychiatrist,
recommends that^—
1. Visits of parents to children at regular monthly intervals are de­
2. Those visits should not begin too early, say not for 3 or 4 weeks
after the child has been evacuated unless acute distress goes on mani­
festing itself.
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3. Places be provided in the reception area where parents and children
can meet outside the billet.
4. Older children but not younger ones should he permitted to go home
for holidays while possible.

Other articles that should be mentioned are (1) that by Edna M.
Henshaw, “ Sortie Psychological Difficulties of Evacuation” [&?], which
is a report of a study for the Bradford Education Committee of 85
cases of billeting difficulty made by the Child Guidance Council, and
(2) that by Cyril Burt on “ The Incidence of Neurotic Symptoms.
Among Evacuated School Children” [##].
Two studies of groups of evacuated children from the psychological
viewpoint have been made and should be referred to here. They are
the Liverpool study \30~\ and the Cambridge study \3i\.
Liverpool study.




The first study [W ] made by the Department o f Social Science of
the University of Liverpool was undertaken “to discover the ‘real tacts
about the reaction of the population to the scheme and to apply a reli­
able test to popular criticisms of it.” The study was undertaken m
October 1939 in two parts. The first, conducted in a working-class
district in Liverpool, was an attempt to look at the evacuation problem
from the standpoint of the guest rather than the host; the second con­
sisted of an inquiry in the reception areas to observe and study the
difficulties there. The study was based on information obtained m
house-to-house interviews by former students in the Department of
Social Science, social workers who volunteered to do the work, an
other volunteers.
A summary of the first part of the study follow s.
It has been found that the main difficulties a r e .
1. The great difficulty of the mother in adapting herself to the new
environment, the host in accepting the intrusion of somebody who has a
different standard of living.
2. The fact that the separation of the parents from the child e
frequently gives rise to a serious emotional problem.
3. The urgent economic problems raised by the necessity of buying
more and better clothes for the children, and the cost of fares to visit
them, so long as the saving on the cost of their keep does not compensate

for the extras they require.
4. Lack of selection in placing the children (e. g., those who are found
to be unhealthy or verminous), and in some instances poor organization
resulted in the immediate return of mothers from reception areas m
which adequate accommodation was not available.
5. The removal of thè children from the reception areas by parents
without due consideration or consultation.
6. The departure of the mother from the home, leaving behind mem­
bers of the family who are unused to managing on their own, with resu
ing difficulty and the possibility of the home being still further broken
up. In addition there is the economic difficulty of keeping two homes
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So long as air raids are not serious these problems cannot be entirely

evacuatedd’ ^

PaFticular’ the large maj ° rlty of the mothers cannot be

Suggestions for meeting these problems are as follows •
Many of' the problems could be solved if trained ’social workers
were appointed m each reception area to visit the homes regularly and
give informal advice to the hosts on the care of the children and their
education and straighten out any difficulties the hosts may have had
with the children.

2 Propaganda through the medium o f wireless talks, women’s pages
in the press, and women’s papers.
3. It is essential that each reception area should find out beforehand
how many mothers and how many children they could take and notify
the appropriate authorities so that only evacuees for whom there was a
o f f i n T Pi aC<L W° Uld bG S6nt away- A t the same time the evacuation
officials should arrange for a medical examination of the evacuees and
those unsuitabie for private houses should be sent immediately to camps
«■H U U O o L G IS.

4. Some regulation should be made whereby parents could not take
eir children away from their hosts without the consent of the appro­
priate education authority.

i The/ ! ? 0nid part o f the LiverP°ol study covered some o f the prob­
lems of the hostess and her difficulties, the behavior of the children,
problems o f enuresis and of verminous children, problems raised bv
visits from parents, and questions o f the adequacy o f the billeting
allowance. The study also considered two additional questions: “Whv
the children left,” and “Is future evacuation possible?” The conclu
sions o f this part of the study were, in brief, as follows:
1 The evacuation scheme, despite its voluntary basis, has not entirely
broken down. The majority of the hpsts behaved splendidly and suc­
ceeded in making the children entrusted to them happy. A great number
of the parents cooperated to the best of their abilities.
facts ^ hat the SCheme WaS n0t 8 complete s"ccess was due to the following
a. Faulty organization in the billeting of dirty, verminous, and
enuretic children.

b. The removal of children from their billets by parents on the
impulse of the moment.
c. A certain number of hosts were not prepared to make sacrifices
by accepting the heavy extra work entailed and by giving up their

d. Public opinion was influenced against the scheme by those
people who did not wish to cooperate, whilst the people who believed
that it was workable did not express themselves strongly enough.
e. No central authority was appointed in reception areas to deal
with the problems which arose, to give a lead to the parents and
hosts who were uncertain in their attitude, and to make active
propaganda to influence public opinion in favor of the scheme.
3 As to the apportionment of responsibility for the individual cases
of failure, it was found that 60 percent of the parents were to blame
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for bringing their children home without justifiable cause, 30 percent
of the hosts sent the children away because they did not wish to cooperate,
and a mere 10 percent of the children returned because they were
naughty or fretting.
4. The evacuation scheme made clear that the general standards of
cleanliness and hygiene leave much to be desired, and the appreciation
of the value of education is much lower in a certain group of the
population than might have been supposed. * * *
5. I f the authorities concerned had used the services of tutors qualified
in medical psychology, or carried out a short research before the scheme
was drawn up, a great many of the mistakes would have been
avoided. * * *
6. The investigation has also shown that a great number of our
children suffer from enuresis and are treated wrongly. It is therefore
high time that research on a large scale should be started to find out its
causes and to recommend effective remedies.
The conclusions arrived at as the result of the enquiries outlined in
the present report are, in general, reassuring. So far as there have been
break-downs in the evacuation scheme the administrative machinery
would appear to be at fault, rather than any fundamental weakness
in the ties which bind our community together, or absence of public spirit
on the part of hosts or parents of evacuated children. It may, in the
first place, be assumed that the majority of hosts could be persuaded, if
approached in the right way, to take evacuees again without compulsion,
provided that they could be assured that certain mistakes in the first
evacuation scheme would not be repeated, the most important assurances
to this end being that only clean children would be billeted and that
parents would not be allowed to take their children home for trivial or
unsatisfactory reasons.
From the material gathered it seems clear that many of the difficulties
encountered could have been avoided if there had been a central authority
in each district ready to offer advice on all difficult problems, particularly
psychological problems of behavior as well as the more obvious ones
relating to material needs. * * * A ll through the enquiry the fact
emerged again and again that if there had been some properly qualified
person in the reception areas armed with authority to advise or to deal
with the problems that arose a great number of the difficulties would have
been smoothed out and the children allowed to remain in the “safe”
areas. It was suggested in the preliminary report that a trained social
worker in each area could have performed services of infinite value, and
this conviction was greatly strengthened by the findings of the final
The difficulties in the reception areas were, in the main, left to be
solved by local voluntary committees, assisted in most districts by
Women’s Voluntary Services.
The achievements of the workers
associated with these bodies deserve the highest praise; what is remark­
able is, not that they achieved little, but that they achieved so
much. * * * It is obviously impossible, however, for anyone but a
trained and experienced social worker who shares the knowledge and
the skill of, say, the hospital almoner or the probation officer, to deal
with the acute situation presented by the evacuation of so many of the
members of what has been termed, inaccurately but graphically, the
“social problem group.”
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Cambridge survey.

A second study [31] o f the success of evacuation was made in
December 1939, and though the final report is not out the study may
be referred to here. It was an inquiry, conducted in Cambridge by a
special committee under the chairmanship o f Dr. Susan Isaacs, into
p°nse(lDences o f the evacuation, particularly those affecting the
children themselves. The committee wanted to find out how far a
satisfactory relationship had been established between evacuated
children and their foster parents, and to investigate the causes of such
wisatistactory adaptations as were found. Details of the study cannot
be given m this report because of lack o f full details. A preliminary
report, however, stated:
1. On information obtained from inquiry cards and other sources
the satisfactoriness of the relationship of each child to his foster parent
was assessed on a five-point scale. This relationship was found to be
on the whole, satisfactory, but less so for the older children.

2. The age of the foster mother did not seem to affect the satis­
factoriness of this adjustment.
3. It seemed not to be adversely affected by frequent visits from the
real parent.
4. The presence of the child’s own brothers and sisters in the billet
was found to be very favorable to a satisfactory adjustment.
5. The presence of other children (Cambridge children or evacuees)
was found to be relatively unimportant to the boys, but more favorable
to a good adjustment for the girls than was complete isolation from
other children.

6. Aggressiveness and delinquency appeared to be the types of be­
havior trouble most disturbing to this adjustment.
7* Difference o f I. Q. appeared to be of no importance in determining
the satisfactoriness of adjustment to the conditions of billeting.

In March 1940, in view o f the fact that the Government had issued
a new evacuation scheme, the Cambridge Research Committee, after
considering the data from the Cambridge survey and other evidence
prepared a series of recommendations
on evacuation. The main
recommendations relate to practices which would affect the success of
any future scheme. They are as follows:
1. Members of the same family should be sent to the same district.
This pro­
vision is particularly desirable in the case of selective central
secondary, and technical schools.

2. School units should be maintained as far as is practicable.

3. Certain facts should be obtained about each child before evacuation,
and these should be conveyed to the receiving authority.
4. Parents’ visits to children should be encouraged by granting special
facilities for travel.
5. In all evacuating areas, centers should be available where parents
whose children have been sent away should be able to consult
social workers about the welfare of their children and about other
family matters connected with evacuation
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6. Two types of helpers should be appointed by and responsible to the
evacuating authority.
7. Two types of professional social workers should be appointed by and
responsible to the receiving authority.

8 The billeting officer should in every case he an individual who has
special knowledge of the needs of children and of local social con­
ditions, and the method of appointment should be regularized to
meet this requirement.
9. In reception areas certain additional facts should be obtained about
prospective foster homes.
10. In addition to- foster homes, there should be provided in each reception
area: (a ) A temporary hostel; ( 6 ) emergency and observation
hom es; (c) a home or homes for difficult children.

11 Billeting officers should be advised of certain considerations to be
borne in mind when placing individual children in foster homes.
12. Receiving authorities should provide a place where parents can meet
their evacuated children.
13. Preparation for the recreation of evacuated children should be made
by the appropriate organizations before their arrival.
•14. Prospective foster parents should be informed of their rights in regard
to compensation for dilapidation.

Juvenile Delinquency
Reports \32a\ from the Home Office indicate that delinquency,
among children particularly, is “ on the upgrade.” Comparison of
figures for indictable offenses in 1939 and 1940 shows that there was a
marked increase among children under 14 years of age and a smaller
increase among young persons between 14 and 17. Though the total
number o f cases of delinquency among girls was only a small proportion
o f the total number among boys, the percentage increase among girls
was greater than that among boys. This held true for girls under 14
and for those between the ages of 14 and 17. For young people from
17 to 21 the increase was slight, and for persons over 21 there was a

It was believed at the Home Office that the increase in delinquency
in the large cities was due to a number of factors, and that the closing
of schools after the evacuation, combined with the fact that evacuation
was not compulsory, accounted for a considerable proportion. The
placement of children in families where the habits of living and cus­
toms were different from those to which the children were accustomed
also was felt to be an element in the increase in minor delinquencies
among the evacuated children. Authorities in the Home Office felt
that the present rapid development of the youth movement and the
organization o f youth recreation centers under the Board of Education
would do much to help control the increase in delinquency.
The Home Office reported that the approved schools were greatly
overcrowded and that plans were then under way to start a dozen new
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schools. To establish these new schools a number of large mansions
had been taken over in which boys were to be placed in units of 100 to
150, but girls in units of only 30 to 40. One special school for girls
has been started, which is in the form o f a hostel where the girls live
and from which they go out to work in factories or in domestic
Recent newspaper reports [33] from London state that psychologists
lay the blame for the crime wave in England on the “war-fostered
hankering for adventure” and “ the lack of parental control, due to
fathers joining the fighting services, mothers working on civil defense
or in war factories, and homes being broken up through evacuation or
bombing.” The press reports also that most of the offenses consist of
housebreaking during blackouts or air raids, looting, shopbreaking,
thefts from automatic machines, and stealing of bicycles. Industrial
centers, particularly those heavily bombed, are reported to be “black
spots in juvenile crime.” The figures given by the Home Office tend
to bear out these press statements, especially with respect to de­
linquency among children under 14.
With respect to the extent o f moral delinquency among girls there
seems to be some difference o f opinion. From a national leader in the
field of girls’ club work the report came that the problem among
15-year-old and 16-year-old girls near military camps and establish­
ments was greater than many people were willing to admit and was
present all over the country wherever the troops were stationed.
Though there is considerable development of welfare work for the
women in the women’s branches o f the military forces (the Women’s
Auxiliary A ir Force, the Women’s Eoyal Naval Service, and the Aux­
iliary Territorial Service), it is reported that the welfare workers with
these groups were not thoroughly experienced in girls’ club work and
that they were not familiar with what was happening outside the mili­
tary organization. The need for social and recreational clubs for
young girls in the neighborhood o f military camps and establishments
is said to be known to local constables and probation officers. The
need for the extension o f the women police into these communities is
This latter opinion was also expressed by an experienced woman
police officer in London, who reported that there is inadequate provi­
sion o f women police in many of the cities in the provinces, as well as
in London. This policewoman was o f the opinion that there is less
commercialized vice in England during this war than in the last war.
This is particularly due, in her opinion, to the fact that petrol is so
Prostitution is not a crime in England. Only when solicitation is
carried to the point of annoyance can the prostitute be arrested. She
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cannot be brought in on the ground that she is infected with venereal
disease. The opinion was expressed that the problem of social protec­
tion o f girls should be met by women police working together with
other social workers.
It was the opinion o f this woman police officer that the problem of
protection of young girls near military establishments is now a small­
town problem. She felt that the inclusion o f women and girls in thé
military forces (the Women’s Auxiliary A ir Force, the Women’s Royal
Naval Service, and the Auxiliary Territorial Service) has had a favor­
able effect upon the social attitudes o f the military organizations.
Recreational activities developed for the women have tended to raise
the general standard o f recreation in the forces for the men, and
often recreational activities are developed to reach both the men and
the women.
This latter point was confirmed by the Commandant o f the Women’s
Auxiliary Air Force, who indicated that the men and women o f the
Royal Air Force work together satisfactorily and have many recrea­
tional activities in common. There is active competition between
them in various games, and the men of the Royal Air Force take pride
in the skills and competence of the women in the force. The Com­
mandant stated that there was very little immorality among the women
in the Royal Air Force. Delinquent girls or women are not tolerated
in the force. It was the opinion o f the Commandant that there was
relatively little prostitution in the neighborhood o f the Royal Air
Force establishments where girls were in the forces.
With respect to the shelters, it was reported by the London woman
police officer that there was much exaggeration in the reports o f moral
delinquency among young people seeking refuge in large shelters.
This viewpoint was confirmed by other social workers. The need for
youth recreation centers and hostels, and clubwork in connection with
shelter life was stressed. The woman police officer pointed out that
excellent work was being done in clubs for boys and girls, and in eve­
ning institutes and classes that are being established in shelters under
the auspices of the London Youth Committee. There is still further
need, in her opinion, for development o f this program, since conditions
in a few o f the centers are not good. Women police visit the shelters
regularly and aid the wardens and marshals in handling some of the
problems among the young people.

Youth Recreation Centers
On No vember 27,1939, a circular (1486) \SJf\ was issued by the Board
of Education describing the appointment o f the National Youth Com­
mittee to advise the President o f the Board of Education and the or­
ganization o f a special branch of the Board to administer grants to
432652°— 42------ 4
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local authorities for the maintenance and development o f youth recre­
ation facilities. The National Youth Committee includes members
o f local education authorities and voluntary organizations and others
competent to speak on behalf of industry, medicine, and physical train­
ing. The purpose of the committee, as described in the Board’s cir­
cular, is to provide central guidance and leadership to the youth move­
ment throughout the country. The committee is advised by the Stand­
ing Conference o f Juvenile Organisations (representing 13 national
The program is intended to serve boys and girls between the ages
of 14 and 20, especially those who have ceased full-time education.
The circular pointed out that considerably less than half of the boys
and girls o f these ages belonged to any youth organization in England.
In some parts o f the country, clubs and other facilities for social and
physical recreation were almost nonexistent. The war has emphasized
this defect in the social services and indicates that the blackout, the
strain o f war, and the disorganization of family life have created con­
ditions which constitute a serious menace to youth. The development
o f the work o f the National Youth Committee is an effort on the part
o f the Government to prevent the recurrence during this war of the
social problem that arose during the last. The National Youth Com­
mittee will have as its counterparts local youth committees representa­
tive o f both the local education authorities and the voluntary organi­
zations. For administrative purposes the local education authorities
communicate directly with the Board of Education, but the National
Youth Committee welcomes suggestions from both the local education
authorities and voluntary organizations on any matters affecting
The Board o f Education makes grants o f tw o sorts:
1. To national and local voluntary organizations. Under the Social
and Physical Training Grant Regulations the Board is empowered to
make direct grants—
а. To national organizations to defray incidental expenses of
organization and administration and also towards the training of
leaders and instructors of youth w ork;
б. To local voluntary bodies for the provision or maintenance
of social and recreative facilities for young people; these grants
cover such items as leaders’ salaries, rent of premises, and equip­
2. To local education authorities. Under Section 86 of the Educa­
tion Act, 1921, as amended by the Physical Training and Recreation
Act, 1937, the local education authorities have power themselves to pro­
vide and maintain, or by cash grant to aid suitable local voluntary
bodies to provide and maintain, social and recreative facilities for

The approved expenditure incurred by local education authorities
in these ways is recognized for grant under the Higher Education
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Grant Regulations, the Board’s share being approximately 50 per­
cent. The .local club or other voluntary organization must report
on its activities to the Board of Education, must have a proper
treasurer, and must show audited statements.
In its circular (1486) the Board o f Education indicated to the
local youth committees that it was their duty to formulate plans to
meet the needs of youth in their localities, and recommended that
the committees consider not only the use o f leisure time but various
social and economic problems upon which the welfare of youth largely
depends. The committees were advised to outline plans for the
development o f new facilities. The circular points out that it is the
task of the local youth committees not to conduct youth activities
but to strengthen the hands of local authorities and voluntary organi­
zations. Young people themselves should be encouraged to find
through the local youth committees new constructive outlets for their
leisure hours and for voluntary national service. Local education
authorities may give the use of their school premises free or at reduced
charges and they may make special concessions in their evening
institutes to local voluntary organizations.
The program developed under the National Youth Committee and
the local counterparts represents an association of voluntary effort
with that of the public authorities. Under the youth committees
the traditions and experience o f the voluntary organizations are joined
with the prestige and resources of the local education authority. A
circular (1516) [35~\ issued on June 27, 1940, discusses the program
o f the Board o f Education further, outlines the relation between
the public authorities and the voluntary organizations, and makes sug­
gestions for different types of organizations under the local youth
committees, such as separate clubs or units, youth centers, recreational
evening institutes, and emergency clubs. The problem o f training
o f youth is also discussed, and the question of leadership is taken
up. The circular was issued to stimulate enthusiasm for leadership
and training. Under this program youth centers have been organized
all over the country.
In London the program is developed under the Department of
Education o f the London County Council [36,37], Youth recreation
centers are being organized in settlements and in many other social
centers. Clubs are being organized in connection with the shelters,
and great effort is being made to get large numbers of young people
throughout the city to join one organization or another. It was
reported that more than half o f the young people between 14 and 20
years of age do not belong to any youth organization. The youth
recreation centers are being developed in an attempt to meet this
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In the shelters two types o f work are being developed. First, a
settlement or club seeks funds through the local A. R. P, to have its
premises made safe so that they can be used as a shelter day and
night. The Minister o f Home Security has agreed to permit this
to be done with the use of A. R. P. funds. The local community may
pay 40 percent of the cost or it may pay nothing. Bunks and bedding
are provided if the settlement presents suitable plans for “ sleeping
the young people.” Secondly, attempts are being made to get local
authorities to provide special shelters or give over one bay of a
shelter, so that clubwork can be conducted for young people in the
Training for leadership in the youth movement is carried out
through the use of grants from the Board of Education. The money
may be used for local leadership courses conducted 1 night a week
over a period of several weeks or concentrated into 1 week’s time.
Other types <of training are carried on through the National Council
o f Girls’ Clubs and other social-service organizations [J#]. Social
workers are being trained in schools of social work for group work.
Club members are accepted also for training in a 10-week intensive
course with residential experience for first-class candidates in settle­
ments. This last type of training is a wartime measure. Volunteers
are also being trained by trained workers in girls’ clubs. The Board
of Education itself is conducting short courses of a fortnight’s dura­
tion for youth leaders and organizers.
Two organizations to interest boys in civil defense and in training
for the air corps have been established, one called the Civil Defense
League, for boys 14 to 18 years o f age, the other called the A ir Train­
ing Corps, for boys 16 to 20. In rural areas the organization of Youth
Service Squads has been developed for boys 14 to 18 years o f age.
Each of these organizations has been catching the imagination of
boys all over the country.
It is believed that a comparable organization for girls should be
developed. A Junior W. V. S. has been proposed, but there has been
some opposition to this on the part o f persons who do not want young
girls to become a part of the “ war machine” or, on the other hand, to
be “ pushed back into knitting and raising babies.”
The National Council o f Girls’ Clubs has put forward a scheme
[39] for the consideration of local education authorities, youth com­
mittees, and other club leaders which would give an opportunity to
young people to render service and learn the discipline of training.
This scheme proposes a new organization to be called the “ Service
Cadets.” The proposal, which was presented to the Board of Educa­
tion in early March 1941, is an attempt to present a balanced leisure­
time program o f service for girls or boys between the ages of 16 and
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20 years. The proposed plan o f organization has been drawn up with
a view to making the movement a permanent one in British national
life. It is recommended, therefore, that every care should be taken
to preserve the individual character of the service cadets and to give
them as much background and stability as possible while encouraging
service which is of a lasting nature. In the proposal, the National
Council of Girls’ Clubs offered to assist the “ Service Cadets” scheme
in any way possible. A summer school to train cadets and leaderorganizers is proposed, and a series of types of work is outlined.
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The great evacuation o f children1 and mothers from the industrial
centers of England which took place in September 1939 and continued
in waves or trickles during the succeeding months, depending upon the
military situation or intensity of bombing, was and still is one of the
most remarkable social phenomena of the war. It has undoubtedly
been one of the important factors contributing to the maintenance of
the high morale among the people. When making its report on evacua­
tion to the Government in July 1938, the Anderson Committee, in dis­
cussing the arguments for evacuation stated: “ It [evacuation] is a
matter on which the whole issue of any future war may well turn.”
Though the first mass evacuation resulted in the return within 3
months of approximately half of the children o f school age and a very
large majority of the mothers to the evacuated areas, there can be no
doubt that the development of the plan and the experience gained in
this first large effort made possible a still more orderly and continu­
ous evacuation of children at a later date, when invasion seemed
imminent and bombing actually started.
Though many parents preferred to keep their children with them
until bombing actually started, many others took advantage of the
Government’s scheme to place children in areas of relative safety. The
fact that their children were being cared for satisfactorily away from
London has made it possible for many men and women to continue work
in the cities without feeling that they themselves should leave in order
to take their children to places of safety. It would appear that the
general morale among the workers has been favorably influenced by
the evacuation scheme.
As has been pointed out in the previous section, not less important in
the long run is the fact that hundreds o f thousands of children have
1 For the most comprehensive description of the evacuation scheme up to May 1940, the
reader is referred to a volume of reports U0] written by a group of collaborating authors
and edited by Richard Padley and Margaret Cole of the Fabian Society. The reports
were prepared during the winter and spring of 1939—40 and discuss the history of the
evacuation scheme and the problems arising in its train. It was prepared, therefore,
during the period when the results of the scheme seemed least satisfactory and before
the plans could be tested by evacuation under the tension and pressure resulting from
the invasion of the Low Countries and the bombing of London. Many of the reasons
for the early difficulties and the return of evacuees to London are discussed at length.
Individual sections deal with the administrative scheme, with the effect on local admin­
istration and the social services, including, public health, school medical services, health
visitors, and education, with special problems of the school child, family life, nutrition,
higher education, and psychological aspects, and with experience in various districts.
The reports give a vivid picture of the whole experiment and are most helpful in under­
standing the reactions of well-informed persons toward the scheme. The volume should
be read by any student of the subject of evacuation.
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been saved from what must be regarded as the seriously disturbing
effects of continued bombing and exposure to the devastating experi­
ences of losing their homes and of living in shelters. The effect of
evacuation on the physical condition of children is, in general, reported
to be good. Emotional disturbances^ usually of a minor type, have been
fairly numerous among evacuated children, occurring, in some com­
munities where observations have been possible, in as many as 10 per­
cent. When weighed against the unknown long-time effects of life in
cities under bombardment, to say nothing of the actual physical danger,
the emotional effects on children of being removed from home and
taken to live in a household or residential nursery in the country would
appear to be relatively far less important. Today, after 18 months of
experience with evacuation, 6 months of which have been under bomb­
ing, London authorities are convinced that continuation of the plan is
desirable for thinning the population in the congested areas of indus­
trial centers.
The period o f planning for evacuation extended from May 1938 to
September 1939, when the first major evacuation took place. During
this time the Home Office, the Ministry of Health, the Board of Educa­
tion, the Ministry o f Transport, and the local authorities undertook the
detailed preparation of plans both for the removal of children from
London and other industrial areas of potential danger and for the
transportation of children and their reception in areas of relative safety
at not too great distances from their homes.

Period of Initial Planning, May-September 1938
The Anderson report.


The Home Secretary on May 24, 1938, appointed a committee under
the chairmanship o f Sir John Anderson to review fully the various
aspects of the problem of transferring persons from areas which were
likely to be exposed to continuous air attack. The committee studied
the question at length and heard testimony from official and voluntary
agencies and members of the public.
In its report
issued July 26,1938, the committee recommended
that plans should be prepared for the evacuation of certain classes of
the population of the largest and most densely congested industrial
areas and outlined general principles on which the detailed plans for
evacuation should be based. The report formed the foundation on
which the evacuation arrangements subsequently adopted were based.
It formulated the general evacuation policy and recommended the
broad lines on which it might most usefully proceed.
It should be pointed out that the recommendations of the Anderson
report were based on the belief that mass air raids on military targets
and industrial areas in London would probably take place at once fol-
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lowing a declaration of war and that evacuation itself would have to
take place in all probability after hostile air attack had begun and
therefore under conditions of disorganization. It was recommended
that evacuation of school children should be carried out before actual
declaration of war or bombardment if this was found to be possible.
This principle was incorporated in the first comprehensive plan.
In approving the committee’s report the Government expressed its
concurrence in certain principles which may be summarized as follow s:
1. Evacuation should not be compulsory except when necessary for
military or other special reasons.
2. Evacuation of substantial numbers of people from certain industrial
areas is desirable.
3. Reception of persons should be mainly on the basis of accommo­
dation in private houses under the powers of compulsory billeting.
4. The initial cost of evacuation should be borne by the Government,
but refugees should be expected to contribute to the cost of maintenance
when possible.
5. Special arrangements should be made by the Government to send
school children out from their schools in groups in charge of teachers
when parents cannot make their own arrangements.

The report emphasized that it was not practical to attempt to stop
large-scale voluntary evacuations should such arise, or to compel
persons to leave a vulnerable area unless evacuation was necessary
for military reasons. The committee felt that the Government, with­
out attempting to apply regimentation, could influence orderly move­
ment and allay panic (1) by giving advice in clear and precise terms,
(2) by using the existing organized facilities to the greatest extent
possible, and (8) by arranging transportation. The report pointed
out that the evacuation of an entire population was not practicable nor
desirable, and that plans for evacuation were no substitute for mea­
sures of active and passive defense which would permit continued pro­
tection in the large industrial towns. The committee estimated, how­
ever, that on the basis of figures submitted by the Ministry of Labour,
a figure of one-third of the population of industrial centers might be
used as a rough working hypothesis for the ultimate number that
might be evacuated. The report pointed out that any plan for
evacuation should take into consideration:
1. The desirability of a widespread registration scheme.
2. The voluntary character of the scheme and the obvious inaccuracy
o f estimates of numbers of persons who would desire to be evacuated.
3. The necessity for flexibility of plans, in order that they might
be .capable of execution under conditions of air attack.
4. The limitation of the scale of evacuation by the extent of ac­
commodations available.
5. The desirability of classifying areas within a vulnerable zone in
order to establish priority of certain areas in the organized plan for
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evacuation. The report suggested a plan for thinning out some of the
most vulnerable areas as the first step in evacuation while awaiting
evidence of the nature and extent of attack in evacuating less vulner­
able areas.

The necessity for the development of detailed plans for transpor­
tation, accommodation in reception areas, and adequate attention to
the welfare of the children was emphasized in the report. Con­
sideration was given to the establishment of priority groups and
the desirability o f evacuating school children as a special group
under the supervision of teachers. The report took for granted the
existence under the various local authorities of child-welfare and
school medical services, but recognized the need for strengthening
health services in the reception areas in order to serve the aug­
mented population. The report did not propose the augmentation
o f other official services such as those in the field o f welfare, though
it did commend the use of volunteers in the welfare program.
The crisis o f September 1938.

During the last days of September 1938, at the time of the Munich
crisis, an emergency scheme for immediate application o f the rec­
ommendations in the Anderson report was organized under the direc­
tion of the Home Office. What might be described as a test
evacuation of school children and children under 5 years o f age
was carried out on a small scale. Though not well organized and
though in many respects far from successful, the experience o f
September 1938 stimulated interest in the organization o f a com­
prehensive plan of evacuation of children and in the preparation
of a plan for a more effective maternity and child-welfare program
under war conditions. Citizens became conscious o f the importance
of conserving the child population, thinking largely in terms of
protecting children from air raids and the dangers o f war. Volun­
tary organizations, such as the National Society o f Day Nurseries,
the Nursery School Association of Great Britain, and the Invalid
Children’s Aid Association, laid plans for more effective placement
of young children should a further evacuation be necessary and
submitted to the Ministry of Health recommendations on maternity
care and the care o f young children. The experience of various
child-placing agencies proved to be useful in planning later evacu­
ation for crippled children and other specially handicapped chil­
dren. The previous experience of many nursery schools with sum­
mer holidays also proved to be useful. The conclusion was reached
that day nurseries, residential homes for young children, and nur­
sery schools should be evacuated as units, retaining their own staffs,
and housed in suitable quarters such as large country houses.
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The inadvisability of permitting staffs of day nurseries and nurs­
eries and nursery schools to volunteer their services for A. R. P. work
or first aid was made clear. It was recommended that these staffs
should be scheduled as workers necessary for the care of young chil­
dren and therefore exempt from any other form of national service
and that matrons who were hospital-trained nurses should not be
listed on the register o f nurses on reserve for other work.
A course of training for voluntary child-care workers was believed
to be urgently needed, and it was recommended that in such a course
the experience o f day nurseries and nursery schools should be made
use of.

First Long-Term Plan— September 1938-September 1939
The Anderson report had recommended that the responsibility for
the organization o f the evacuation scheme should be placed in the
Home Office because of the responsibility of that Office for other
aspects of civil defense such as the A. R. P. schemes. This was done,
and the first emergency scheme was organized under its direction.
In the light of the experience during the emergency in September
1938, the Government decided that a long-term plan should be made.
It was evident that a large administrative machine would be neces­
sary, adequate (1) to carry out the preparation which must be made
in peacetime, and (2) to expand suddenly in time of war. The Gov­
ernment realized that the resources o f the Ministry o f Health were
far greater and more readily adapted to the needs of the rapid de­
velopment of a comprehensive evacuation scheme than those of the
Home Office. The Ministry of Health was the central authority
responsible for relations with local governments, including local childwelfare authorities (county boroughs, municipal boroughs, and urban
and rural districts), as well as local housing and public assistance.
It had in peacetime a large number of inspectors under the insurance
schemes, great resources in clerks and administrative personnel, and
a technical staff o f health and medical and allied types of consultants.
It seemed logical, therefore, that the responsibility for the develop­
ment o f the evacuation scheme in peacetime and the plan for its
expansion in case o f war should be transferred to the Ministry of
Health. This was done in November 1938. Obviously it was neces­
sary for the Ministry of Health to work closely with the Board of
Education, the Ministry o f Transport, the Ministry of Home Security,
and the local authorities.
Central responsibility.

In the Ministry of Health an Evacuation Division was set up under
the administrative authority of the Permanent Secretary. The basic
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planning for the whole scheme was therefore the responsibility of
the Civil Service. The Evacuation Division, however, had available
the advice o f the Chief Medical Officer of Health and his technical
staff, including physicians and women inspectors who were specialists
on maternity and child welfare. Since under the proposed scheme
school children were to be evacuated in school parties under their
teachers, the Evacuation Division associated itself closely with the
Board o f Education and with the Education Officer’s Department of
the London County Council. The Ministry o f Health also appointed
an advisory committee composed o f members of the Association of
Local Health Authorities and Local Education Authorities.
The authority and instructions of the Ministry of Health and the
Board of Education with respect to the Government evacuation scheme
have been expressed, as is customary, through a series of circulars and
memoranda issued by the administrative authorities to the county
councils and local authorities. Study o f the circulars and other docu­
ments issued by the Ministry of Health and the Board of Education
gives a picture of the series of plans and procedures that were devel­
oped to put the evacuation scheme into operation and to change and im­
prove it as the situation demanded.
Local responsibility.

The Ministry of Health recognized the necessity of giving to the
local authorities the responsibility for detailed administration of the
plan. This was true both of the responsibility for evacuation and of
the responsibility for reception and care. This meant that county
boroughs, municipal boroughs, and district councils (urban and rural)
all had certain major responsibilities in the scheme. County councils,
because of their primary responsibility for certain aspects of public
health, education, and social welfare, were necessarily drawn into the
picture. In reception areas county councils were asked to coordinate
plans and activities undertaken by local authorities and to arrange for
conferences between local receiving authorities within the county, the
evacuation authorities, and the transportation authorities. In London
the county council was given responsibility for organizing and carry­
ing out the evacuation of mothers and children from London.
In many respects the selection of the local authority as the agency
to be responsible to the Ministry of Health for the evacuation scheme
was satisfactory, but in the light of experience it has appeared that
certain phases o f the work would have been more effective had respon­
sibility been given to the county councils. County-wide provision
might well have been made for certain types of service which could be
shared by all the local authorities within the county, such as specialized
types of hostels for children or maternity homes.
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The clerk of the local authority was as a rule given the responsibility
for carrying out the local plan. The clerk is a full-time permanent
official responsible to the local council. To the local clerk have been
delegated certain types of responsibility, such as that of billeting o f­
ficer. Billeting officers are appointed by the mayor or the chairman of
the local authority. Full-time clerical assistance and, in some cases,
assistance of professional workers, such as welfare officers and women
inspectors, have been made available by county councils or by other
local authorities. In addition, the local authorities have sought the aid
of local voluntary groups to undertake major welfare projects under
the scheme.




Regional organization.—In order to deal more effectively with the

very numerous local authorities, the Ministry of Health established 12
regions coincident with the jurisdictions of the 12 regional commis­
sioners. Each regional office of the Ministry of Health had a represent­
ative o f the administrative staff responsible for the administration of
the evacuation scheme and 12 regional senior medical officers respon­
sible for all health and medical services. To each regional senior med­
ical officer there was assigned (among other staff) a physician
specializing in maternity and child welfare and a health visitor whose
responsibility it was to establish standards of maternity care and care
of children in the reception areas. Each regional staff was made
responsible for the organization of the evacuation scheme within its
region. The headquarters of the regional staff of the Ministry of
Health were in the same locality as the headquarters of the regional
commissioner, the plan being that in case of great emergency the
regional medical officer should have full authority to represent the
Chief Medical Officer of the Ministry of Health.
The general plan.

During the autumn and early winter of 1938 the Ministry of Health
undertook to formulate the first long-term plan, basing it upon the
Anderson report and on the experience of September 1938.
The policy for evacuation recommended in this report and adopted
by the Government was one of dispersal, with the purpose of thinning
out the population from the large congested areas and distributing it
more evenly over the rest of the country. The problems which the
Ministry faced were:
1. W hat areas should be evacuated?
2. W hat groups of persons should be evacuated?
3. Over what areas should they be distributed?
4. How should they be accommodated?
5. W hat transport facilities should be used?

The Ministry sought to solve these problems by establishing.
1. Certain priority areas for evacuation, areas for reception, and
neutral areas which were neither evacuation nor reception.
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2. Certain priority classes to be evacuated, namely—

а. School children, to be removed as school units under charge of
their teachers.

б. Children under school age accompanied by their mothers or
other responsible persons.
c. Expectant mothers.
d. Adult blind persons and cripples.

To each evacuation area there was assigned a reception area. For
instance, the County of London and 11 neighboring boroughs were
declared to be an evacuation area. The reception area allotted to the
metropolis was a strip o f country from Land’s End to The Wash, in
which there were 101 boroughs, 9 county boroughs, 159 urban districts,
201 rural districts. The councils for these 470 areas were known as
receiving authorities,” just as the London County Council was known
as an “ evacuating authority.”
The development of the plan went forward during the winter of
1938-39. In January 1939 the Ministry of Health announced that
measures o f orderly evacuation from large towns must be planned and
issued a circular (1759) [J l] to all local authorities on the Government
evacuation scheme. The circular pointed ou t: “ The objective must be
to secure, by a policy of evacuation carefully planned in advance, the
removal from the more dangerous to the less dangerous areas o f those
whose transfer is most desirable in the national interest and on humani­
tarian grounds.” The circular stated further that a survey o f accom­
modation was a necessary step and must cover all accommodations
that could be used for the purpose. An essential part of the plan was
that advance arrangements should be made not only for the dispersal of
children from the centers o f population but also for the reception and
care o f children in the districts to which they should be transferred.
The plan was based upon the evacuation of the priority classes__school
children, mothers with children under 5 years o f age, pregnant women,
and adult blind and crippled. The Government recognized that the
scale on which provision would be required for children alone was very
considerable, estimating approximately 1 million children from London
alone and a total o f 3 million persons from all areas.
After the issuance o f the circular of January 1939 the Ministry of
Health proceeded in its planning along two lines. First, in attempting
to draw up a plan of detailed procedures necessary for the evacuation
o f children from crowded industrial centers o f potential danger the
Ministry worked primarily with the authorities under the London
County Council, which was asked to prepare a plan of evacuation and
to coordinate plans for the whole metropolitan area. Secondly, the
Ministry proceeded in January and February 1939 to carry through the
evacuation survey in the reception areas. Not until these two specific
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parts o f the plan were accomplished did the Ministry issue any general
instructions to local authorities.
In May 1939, after the completion of the London plan for evacuation
and the evacuation survey (see pp. 53 and 58), the Ministry of Health
issued its first general circular (1800) [Jfê\ o f information and instruc­
tion to local authorities and an accompanying memorandum (Memo.
Ev. 4) [43], which together outlined the Government’s position on the
general scope and objectives o f the evacuation scheme, specified the
classes o f persons to be given priority, described the allocation o f dis­
tricts, and reiterated that evacuation was voluntary and that it would
not follow that all who were given the opportunity o f evacuation would
desire to avail themselves o f it.
In the circular (1800) the Ministry reviewed the situation with
regard to the evacuation survey and pointed out that the time had
come for the receiving and evacuating authorities, together with the
education and transport authorities, to work out plans in greater
detail in the light of the numbers of persons to be evacuated and the
amount of accommodation available in the receiving areas. The
Ministry recognized the difficulties of planning in advance o f an
emergency but stressed the importance of the preliminary work to
be done by local authorities. The need for clear allocation of re­
sponsibility among local authorities and for joint action when a
geographic area to be evacuated covered more than a single local-gov­
ernment area was pointed out. The responsibility of the county
councils was stated as that for education, public health (including
maternity and child welfare except in London, where it is the respon­
sibility of the boroughs and not of the London County Council),
and hospitals, and for coordinating arrangements in relation to evac­
uation and transport authorities ; the responsibilities of town
(borough) councils and district councils were for the survey of
housing accommodations and for all arrangements for reception in
the individual districts.
The circular also made it clear to local authorities, both evacuat­
ing and receiving, that it was the intention of the Government that
the operation o f a plan o f evacuation should not result in any addi­
tional burden on the local rates and that provision was included in
the Civil Defence Bill, then pending, for repayment by the Ex­
chequer o f the approved additional expenditure by local authorities
on this work. It was pointed out that rates of payment to house­
holders who undertook care of evacuated persons were fixed by the
Government, and that some contribution towards the cost of allow­
ances in respect o f children and others evacuated under the scheme
would be called for where the family circumstances justified such a
course. (See p. 64 for the Government Recovery Scheme.)
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The memorandum (Memo. Ev. 4) contained special sections on the
preparatory work to be done by an evacuating authority and on
transport. Transportation arrangements were given over to the
Ministry of Transport. No advice was given with respect to medi­
cal examination of the children before evacuation or to treat­
ment o f infectious conditions. A short paragraph suggests that evac­
uating authorities should consider what they could do to provide any
medical, nursing, or first-aid staff which might be necessary on the
journey. County councils were advised of their responsibility in
connection with the holding o f joint conferences o f evacuating
authorities, receiving authorities, and representatives o f the rail and
road transport for the purpose of acquainting receiving authorities
with the plans for transport.
This memorandum also gave general advice to receiving authorities
on arrangements at detraining stations, including reception person­
nel, sanitary and first-aid provisions, overnight accommodations when
necessary, and meals, and on preparations for the billeting, reception,
and care of each class of evacuated persons. It contained a section
on medical and nursing care, covering hospital facilities, nursing
services, nursing-auxiliary service, and medical service at the de­
training station. It took up the matter of continuation of school
medical service and medical care of sick children but gave no
In July 1939 a second circular (1841) [•££] o f information and
instruction and accompanying memorandum (Memo. Ev. 5) [^5] were
issued supplementing the instructions issued in May and dealing pri­
marily with registration o f children in evacuating areas and with many
details o f billeting and accommodation in receiving areas. Additional
supplementary information was given to the local authorities through
special circulars, especially Circulars 1857 [4&] and 1857A [^7] which
related to billeting regulations W ] under the Emergency Powers
(Defence) Act o f August 24,1939. Further reference will be made to
the content o f these circulars and memoranda later.
In describing more in detail the plans for evacuation and reception
of the children, it is desirable for the sake o f clarity to deal with each
separately, but it is of course impossible not to overlap to some extent
because o f the inevitable relationship of one to the other and because
most documents of information or instruction involve both parts of
the program. Since the largest evacuation o f children under the first
plan took place from London, the description o f the planning process
given here will be limited to that in the metropolitan district. The
description of the procedures in the reception areas applies largely also
to the areas assigned to London.
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Planning for evacuation from the London area.

TJie Ministry of Health, in developing its plan for evacuating large
industrial cities, undertook first to work with the London authorities
to devise procedures which, if practical for that city, would with some
modification be applicable in general to other industrial centers.
An evacuation committee was appointed by the London County
Council and an evacuation division was set up in the Education Officer’s
Department in London to be responsible for plans for evacuation of
the priority classes. A t the request of the Ministry of Health, the
Council undertook to coordinate the arrangements for the evacuation
of all children from the total metropolitan area, which includes the
County of London and 11 neighboring boroughs. The Council took no
responsibility for arrangements in the reception area except, as will be
pointed out later, for the placement of certain parties of handicapped
children and nursery-school parties.
On March 30,1939, a printed letter [W ] was addressed to .the heads
of all schools in the London area and to various divisional offices,
informing them of the details of the proposed scheme. This communi­
cation made it clear that evacuation was not compulsory, that children
of a single family might be sent out in one school party, that mothers
of children under 5 who decided to leave London with these children
might elect to withdraw older children from school parties so that all
children o f one family might travel together. Detailed instructions
were given with respect to notification of evacuation, the composition
of school parties, the number o f children in each party, and the number
of teachers and helpers necessary. No instructions were included with
respect to medical examination or treatment of children in preparation
for evacuation.
A t this time a scheme of divisional organization of the whole metro­
politan area was set up providing for divisional dispersals officers,
each of whom had control of all operations in his area and was respon­
sible for the organization o f the evacuation of nonschool parties—i. e.,
mothers and children under 5, and so forth—as well as school parties.
A ll contacts with local police and railway officials were made by the
divisional dispersals officers at the time of evacuation. Members of
the council staff were appointed to act as station marshals at all
entraining stations and at the stations where parties would have to
change trains. Station marshals were made responsible for coopera­
tion with railway stationmasters and for giving assistance to parties
entraining. These initial instructions also covered such matters as
enrollment of staff, helpers, and children, labeling of children, and
badges, armlets, clothing, food, luggage, first-aid outfits, and gas masks,
and in addition, gave advice to leaders o f school parties with regard
to procedure in the reception area. Head teachers were instructed to
432652°— 42----- 5
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report to local directors o f education in reception areas and to take
from them directions as to times and places for school work. These
local directors o f education were designated to act as the London County
Council’s agencies. Teachers evacuated from London were not to be
required to supervise children in billets.
Three months later, on June 30, 1939, another communication [SO]
was addressed to heads o f all schools in London and to various other
interested authorities, such as the London Passenger Transport Board,
district organizers of children’s care work, directors o f education, and
divisional dispersals officers in the metropolitan district, an evacuation
area. This communication supplemented the earlier information,
especially from the point o f view o f action that might need to be taken
during the coming vacation period.
a. The priority classes.

Plans for the evacuation o f the different priority classes in the
London area were in general as follows:
Unaccomponied school children.— Since the administrative planning
for the evacuation o f school children was relatively simple, initial
emphasis was placed on the organization o f parties o f unaccompanied
school children. As will be pointed out, these children were to be bil­
leted in private households, and plans were made so that they might
continue their education while in the country. The plans called for
transportation o f these school parties by train under the supervision
of teachers and volunteer helpers. The use o f school doctors or nurses
as escorts for the children was not included in the plan. The children’s
care organizers (social workers employed by the Education Depart­
ment) were assigned to assist the divisional dispersals officers in any
way that seemed useful, including assistance in the transportation
process. It was not until after the evacuation in September 1939 that
the value o f sending these social workers to the reception areas was
Kegistration o f unaccompanied school children to be evacuated was
to be carried out at the school that the child attended, but acceptance
o f a child for evacuation did not depend upon prior registration. It
seemed essential that the Government scheme should be sufficiently
flexible to include any child whose parents wished him to go even if
the decision were made at the last minute. Parents were instructed
that children to be evacuated with school parties were to attend the
school on the day of evacuation but that all children who were not to
be evacuated must stay at home on that day.
No special plans were made for the medical examination o f school
children prior to this first evacuation. It was believed that the rou­
tine medical supervision in the school would be sufficient, but, as it
turned out later, this was an unfortunate decision, since plans for the
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vacation period did not include continued medical and health super­
Mothers with children imder 5.—With regard to plans for evacua­
tion of mothers of children under 5 years of age and o f pregnant
women, the Ministry o f Health sought the advice of the National Coun­
cil for Maternity and Child Welfare. A detailed memorandum sub­
mitted to the Ministry formed the basis o f its plan for these priority
groups. By arrangement with the public-health authorities in London
and contiguous boroughs, parties o f mothers with children under 5
and parties of expectant mothers were included in the plan for evacua­
tion. Registration o f these groups was arranged through the ma­
ternity and child-welfare centers. It was planned that parties o f
mothers and children under 5 should be sent off in general on the last
2 days o f the evacuation period with parties of school children to be
placed in billets in the reception areas.
Plans [5 i] were developed also by the Education Officer’s Depart­
ment o f the London County Council for the transfer o f parties o f
nursery-school children, children in day nurseries, and young children
in institutions under the public-assistance authorities, to large country
houses or other suitable premises in reception areas. Each o f these
parties o f young children unaccompanied by their mothers was to re­
main the responsibility o f the organization originally in charge of the
institution. In some cases, for instance, nursery schools were under
voluntary control, in others under the London County Council Depart­
ment o f Education. Later, as will be pointed out, it became necessary
for the Ministry of Health to assume more responsibility for standards
and supervision.
Pregnant women.—Arrangements were made for parties o f pregnant
women to be sent to areas where special arrangements for their care
had been made. In the original plan, because o f the limitation of road
transportation, it was possible to arrange for travel by motor coach
only for those women whose confinements were expected within 4
weeks, the so-called “ imminent” class. For other pregnant women, the
“ early” class, arrangements were made for travel by train with parties
o f mothers and young children. Plans were made for a trained mid­
wife to accompany each coachload of women in the “ imminent” class,
and for at least one midwife for each three cars o f a train in which
pregnant women were being transported.
The plan, as will be pointed out later in more detail, also included
the establishment o f maternity homes in large country houses or other
suitable premises. The responsibility for the selection of these houses
and for the standards o f care to be rendered in the maternity homes
was placed directly upon the Maternity and Child Welfare Division
o f the Ministry of Health. Since no funds were made available with
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which, such premises could be acquired and equipped in advance, plan­
ning was greatly handicapped, and, as will be pointed out later, was
incomplete when evacuation actually took place.
Blind persons.—Registration of the blind was carried out by the
home visitors of the blind attached to voluntary agencies, who called
on all the known blind persons on their lists and recorded whether
they desired evacuation or not. It was planned that parties o f blind
persons should be taken by coach to places in the country where their
arrival had been planned for.
Handicapped children.—Plans [£ f] were made for the transfer o f
parties o f handicapped children who were attending special residential
or day schools in London. These included children who were retarded
mentally as well as children in schools for the physically handicapped.
Plans were made for the use of holiday camps, large country houses,
and other suitable premises. Crippled children needing hospital care
were to go to a large hospital and convalescent home run by the London
County Council outside the metropolitan area. The plan was that
children should be taken by road accompanied by their teachers and
domestic staff and attendants recruited from residential schools and
other sources. This plan meant the change o f a large number of day
schools into boarding schools. Though the responsibility for these
schools was originally given to local authorities it was soon transferred
from the local billeting authorities to the London County Council in
cooperation with the Ministry of Health.
b. Identification o f children.

The original plan [^9] called for certain procedures to assure iden­
tification o f the children and knowledge o f their whereabouts. Each
school-party leader on the day o f evacuation was directed to prepare
and carry a roll of all staff, helpers, and children in the party. These
rolls were to contain home addresses as well as names, so that the leaders
could report any accident or serious illness to the parents of children
or to the relatives of adults, and to the divisional dispersals officers.
It was planned that these rolls should be prepared beforehand in dupli­
cate and last-minute adjustments made on both copies before the party
left the school. One copy of the roll was to be given to the council’s
station marshal at the entraining station; the other copy was to be
carried by the leader of the party to the reception area.
Two linen labels supplied with string were to be provided for each
child, one to be worn around the neck, the other attached to luggage.
On one side of each label were to be written the name o f the child
and the school address (i. e., the school p a rty ); on the other side, the
number of the London County Council school. The plan also per­
mitted the use o f colored badges to identify children in specified school
parties. The plan required that all adults should wear armlets made
of white material bearing, in bold red letters, “L. C. C.” and, in black,
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the school number.


The leaders were expected to take school whistles.

National registration.—The Anderson report recognized that a
national registration of all citizens would be a great aid in identifying
and keeping track of children and others to be evacuated from large
cities. By June 1939 plans for such a national registration were
under way. It was contemplated that this registration would pro­
vide for tracing any person who had left the household in which he
was dwelling at the time of enumeration. When it was realized in
the summer of 1939 that the evacuation of school children might take
place before the National Registration Scheme was put into operation,
it was apparent that parents and their evacuated school children
would be enumerated separately and that the identification numbers
of the parents and of the children in the reception area would bear no
relation to each other. Obviously, one o f the objectives of the regis­
tration scheme would not be accomplished.
The Registrar General, therefore, proposed \_61a\ that local edu­
cation authorities in evacuation areas should adopt a supplementary
scheme. The scheme was that the parent of each child to be evacu­
ated with a school party should be given a prepaid postcard upon
which he was to enter the name of the child and the names and
addresses of the parent or guardian and o f a near relative or friend.
The parent was to retain the card and give it to the enumerator when
he called at the parent’s house when the national registration took
place. The enumerator would then enter on the card the same iden­
tification number as that assigned to the family. The plan was that
the parent should post the card to the school normally attended by the
child for forwarding to the head teacher of that school in the recep­
tion area. The head teacher would then be in possession o f two
identification numbers for each child—that allotted to the child him­
self and that allotted to the household in London—thus making it
possible for the child to trace his parent and the parent to trace the
child, even if both had removed after the national registration had
taken place.
This scheme o f supplementary registration was to be applied also
to children evacuated in special parties.
Detailed instructions for handling this problem o f identification
under the National Registration Scheme were given to local authorities
by the Ministry o f Health in its memorandum (Memo. Ev. 5)
o f July 1939.
It may be mentioned here that in general this plan for supplemen­
tary registration was successfully carried out.
c. Some comments on plans for evacuation.

By common agreement the plan for the actual evacuation of chil­
dren from London was on the whole good, since, as will be shown, it
was effective in accomplishing the main objective, to remove nearly
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three-fourths o f a million children from an area o f danger in a short
The defects o f the plan, o f course, stood out sharply when it was put
into effect. The most obvious were, first, the absence o f the medical
examination o f all children to be evacuated and o f the treatment of
those requiring it because of infectious conditions; second, perhaps
the greatest mistake o f all, the closing o f the London schools when
evacuation took place; and, third, the apparently insuperable difficulty
o f assigning a certain school to a certain reception area ahead of time.
A ll three o f these difficulties were corrected in due course, but each
had its untoward results before the adjustments could be made. The
difficulty over the dirty and infected children could have been avoided
if the school treatment centers and medical services had been kept
open during vacation. Had the authorities realized that only slightly
more than half of the school children would seek evacuation and that
many who did go would return almost at once, the schools in London
would certainly not have been closed. To find a way out of the
third difficulty, the entrainment o f whole classes or schools o f children
for a previously undesignated area, is more difficult when a really
large number o f children are to be moved all at once. The “ trickle”
evacuation (to be described) served to solve the problem eventually,
but if a large number had to go again at very short notice, it seems
likely that a fair proportion would have to be sent to areas to which
they had not previously been individually assigned. The present
moderately large-scale evacuations from cities other than London
are meeting this problem more satisfactorily.
Planning in the reception areas.

The plan for the reception of children prepared by the Evacuation
Division o f the Ministry of Health included a detailed survey com­
monly called the “billeting survey,” general proposals for the organ­
ization o f billeting, the establishment o f reception rest centers and
arrangements for the initial meal on arrival at the detraining station,
arrangements for distribution o f children to billets, the organization
o f special hostels and other special accommodations for children, the
organization of school facilities, the establishment o f maternity homes
and residential nurseries, and the organization o f community services
such as communal feeding, nursery centers, and community recrea­
tional activities.
a. The evacuation survey.

On January 5,1939, the Ministry o f Health addressed a circular [^1]
to the local authorities of England and Wales on the subject o f the
evacuation survey. The circular pointed out that the survey would
include the listing o f all suitable occupied houses and also empty
houses, other buildings, and camps.
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The first essential measure was the compilation of an accurate record
o f all available housing accommodations, which would take account of
their suitability and the circumstances of individual householders. The
original plan concentrated on finding accommodation in suitable homes
for children, whether billeted in school units or accompanying their
The survey was undertaken with a view to ascertaining—
а. The amount of surplus accommodation, on the standard of one
person per habitable room.
б. The amount of this surplus to be found in houses that are suitable
for reception.
c. The amount to be found in houses where the householder is willing
to receive unaccompanied children or teachers.

The responsibility for the survey was placed upon local governments
by the Ministry o f Health. It was indicated to the local authority that
it should appoint a number o f visitors to act under the direction of a
chief officer to conduct the survey, and the Ministry suggested that in
the selection of these visitors there should be a “judicious combination
o f skilled official personnel and o f voluntary effort.” It was stated that
expenditure properly incurred in carrying out the survey would not be
a charge on the local rates. I t was pointed out that local education
authorities, teachers’ organizations, the Women’s Voluntary Services,
and other voluntary organizations had already indicated willingness to
assist. The Government reserved final decision upon the extent to
which individual areas should be used as reception areas until the full
returns were in. The Government issued to the local authorities a
number o f documents to aid them in the survey :
1. Memorandum for the guidance of local authorities in the conduct of
the survey of housing accommodations [52].
2. Suggestions for authorized visitors [55].
3. Suggestions for a letter to householders [5^].
4. A pamphlet for the information of the householders [55].
5. Four forms upon which the information would be recorded— a Visi­
tor’s Record Form [56], a form for Local Authorities’ Register of Accom­
modation [57], a form for Summary of Accommodation, for the Ministry
of Health [58], and a Visitor’s Authorisation Card [59].

The memorandum made suggestions for the guidance of local author­
ities in the selection of officers and visitors, the instruction o f visitors in
the conduct of their duties, the provision and use of the visitor’s author­
ization card and record form, and gave to the visitors detailed instruc­
tions on the collection of information and the compilation of the data.
Special mention was made of the collection o f information concerning
empty houses, particularly large empty houses which would provide
accommodations for substantial numbers. Local authorities were in­
structed that they should inform the Ministry of Health of any plans
or suggestions they might have for making use o f large empty houses.
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Such accommodations as hotels, boarding houses, camps, hostels, and
the like, as well as large houses, were to be listed on the summary of
The survey was completed in March 1939, and the summary of infor­
mation was transmitted to the Ministry of Health. The responsibility
for the survey in most cases was carried by the council clerks, who
obtained assistance from the staff of the local council and also in large
part from volunteers. Only to a small extent did district nurses, health
visitors, or social workers take part in the survey. The result was that
the information obtained as to whether or not there were suitable ac­
commodations in private households and information regarding the
attitude o f householders toward the reception of children were based
largely on the statements of the householders themselves and on the
opinion o f untrained workers.
It was apparent from the comments of certain officials that many of
the “misfits” in placing children in certain households could have been
avoided if better informatioii had been obtained, such as might have
been obtained had trained social workers or health visitors made the
survey. Obviously it was not possible, however, for the survey to be
made by social workers and health visitors within the time limits speci­
fied because o f the almost complete lack of Social workers in the prov­
inces and the relatively small number o f health visitors.
The results of the survey show that, on the standard of 1 person per
habitable room, sufficient accommodation was available in the desig­
nated reception areas for oveyr 6 million persons. Voluntary offers
were received from householders for the accommodation o f 2 million
unaccompanied school children. The survey of large empty houses,
boarding houses, hotels, camps, and so forth, gave information which
was to be useful in establishing all sorts of accommodations for con­
gregate care. It should be pointed out here, however, that many of
these large empty houses and other premises o f the sort were requisi­
tioned by the military authorities for billeting soldiers. Likewise the
military authorities required many individual householders in the re­
ception areas to billet soldiers. Considerable conflict in arrangements
arose later because of this dual need for billeting.
Following the receipt of information from the survey, the Min­
istry o f Health informed each receiving authority o f the number of
persons that might have to be received into its district. This allot­
ment was made after deductions for private evacuation and military
billeting. At the same time there was assigned to each evacuation
area a region for reception o f its children, and the railway com­
panies were asked to prepare detailed timetables to enable evacua­
tion to be completed in 4 days. The total number o f persons for
whom plans for evacuation were prepared was about 3 million. O f
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these it was expected that about half would be evacuated from
London. Actually, in the first evacuation approximately 1,200,000
adults and children were removed from their homes and sent to
other parts of the country, and half o f these were from the metro­
politan district o f London.
Receiving authorities were instructed to retain in a safe place all
records o f the evacuation survey for individual households, so that
they would be available at short notice should an evacuation become
b. General plan for reception o f children and pregnant women.

The basic scheme for the reception of children was outlined by
the Ministry of Health in Circular 1800 \J$\ in May 1939, and in
an accompanying memorandum (Memo. Ev. 4)
on the Gov­
ernment evacuation scheme. In the memorandum, advice was given
to receiving authorities on such matters as billeting, care o f handi­
capped and nursery children, bedding and blankets, medical and
nursing provisions, hospital facilities, maternity arrangements, com­
munal meals, recreation, treatment o f dirty or verminous conditiqns,
provision o f clothing and shoes, settlement of disputes between bil­
leted women and householders, and the general welfare of evacuated
persons. Much useful advice to billeting officers and householders
was included in the appendixes:
Appendix A covers information for householders with respect to
billeting payments for unaccompanied children and for mothers and
young children, what to do with the school children, communal meals,
clothes, and care in case of'illness.
Appendix B covers instructions to billeting officers with respect to
records, the issuance of tickets to householders for the collection of
allowances from the Post Office, and so forth.
Appendix C deals with preparation of camps or large houses for
the reception of parties of handicapped children.
Appendix D deals with childreu under school age, including nursery
parties, and gives specific instructions for handling residential groups
and children under 5 years of age accompanied by their mothers.
Problems of registration of these young children at maternity and
child-welfare centers, notification and assembly for evacuation recep­
tion, the use of helpers and volunteers, and the training of helpers
and volunteers are discussed in some detail.
Appendix E gives advice on planning for care of expectant mothers,
their registration, assembly, transport, and accommodations, and ar­
rangements for care in hospitals or maternity homes at time of
Appendix F deals with the care of the blind and crippled adults.

Two months later, in July 1939, a second circular (1841)
memorandum (Memo. Ev. 5) [JJ], supplementary to those issued in
May, reviewed in considerable detail the Ministry’s recommendations
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to evacuating and receiving authorities with respect to the procedures
for registration, particularly o f mothers and children under 5.
The circular (1841) gave to the county councils and local receiving
authorities full instructions on the following :
1. Compulsory billeting under the provisions of the Civil Defence
Act {60, 61 ].
2. Appointment of billeting officers.
3. The question of “private arrangements” made by householders for
friends or others.
4. Tribunals of appeal to which householders might come with the
request to be relieved of their billetees.
5. The standard o f billeting, i. e., one person per habitable room.
6. Billeting outside the Government scheme.
7. Accommodation of special groups, such as handicapped children,
young children in organized groups, and expectant mothers.
8. The prior expenditure of money to secure and equip buildings, for
the accommodation of special groups and the application to the Ministry
for such money.
9. The necessity for sending an adequate number of midwives from
evacuation areas with parties of expectant mothers.
10. The appointment of consulting obstetricians for each region.

Appendix 2 of this circular gave a draft o f a letter to householders, •
stating the number of individuals to be billeted in their premises and
giving an opportunity for the householder to give reasons why the
billeting was not possible.
The memorandum (Memo. Ev. 5) described and discussed in some
detail various types of accommodation that the local authority would
need to provide, strengthening very materially the advice given in
Memo. Ev. 4, especially as it related to maternity care and the care
o f young or handicapped children. The sections dealt with—
1. The allocation of billeting accommodation for various purposes, in­
cluding military billeting.
2. Accommodations for expectant mothers, the selection of suitable
billets near hospitals, the provision of hospital or maternity-home care
for confinement, the selection, equipment, and staffing of maternity homes
(appendixes A and B ), and preliminary arrangements for immediate
reception in time of emergency.
3. Accommodations for parties of handicapped or young children in
organized groups not accompanied by mothers, and the selection of
4. The provision of hospital or other accommodations for the care of
children with infectious diseases.
5. The provision of communal meals, especially through the expansion
of the plan for school meals (Board of Education Circular 1469 [74] ),
and joint planning by local reception authority, local education authority,
and the Women’s Voluntary Services.

6. The maintenance of mothers and other persons accompanying young
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7. Problems of postal correspondence with families.
The important problem of preservation of identity of evacuated
children through the National Registration Scheme. (See p. 57.)


c. Billeting.

Under the Emergency Powers (Defence) Act and the Defence
Regulations (Regulation 22, paragraph 3 [4<§] ), the Minister of Health
was authorized to delegate to any specified persons or class of persons
his power to serve billeting notices upon the occupier of any premises
requiring him to furnish accommodation by way of lodging or food
or both.
In a circular (1857) [4#] dated August 27, 1939, the Minister
delegated his power of appointing billeting officers to the mayor or
chairman o f a local borough or district council under certain con­
ditions including, among others, the appointment of a chief billet­
ing officer and the limitation of authority of billeting officers to the
billeting of persons under the evacuation scheme under section 56 o f
the Civil Defence Act, 1939. Reference was made in this circular
(a) to the tribunals o f appeal for householders provided for under
paragraph 9 of Regulation 22 of the Defence Regulations, and ( b ) to
the effect of paragraph 11 o f that regulation, which suspended the
operation o f the sections of the Public Health Act, 1936 [$£]., reliev­
ing persons who receive children apart from their parents for reward,
from reporting to the welfare authorities and substituting an obliga­
tion on the householder to care for any unaccompanied child to the
best o f his ability. The circular pointed out in connection with this
last item that local authorities should make arrangements for the
subsequent visiting of children in billets by the billeting officers or
other suitable persons, in order to satisfy themselves as to the welfare
o f the children.
The Minister of Health also notified the local authorities that he
had delegated to the clerks of the local authorities his requisitioning
powers under Regulation 51 [6*7] o f the Defence Regulations, 1939,
and pointed out that these powers were limited to taking possession
of houses or residential buildings if unoccupied, and other buildings,
whether occupied or not, for some purpose directly connected with the
Government’s evacuation scheme under section 56 of the Civil Defence
Act, 1939 [ 60~\. A requisition form was appended to Circular 1857.
Responsibility for planning for the reception of children, therefore,
was given by the Ministry of Health to the local authorities responsible
for housing and sanitary inspections, the same authorities that had
been responsible for the evacuation survey. In most cases the chief
billeting officer was the clerk of the local council, and the selection of
billets and the assignment of school children and of mothers and young
children to billets on their arrival in the reception area was to be his
responsibility. The Ministry of Health suggested to local authorities
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that they seek the assistance of volunteers, especially members of
the Women’s Voluntary Services, to serve as billeting officers and to
assist in plans for the establishment o f temporary hostels, sick bays,
hostels for difficult children, residential nurseries, maternity homes,
communal-feeding projects, and other community services that the
local authorities felt were desirable. To assist the local authorities in
billeting and to provide for payment o f allowances to householders,
the Ministry of Health issued an identification card [63] for the bil­
leting officer and billeting forms [(%, 66, 66] to be served on house­
holders by the billeting officers and to be presented by the householders
at the post offices for payment.
Billeting allowances.—The prices payable to householders for ac­
commodation under billeting notices were also set forth in Circular
1857 [ ^ ] as follows:
For children provided with board and lodging, 10s. 6d. per week where
one child is taken, and 8s. 6d. per week for each child where more than
one child is taken.
For persons provided only with lodging (with the use of the water
supply and sanitary conveniences), 5s. per week for each adult, and 3s.
per week for each child.
For voluntary helpers from the evacuation areas working full time in
the reception areas, 21s. per week for each person to cover board and

A mother lodged under this scheme with her children was expected
to pay the cost of maintenance of herself and children other than
Government Recovery Scheme.—Though the Anderson report rec­
ommended that the full expense of the care of unaccompanied school
children should be borne by the State, the Ministry of Health had
made it clear in its circular [J$~\ of May 1,1939, that some contribution
toward the cost o f allowances would be called for where family cir­
cumstances justified such a course. Though the circulars advising
the London County Council and county-borough councils of evacuation
areas of the recovery scheme were not issued until after the evacuation
took place, it would appear appropriate to discuss the scheme here.
Authority to recover sums paid by the Minister of Health in respect
of accommodation and medical treatment o f persons transferred from
one area to another under the evacuation scheme was conferred upon
the Minister by Defence Regulation 22, paragraph 5 [JfS] .
A series o f circulars and memoranda were addressed to the county
councils and county-borough councils of evacuation areas in October
1939, outlining in detail the scheme and instructions for putting it into
Circulars 1877 [68] and 1877A [69] pointed out that the recovery
which the Government had in mind was limited to the expenses, other
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than traveling expenses, incurred in connection with evacuated chil­
dren who had been billeted under the Government scheme and for
whose board, lodging, and welfare the householder who received them
was responsible. It was estimated that the services rendered to these
children (including medical attention) under the scale of billeting
fees in force amounted to approximately 9s. a week per child. Parents
or other persons liable were to be invited to pay the full charge of 9s.
if they were in a position to do so, but, if not, a payment of 6s. or up­
ward was to be treated as a full discharge o f the legal obligation.
From persons in receipt of unemployment assistance or public assist­
ance the Government sought no recovery. In all other cases the parent
or other person liable “ should be called upon to pay a contribution
of 6s. per child, or such smaller amount as may be appropriate to his
financial resources.”
Authority to collect was delegated to the county councils or countyborough councils.
In normal circumstances the amount recoverable was to be calculated
on the following basis:
1. The income to be taken into account is the net income (i. e., the
total wages and other income reduced by the amount of State insurance
contributions and traveling expenses to and from work) of the parent
or other person liable.
2. From this net income the following amounts should be deducted:
а. Net rent and/or other outgoings in respect of the house.
б. The following sums for the personal needs of the head of
the household, including those of his wife, of any dependent adult, and
of dependent children under 16 remaining at home as part of the
25s. a week for a father and mother.
15s. a week for a sole parent.
10s. a week for a dependent adult of 16 or over.
6s. a week for a dependent child under 16.
3. A sum equal to one-half of the balance should be considered as
available for repayment of billeting charges, and accordingly the amount
charged will be this sum, or a sum of 6s. a week for each child billeted
under the scheme, whichever is the less.
It should be clearly understood that the parent of an unaccompanied
child billeted under the Government scheme remains responsible for the
needs of the child (including clothing, boots, etc.) other than the child’s
board, lodging, and general supervision. This is one of the considera­
tions which have been taken into account in deciding that one-half only
of the balance of income is to be treated as available for repayment of
billeting charges.

W ith Circular 1886 [70] the Ministry transmitted drafts o f letters
to be addressed to parents and forms for computing payments.
Memorandum Rec. 1, accompanying Circular 1887 [77] and Memo­
randum Rec. 2, accompanying Circular 1891 [7#] gave detailed inf or-
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mation for local authorities on the scheme; and Memorandum Rec. 3,
accompanying Circular 1898 [73], gave information for the guidance
of referees appointed by the Minister to hear complaints of parents,
d. The plan fo r education o f evacuated children.

The evacuation plans provided that children of school age should be
evacuated in school units, that they should be accompanied by their
teachers, who would carry on their education in the receiving areas,
but that responsibility for the educational program should be delegated
to the local education authorities in the reception areas. The local
education authorities were to provide facilities either in school build­
ings or in halls or other buildings that could be taken over as supple­
mentary school accommodations. It was foreseen that in some reception areas a “ double shift” system would be necessary, using school
buildings twice each day. It was realized that this might mean for a
time a reduction in the number o f hours of school, both for children
living normally in the reception areas and for the evacuated children.
Though it was the general plan that evacuated children should remain
under the supervision o f their own teachers, adjustments were left to
the local education authorities.
The Ministry o f Health and the Board of Education recommended
that conferences be held during the planning period between the edu­
cation authorities in evacuation areas and those in the reception areas.
This was done to a considerable extent, but it was found that detailed
plans with respect to individual schools could not be finally developed
since in the large evacuation contemplated it was not possible for the
transportation authorities to determine accurately in advance exactly
where each school should be sent. Only a general plan of cooperation
could be worked out. It was, however, the policy that so far as pos­
sible education authorities in the evacuation areas should assist the
local education authorities in reception areas with equipment as well
as with teaching staff. There were 73 local education authorities in
the reception areas allotted to metropolitan London. The directors o f
education in these local authorities were supplied with copies of all
circulars issued to the heads o f London schools by the London County
Council, as well as with communications from the Board of Educa­
tion. The local authorities, therefore, were kept informed o f the
progress of the London planning as well as the national planning.
The increased cost to local education authorities for providing edu­
cational services to evacuated children or for premises was to be met
by the evacuation authorities. Welfare services were to be met by the
Ministry o f Health as part of the total evacuation costs. The pro-i
vision o f clothing and shoes remains primarily the responsibility of the
parents, but arrangements were made for local authorities, Women’s
Voluntary Services, and other voluntary sources to fill the gap when
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parents were unable or unwilling to supply deficiencies, the cost being
recovered from the parents in appropriate cases.
The plan for evacuation of school children in school parties was
made primarily with the hope that complete school parties could be
billeted in a single reception area. Under this plan elementary-school
children were to be billeted in towns or adjacent villages so that the
head teachers could keep track of the educational work for the whole
school. Similar plans were envisaged for secondary-school children
with the idea that such schools would be billeted in towns where second­
ary schools were already in existence and where suitable accommoda­
tion and equipment were available. The problems of placing second­
ary technical schools also were anticipated. The plan called for the
use of school camps for groups of handicapped children in attendance
in special schools in the evacuation areas.
Two circulars containing information for the guidance o f the local
education authorities in reception areas on educational problems, which
it was foreseen would arise, were issued by the Board o f Education
in May and August 1939. The first, “Education o f Evacuated School
Children in Time of Emergency,” Circular 1469 [7^], included de­
tailed advice to local education authorities in reception areas covering
such topics as financial responsibility, the supply of school materials,
the accommodation of special-school children and nursery-school chil­
dren, arrangements for school medical service, communal meals, and
the general welfare of children.
The second circular, “ Schooling in an Emergency,” (1474) [75], was
more technical in character and covered education of children trans­
ferred to reception areas,
e. Some comments on plan for reception areas.

(See also Health and Welfare Services Under Evacuation Scheme
in London and in Reception Areas, pp. 97-128, and Effect of Evacu­
ation on Education, pp. 128-134.)
On the basis of the instructions and advice in the various circulars
and memoranda from the Ministry of Health and the Board o f Educa­
tion, the local receiving authorities were presumably in a position to*
plan for the selection o f billets for unaccompanied school children and
their teachers and helpers and for mothers with children under 5
years, to find and equip houses to be used as hostels for the reception
o f children, as maternity homes, as residential nurseries, as communalfeeding centers, or as community social centers, and to plan for school­
ing. In the summer of 1939, however, full advantage could not be
taken o f all that was suggested by the Ministry, partly because suffi­
cient funds for renting and equipping hostels and maternity homes
were not yet available and partly because it was not possible to foresee
what facilities were most needed in each ¡community.
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In spite of this a considerable amount o f planning was done in
advance, and premises were selected in many cases for occupation if
and when an emergency should arise. By common consent the inade­
quate number o f residential units suitable for hostels or homes which
were ready for occupation at the time o f actual evacuation was declared
a real and great weakness in the plan, which accounted for much
unnecessary confusion on arrival, much rebilleting of difficult children
and mothers, and the immediate return home of many women. It was
corrected as rapidly as possible after evacuation was complete, but too
late for the first emergency.
The plan to billet pregnant women on householders for the month be­
fore confinement in the neighborhood o f a hospital or maternity home
and again after the birth of the baby was part of the total maternitycare scheme of the Ministry, and probably the best that could have
been worked out before the emergency. This plan, as will be shown,
was modified later in favor of hostel care. During the period before
the declaration o f war many large houses were selected for maternity
homes, and a good many were equipped and staffed so that they should
be available at short notice. The number was inadequate, however,
when the evacuation took place. Obviously it was difficult to tie up
a large number of big houses, purchase equipment, and keep staff
on call for such a specialized service as obstetrics, but that such a
procedure was necessary was certainly shown. A similar situation
obtained in respect of houses for residential nurseries for children under
5 living in homes in London or attending nursery schools or day
nurseries. The need for billets and houses for the military forces
complicated the situation, making it both difficult to find suitable houses
with heat, water, electricity, and gas, and difficult to hold them in
reserve for an evacuation.
The original plan for reception areas did not call for the participa­
tion o f trained social workers in organizing and directing the com­
munity planning or in assisting individual mothers, either householders
or newcomers, with their problems o f adjustment to the new situation
•surrounding their lives. Volunteer workers were to be relied upon for
this welfare work. The consensus among workers, both voluntary and
official, in the reception areas now is that this, too, was a great weakness
in the early planning due to lack of recognition of need for this kind
of trained assistance in the welfare program. The participation of
trained workers in the original evacuation survey would have enabled
the local authorities to sort out the undesirable billets and select in
advance those that would be suitable for special children or for mothers
and young children. Apparently no use was made o f child-guidance
workers in the early planning processes, and the possibility of any
selective placement o f children known to have behavior difficulties was
apparently not considered.
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The task o f transferring almost a complete educational system from
one large metropolitan area to 73 local education authorities, especially
when the exact destination of any single school could not be assured in
advance, would have so many obvious difficulties that any plan would
necessarily be incomplete. That better joint planning between educa­
tion authorities in evacuation and reception areas and with transporta­
tion authorities might have resulted in a more definite plan is conceded.
It would be unrealistic to think that all difficulties could have been
overcome. Prior planning for placement of secondary and j unior tech­
nical schools in towns where they could be linked with other comparable
schools should be possible.

First M ajor Evacuation— September 1939
The evacuation.

Toward the end of August 1939 it became apparent that plans for
evacuation from the London area would have to be put into effect
[76*]. The schools were having vacation, so that the teachers were
away and school medical services were in recess. In the fourth week
of August, on the instruction of the Government departments con­
cerned, teachers were recalled from their holidays. Schools were
opened on Saturday, August 26. On Sunday, August 27, the teachers
were at the schools prepared to offer advice to parents. On August 23
there was an evacuation rehearsal in the schools. Thereafter the
schools were kept in a state of preparedness, the signal for departure
being hourly expected. On Wednesday, August 30, a false signal was
given, and it was not until Friday, September 1, that evacuation
actually started. The evacuation operation was completed on Mon­
day, September 4. During these 4 days, 607,635 adults and children
were removed from London without a casualty. A report [7f>] showed
the 607,635 persons as made up of the following classes:
Traveling by train:

County of

School children with their teachers1-------------- 259,452
Mothers traveling with children under 5 years
of age and school children withdrawn from
school parties, and women expecting chil­
dren more than 1 month ahead--------------------- 152,142
Traveling by coach to predetermined destinations:
School parties of handicapped and tiny chil­
dren accompanied by teachers, domestic
staff, and attendants1-------------------------------- — 12, 000
Expectant mothers whose confinements were
due within 1 month___________________________
2, 921
Blind adults_____________________ ______ 1---------—
4, 600
Total______________ i ______________________ 428,115
1 Approximately 1 adult to 10 children.
432652°— 42------6
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78, 540

5, 000
179, 520



Because less than the expected number of children appeared to
join the school parties it was possible to complete the evacuation in a
little more than 3 days instead of the 4 days that had been planned.
The evacuation of school parties took place in an orderly and pre­
determined fashion.
On each day during which evacuation took place, school children
were assembled at the schools in parties headed by their teachers and
accompanied by helpers who in many cases were volunteers.
Lack o f medical examinations.

Because the evacuation took place at the end o f a vacation period,
no medical examinations or nurses’ inspections had been made since
the recess began, in some cases more than a month before^ The
result was that a good many children appeared for evacuation who
were suffering from skin infection or from pediculosis. No attempt
was made to send school doctors and school nurses with the children
on the trains or coaches because it was believed that the evacuation
would shortly be followed by very heavy raids when all medical
personnel would be required for the casualty services.
When the order for evacuation o f children was given in September
1939 the school medical officers and school nurses under the local edu­
cation authorities automatically were assigned to the Emergency
Medical Services, first-aid posts, or A. R P. services. This was done
in the belief that, since a great majority of the school children would
be evacuated and the schools closed, the school medical services would
be no longer needed. The subsequent history o f evacuation indicated
at once that school medical services in London were urgently needed
to prepare additional children more effectively for evacuation and
to render service to the portion of the school population remaining
in London.
When the parties of school children were ready to set out, they
were assembled in columns of 4 with the smallest children in the
middle. Each child carried his own luggage and lunch. As a rule
these school parties walked to the nearest tube stations and were
taken to one o f about 40 entraining stations which had been estab­
lished at the outskirts. Here the school parties were nut aboard
trains or busses in order of arrival at the station. Sin<5e the plan
called for the evacuation of nearly 200,000 children a day, it was not
possible m this first large evacuation for the transportation authori­
ties to give advance notice of the destination o f each school party.
Transportation schedules had been prepared, and in general the plan
for distribution of children in school parties was carried out. In
some cases where school parties were to be transported by coach the
accommodations were not sufficient to carry the total number at one
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time and separations occurred. Sometimes one squad o f a school
party would find itself in a village entirely separated from the rest of
the party. In some cases school teachers found themselves in charge
o f children who were not originally assigned to them. In a few
instances parties o f secondary-school children found themselves in
villages where there was no secondary school to which they could go,
and the lack o f equipment made it difficult for the accompanying
school teachers to adjust the situation.
As regards parties o f mothers with children under 5 and expectant
mothers, at the start of evacuation there was relatively little informa­
tion on the number who wished to be evacuated. Though some had
registered at child-welfare centers, most o f those who reported had
not registered. As a result, the process o f transportation and the
determination of destinations were more difficult. Certain prepara­
tions had been made in receiving areas for pregnant women, but the
arrangements could not always be carried out. Occasionally difficul­
ties arose when parties of pregnant women destined for a specified
community where billets had been prepared for them arrived instead
in a different community where children were expected. Similar
groups of mothers and children under 5 occasionally arrived in a
community where secondary-school children were expected. These
difficulties were relatively uncommon, and there were no really serious
misadventures or casualties.
The arrival in reception areas.

On arriving at the detraining centers, groups o f children and
mothers were met by the authorities o f the district and the localities to
which they were to be assigned. I f the arrival of the children was
not too late in the day, plans were immediately made for distributing
the school children and the mothers and young children to the billets
in the villages’ or towns for which they were destined. Volunteers
were on hand to help the local authorities in this process of distribu­
tion. Many automobiles were requisitioned and the children and
mothers were taken to their villages and billets as rapidly as possible.
In many cases rest centers had been prepared at the detraining centers
to which the children could be taken to wait and rest while awaiting
transportation to their billets. When children arrived at the detrain­
ing stations too late in the afternoon or early evening to be distributed
to their final destination, or when more were received than had been
expected, arrangements were made for the children to stay overnight
in such a rest center. As a rule this rest center was a school hall or
other community center of some sort where they could be made reason­
ably comfortable overnight. In many cases cots or mattresses, and in
all cases meals, were provided for the children.
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Assignment to billets.

Mothers with children under 5 years of age were billeted on house­
holders as lodgers and expected to provide their own meals, using the
householders’ kitchens and equipment for cooking. This was obviously
fraught with many difficulties because of the great differences in the
background of city and country mothers and the concern of a house­
holder for her household possessions when used by someone else with
different standards of care. Friction arising from minor incidents
was often the cause o f a mother’s returning to London with her young
children. The need for social workers to assist in adjusting these
situations was not appreciated at this time.
Pregnant women were assigned, as a rule, to special billets selected
ahead o f time in areas near hospitals or maternity homes. In some
cases the householder had agreed to allow the delivery to take place in
her home, for which she received an extra allowance o f 5s., but it was
soon apparent that this arrangement would not prove to be satisfactory.
School children were billeted on householders as boarders and the
householders were fully responsible for their meals and for proper
sleeping quarters. Great effort was made to get enough cots to pro­
vide one for each. Many local authorities had made such provision
of cots and bedding before evacuation took place.
The very rapid spread o f pediculosis, scabies, and impetigo among
the evacuated children and from the evacuated children to local chil­
dren created a situation in many localities which in some cases threat­
ened to interfere with the success of the whole project. Local health
visitors and district nurses, householders, teachers, and helpers were
forced to take vigorous steps to clean up the children and treat the
skin infections. In accomplishing this, the local authorities had the
assistance of many volunteers. Temporary cleansing stations were
established. A t the end o f about 3 weeks the situation was largely in
Second only to the difficulties arising from these minor ailments
were the difficulties arising from enuresis. Many children coming
to new and strange surroundings developed enuresis when they had
not suffered from it before. Unfamiliarity with the types of toilet
facilities available in many o f the households to which they went, com­
bined with shyness and often a sense of insecurity, resulted in enuresis
and other psychosomatic disturbances which were very disturbing to
the householders. In many cases the occurrence o f these behavior dif­
ficulties was one of the factors in bringing about the return o f children
to their families in London. In other cases where the difficulties were
persistent, solution was found by placing the child either in another
household where there was greater sympathy with the emotional state
underlying the difficulty, or in a temporary hostel. In those excep-
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tional areas where child-guidance workers were already rendering
service, problems of this sort were faced promptly and methods of
meeting them were worked out. In the vast majority of them, how­
ever, there were no such workers, nor were there any social workers
trained in the care of children.
At the time of this first evacuation local authorities did not appreci­
ate the importance of having temporary hostels available into which
unaccompanied children or mothers and children could be put before
they were assigned to billets. In those few communities where such
temporary quarters were provided they were found to be of great
assistance in handling children who were sick or who were obviously
behavior problems. The lack o f such provision resulted in the billet­
ing of children who were suffering from scabies, impetigo, and pedicu­
losis and the rapid spread of these conditions among other children in
the local communities. It also meant that there was no opportunity
to observe children who were known to be behavior problems before
leaving the city or to plan selective placement for them.
When evacuation from London took place, the child-care organizers
(social workers) employed by the Education Officer’s Department
of the London County Council for work in the London schools were
Assigned to help- the divisional dispersals officers in whatever way
seemed most useful. At this time it was not realized that the assist­
ance of these child-care organizers would be needed in the reception
areas to help with the parties o f mothers and children especially,
or with the groups of so-called difficult children. On the second
day of the evacuation these child-care organizers were delegated to
act as assistant leaders of parties of mothers and young children.
A few of them stayed in the reception areas to introduce the London
mothers to their hostesses, but in most cases, being assured by the
reception committees that they were able to deal with the situation,
the child-care organizers handed over their charges and returned
to London.
Community social services in reception areas.

Arrangements for education, health supervision, and medical care
of the school children and other priority groups, including maternityhome care, as well as the provision of various community social serv­
ices, special types of hostels, nursery centers, residential nurseries,
and communal feeding will be discussed in a separate section of this
report. (See pp. 97-128.) Suffice it to say here that until evac­
uation actually took place it was not possible to foresee how each
type of community service recommended could best be developed,
nor was the need for transfer of trained workers, such as health
visitors, school physicians and nurses, child-care organizers, childguid^nce workers, appreciated sufficiently at the start.
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The additional burdens laid on householders who had their own
families to provide for were very heavy, and there arose many in­
stances o f incompatibility with city mothers or difficulties with the
behavior of school children, which meant major adjustments in the
family life of the householder if the evacuated persons remained in
the house or the removal o f the children or mothers to new billets or
to temporary hostels. In the early stages o f the evacuation, planning
for community activities which would take the mothers and children
out o f the billets for at least a part of each day had to be developed
quickly. These included social centers for the mothers, recreation
centers for school children, nursery centers, school meals and other
forms of communal-feeding centers, and communal laundries. As
the organization o f these went forward, many points o f friction
between “ hosts” and “guests” were eliminated. I f they could have
been organized before evacuation, or even if social centers only had
been immediately made available for mothers in every community,
where they could gather with their city friends for a part o f each
day, much of the return to London and other cities would have
been avoided. The early stages of reception care, however, were
periods of learning by trial and error, and the surprising thing is that
the success was as great as it was.
Pamphlets and leaflets o f advice to householders were quickly
prepared and widely distributed, chiefly by the Women’s Voluntary
Services, and covered such subjects as, “ Information on Evacuation
for Householders Taking Unaccompanied Children” [77], “ Informa­
tion on Bed-Wetting” [7£], “ Information on the Cleansing and Care
o f Children’s Heads” [75], “ Care o f Children in War-time” [ 80],
“ Notes and Suggestions on Clothing” [81], “ Give and Take” [82],
“ A Healthy Child Is a Happy Child” [83], “W ar Time play Schemes
for Children” [84].
Later, local authorities in a number o f instances prepared bulletins
of information for hostess and guest, as for example that entitled,
“Help and Advice for Hostess and Guest” [85], published by the
Borough o f Bedford, or “ Handbook of Services Available for
Evacuees in the County” [86], published as a guide to billeting o f­
ficers by the Huntingdonshire County Council. These bulletins con­
tain most useful and suggestive information. A Government bulletin
on “ The Louse and How To Deal With It” [87] was also published
a little later.
Advice to parents against bringing children back to the cities was
circulated freely in the form of leaflets \88, $5, 90] put out by the
Ministry of Health.
The return to London .

For a variety of reasons, very soon after the evacuation took place
many mothers and young children returned to their homes in Lon
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don and many other parents brought their school children home.
Most of this was the result of the absence of the expected bombing
of London, the great strangeness of the country surroundings for
the city women, the difficulty that arose when one family was bil­
leted upon another, the worries of the evacuated mothers because
their husbands were not being fed or their older children were not
being cared for. The return to London began within a few days
after the evacuation but reached its height at the end of about 2
to 3 months. Approximately two-thirds of the mothers with young
children returned to the city and approximately half of the school
children were taken home by their parents. It was estimated by
the Ministry of Health [.97] that on January 1, 1940, there were still
left in the reception areas approximately 400,000 school children
from London and other evacuation areas and about 50,000 mothers
and young children. Approximately 430,000 school children and
370,000 mothers and young children had returned to the evacuation
areas. About half of these returned to London.

Continuing Evacuation Plans— October 1939-September
Adjustments after evacuation.
a. Readjustm ent o f school medical services.

Immediately after the first evacuation in September 1939 the Min­
istry of Health and the Board of Education took stock of the situation
and soon realized that the lack of medical examination of children
and treatment o f infectious conditions and simple cleaning up before
evacuation was responsible for at least some of the overwhelming dif­
ficulties that were being faced in the reception areas. It was also
appreciated that physicians and nurses or health visitors should have
been sent out on the trains with the children and, to some extent,
that child-care workers could be of help in making adjustments in
the reception communities.
The need for reestablishing the school medical service in London
(see p. 112) was very quickly apparent, as was the great necessity for
assigning physicians, school nurses, health visitors, and midwives to
the reception areas. The rapid spread of pediculosis, scabies, and
other conditions associated with uncleanliness from the relatively
small proportion (probably not more than 10 percent) o f evacuated
children to others who went out with them and to children resident
in the reception area raised a furor of indignation and criticism which
had its repercussions in Parliament. That it was wholly avoidable
was true, and much o f the criticism was justified. Also, children
with acute sore throats would not have been allowed to travel in close
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association with well children if an adequate number o f physicians
had been available at assembly points to examine children before
starting. Immediate steps were taken to avoid these difficulties in
the future. The Senior School Medical Officer in London and his
central staff were recalled from their assignments under the Emer­
gency Medical Services and reassigned to take up their regular duties.
Before the end o f the month a large number of the full-time school
mdical officers were also recalled to duty in the school medical serv­
ices. In the same way school nurses were released from the Emer­
gency Medical Services and returned to duty in .the London school
medical service. School treatment centers were reopened. Medical
examinations o f children were started and parents o f children remain­
ing in London were encouraged by messages and notices to bring
their children to the schools and treatment centers for examination.
It was promptly decided that thereafter thorough medical examina­
tions should be given to all school children to be evacuated. (See
p. 83 for description of preparation o f children for evacuation; see
p. 114 for medical care o f sick children in London.)
In the reception areas school medical services had long been estab­
lished in connection with all the provincial schools. In the larger
cities and towns, school treatment centers had been established in con­
nection with the schools, frequently as separate physical units. In
smaller places treatment centers were located in the schools. Medical
inspection of school children was available in all school systems. A
child who was found to be in need o f care would be referred by school
physician, nurse, or teacher to the school clinic, which in turn referred
him, if necessary, to a hospital clinic or ward, or to a private
The school medical services in the reception areas were not adequate
to provide for the evacuated school children, and it was necessary
for the school authorities in the evacuation areas to assign doctors
and nurses to the reception areas to aid in care. The receiving author­
ity was responsible for asking the evacuating authority to assign this
b. Adjustm ents in reception areas.

Difficulties of adjustments of mothers with young children to their
billets also arose at once, as there had been little preparation of the
householders in the reception areas so that they would make allow­
ance for the different habits and customs of the city women or for
the tension and emotional strain which the evacuation necessarily
created. There had been little preparation o f the city mothers (ex­
cept to glorify the advantages o f country life) to help them meet the
completely new conditions of rural life .. There had been little or no
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planning for community activities for the newcomers to help them
make adjustments. The organization of the school classes had met
many difficulties in the nature of inadequate premises, irregular hours,
lack of school equipment, and so forth.
Because of these situations the Ministry of Health and the Board
o f Education soon issued additional circulars and memoranda to
aid the evacuating and receiving authorities in facilitating plans for
further evacuation and the better organization of the reception areas.
On September 12, 1939, a circular (1871) [92] was issued by the
Ministry giving information supplementary to that previously pub­
lished for receiving authorities on a wide variety of subjects, such
as redistribution of evacuees, resumption of school life, assistance to
householders by teachers and helpers, treatment o f dirty or verminous
conditions, use o f empty houses, day nurseries, billeting young chil­
dren, communal meals, blankets and camp beds, clothing, and so
A special circular (185TB) [93] on requisitioning of premises, in­
spections, and records was issued in September, as was a special cir­
cular (1879) [ 9Ji\ requesting reports on the number o f blankets and
camp beds needed by local authorities and asking for a return report
on the number billeted in each area. Still a third information circu­
lar (1876) [95] was issued to local authorities before the end of
September, giving advice on private arrangements, prohibiting trans­
portation of persons outside approved arrangements, and requesting
evacuating authorities to carry out a medical inspection and, where
necessary, efficient treatment of all children to be evacuated.
Public-health services for evacuated mothers and children.—Early
in October 1939 the Ministry issued an important circular (1882) [96]
on public-health services in reception areas covering such topics as—
1. The assignment of personnel by evacuting authorities to receiv­
ing authorities.
2. Medical arrangements for school children.
3. Medical treatment for mothers with young children.
4. Maternity and child-welfare services.
5. Arrangements for expectant mothers and young children.
6. Additional hospital accommodation for infectious diseases.
7. Provision of “sick bay” accommodation for minor illnesses.


Emergency hospital scheme.
9. Care of difficult children.
A s an appndix, a series of recommendations with respect to the
establishment of day or residential nurseries in emergency.

In this circular the Ministry pointed out the necessity for the release
of medical officers, dentists, nurses, school nurses, midwives, and
health visitors in order to help receiving authorities. It was suggested
that the staff o f evacuating authorities might be released to receiving
authorities on a temporary basis and subject to recall in case of need
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for the service in the evacuation area. The circular gave detailed
suggestions on how personnel could be released, and included advice on
the use o f the local school medical services, domiciliary medical treat­
ment o f sick school children and o f mothers with young children,
assistance for medical care through the local receiving officer, the ex­
tension o f child-welfare services including health visiting, child-wel­
fare centers, antenatal and postnatal services, and the provision of
cheap milk and meals to evacuated mothers and young children. The
appointment of additional staff (as well as loan o f staff) by the receiv­
ing authority was made possible. Under the subject of arrangements
for expectant mothers and young children, various matters were taken
up, such as billeting young children when the mother was confined, use
o f residential or day nurseries, hostels for antenatal care, confinement
in billets and the increase in billeting allowance during the lying-in
period from 5s. to 10s. a week, assistance from the Ministry o f Labour
when the woman was unable to pay for board, and recovery o f cost
o f delivery when the woman was able to pay. The sections on accom­
modations for infectious diseases, sick-bay care, and care under the
Emergency Hospitals Scheme gave full instructions.
Supplementing suggestions made in its earlier circular (1469) [7^]
on education of evacuated school children in time o f emergency, in
which preliminary instructions on school medical services in reception
areas had been given, the Board of Education issued a brief circular
(1479) [57] on September 29, 1939, a circular (1485) [98] on the
school dental service in wartime on November 24, 1939, and a more
comprehensive circular (1490) [99] on the “ School Health Services in
War-time” on December 14, 1939. The last circular dealt fully with
services in evacuation areas as well as in reception areas.
Some time later, in August 1940, still another circular (1523) [100]
was issued by the Board o f Education advising local authorities of
the possible further withdrawal of physicians and dentists by the
military forces and urging that all vacancies be filled as soon as
possible. Bealizing that all vacancies probably could not be filled, the
Board made suggestions concerning the essential school services that
should be carried out, as follows :
1. Every child should receive a full medical examination as soon as
practicable after admission to school. In view of the difficulty of de­
tecting visual defects at this age it may be necessary to postpone vision
testing until a later age, e. g., 7 or 8 years.
2. Every school should be frequently visited— if possible at least once
a term— by a medical officer for the purpose of carrying out a rapid
survey of all children in the school. At these visits particular attention
should be paid to ailing children and children specially presented by
school nurses, teachers, attendance officers, or parents. This rapid
survey of all the children should have regard, inter alia, to the nutrition
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of the children and to the selection of children who appear to be in need
of supplementary nourishment. In view of the great importance of
maintaining the nutrition of children in wartime, this is a branch of
the work of the School Medical Service which should be maintained
and, so far as practicable, extended (see paragraph 3 of Circular 1520).
3. There should be no relaxation in the work of detecting and pre­
venting uncleanliness.
4. All children requiring observation or treatment should be followed
up and existing treatment facilities should be maintained.

Suggestions were also made with respect to the dental service, the
filling of vacancies, and the essential dental services in wartime.
Commwnal services.—In November 1939 a detailed memorandum
(Memo. Ev. 6) \102~\ and a circular of information (1913) \_10ï\ were
issued by the Ministry o f Health to reception-area and evacuation-area
authorities and county councils, giving to the local authorities sugges­
tions how, under the difficult circumstances of the evacuation, assist­
ance could be given to householders to lighten the burden which
inevitably fell upon them in the reception of evacuated school children
or mothers and young children. The memorandum was necessitated
by the fact that a great many mothers and young children had re­
turned to the evacuation areas and also many unaccompanied school
children had been taken home by their parents. To forestall this,
and to lighten the burden o f householders, the memorandum made
suggestions on how some of the problems could be solved. It pointed
out that it was essential that the burden o f service should be equitably
distributed. Concrete suggestions were made for the development
of communal services, redistribution of evacuated persons or schools
in the reception areas, and visits by parents and relatives.
Under the general heading of the development of communal services,
attention was drawn to the importance of communal meals, the further
organization o f social and recreative activities for school children out
o f school hours, facilities for the occupation of mothers and young
children outside the houses in which they were billeted, assistance with
domestic work—cooking, washing, or mending—by helpers. The use
of volunteer or paid helpers in the development o f community services
was particularly recommended, and provision was made for transfer
of helpers originally assigned to the school unit.
Nursery centers.— In January 1940 an important circular \103~\ on
nursery centers for children in reception areas was issued jointly by
the Board of Education and the Ministry of Health. This circular
outlined in detail how nursery centers for children between the ages
of 2 and 5 years could be organized and financed. It gave suggestions
on the accommodation and staff required and pointed out that the
Ministry of Health was prepared to regard approved expenditures for
the establishment and maintenance of nursery centers as a charge upon
the general evacuation account (see p. 125).
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c. Visits by parents to children in reception areas.

In order to allay fears of parents of school children and to make it
possible for them to visit children in the reception areas, arrange­
ments were made with the railway companies by the Government for
railway facilities in the form of 1-day return tickets at reduced fares
on trains running on Sundays. Parents in taking advantage of this
arrangement were told that the visit must not be taken as an occasion
for withdrawing children from the receiving areas.
Modification o f original plan.

In February 1940 a modification o f the first general plan was for­
mulated and described in a circular (1965) \10Ji\ issued by the Min­
istry of Health and in Memo. Ev. 8 \105\. The scheme was confined to
unaccompanied school children and was not to be put into effect until
air raids on land developed. Since, therefore, notice of the evacua­
tion under this plan would necessarily be short, the Ministry o f Health
pointed out to the local authorities that it was essential that the
organization of the plan should be in such a state as to enable it to
function at short notice. It was further pointed out that—
1. The areas to be evacuated would be the same as those evacuated
in September 1939.
2. Evacuation would not necessarily take place in all areas on the
same day but would depend on prevailing conditions in the areas.
3. Not less than 36 hours’ notice would be given of the evacuation of
any area.
4. Evacuation would take place between the heavy peaks of morning
traffic and evening traffic.
5. Specified parties would, so far as possible, be taken to specified
6. The rate of delivery of the children to each part of the receiving
area would be steady over the whole period during which evacuation
7. Trains would, wherever possible, reach detraining stations before

8. Evacuation would be completed as quickly as possible, usually in
4 to 5 days.
9. Railway companies would try to notify receiving authorities of
change of plans made during evacuation.

A campaign was launched to persuade parents to register their chil­
dren, and an appeal was made to householders in the reception areas
to enroll themselves as willing to provide billets and share the respon­
sibility of the work with their neighbors. A t the same time local
receiving authorities were reminded of their compulsory powers and
that it was the view of the Government that these powers should be
exercised if the voluntary response was insufficient to secure an
equitable distribution.
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Plans were prepared for each evacuation area on the basis of the
estimated probable response in that area, and new quotas on a much
smaller scale than the original quota were allocated to reception areas.
Under this plan it was estimated that some 560,000 school children
might be evacuated when the order came in the succeeding months.
The London County Council, through the Education Officer’s De­
partment, prepared at this time and issued on March 19,1940, a docu­
ment [ 106] addressed to the leaders of all parties (of evacuees) and all
adults accompanying them, with copies to all council officials and to
the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Transport, and their appro­
priate regional representatives. This document contained a complete
statement of information and instructions on policy and procedure foi
the next evacuation of school children, covering information needed
by evacuating staff, such as transport, divisional organization, per­
sonnel, notification of evacuation, identification of parties, food, first
aid, nursing staff, health and cleanliness of children, and information
needed by the receiving authorities, such as duties of leaders of parties,
notification to receiving authority of arrival of parties, educational
arrangements, boots and clothing, special school parties, holidays, and
school-closure periods. This was followed by a detailed set of in­
structions [-707] to all officers of the London County Council involved
in the procedure of evacuation on the specific signals that would be
issued by the Evacuation Division when the day for evacuation came.
a. Registration o f children.

By May 1940 it had become apparent that parents were not in­
terested in registering their children for evacuation in advance of
evidence o f more imminent bombing. Notice (Circular 2017 [108])
was sent in May by the Ministry of Health to all evacuation au­
thorities urging that further effort be made to obtain the registration
o f children. In spite of lack of registration the Ministry indicated
that arrangements already made by local evacuating and receiving
authorities for evacuation, including those for transport, should
stand subject to later modification.
b. B illeting allowances.

In May, after consideration o f the burden being borne by house­
holders in receiving areas and a review of the rates paid for un­
accompanied school children, it was decided to increase the allowance
of older children to the following rates [108] :
Unaccompanied children between 10 and 14 years of age-------- 10s. 6d.
Unaccompanied children between 14 and 16 years of age---------12s. 6d.
Unaccompanied children over 16 years of age---------------------------- 15s. Od.
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The rate for children under 10 remained at 8s. 6d. a week.
new scale o f payments went into effect May 31, 1940.


c. H ostels.

Provision had been made in Memo. Ev. 8 [105] for the extension
o f the number o f hostels for various purposes. In May 1940 special
attention was called to the provision of several types of hostels in
the Ministry’s Circular 2017 [108] and in a circular (1508) [109]
issued by the Board o f Education describing particularly hostels for
evacuated children in secondary, junior technical, and selective cen­
tral schools. Accompanying Circular 2017 the Ministry o f Health
issued Memo. Ev. 9 [110] giving information, among other subjects,
on hostels, including selection o f children, premises, equipment,
domestic arrangements, staff, voluntary help, diet, costs, organization
of the children’s life.. In May 1940 the Ministry issued a circular
(2032) [111] authorizing local receiving authorities to incur neces­
sary and reasonable expenditure in acquiring and equipping such
hostels on the basis that accommodation o f this kind might be re­
quired for a number of children not exceeding 5 percent o f the quota
allotted to each area.
d. M aternity and child w elfare.

The Ministry o f Health expressed the view through a circular
(1998) [112] in April 1940 that the aim of all child-welfare au­
thorities in receiving areas should be to bring within the scope of
their services all mothers and young children in their areas, whether
evacuated under the Government scheme or privately. The Ministry
outlined the scope o f the services expected as including health visit­
ing, clinics, provision o f milk and meals, and dental treatment. The
circular dealt with the financial responsibility of the receiving au­
thority for its own residents and pointed out that the welfare
authorities in evacuation areas should in the first instance meet ex­
penditure for persons normally resident in their areas. The welfare
authority in the reception area was directed to claim reimbursement of
net expenditures attributable to evacuees from the welfare authority
o f the area in which evacuees normally resided. The Ministry also
stated that it would recognize for grant as an evacuation charge (in
claims put forward by authorities in reception or evacuation areas)
net additional expenditures for services for expectant and nursing
mothers and young children evacuated under the Government scheme.
Expenditures incurred by welfare authorities in receiving areas in
respect of special institutions, as maternity homes, antenatal hostels,
or residential nurseries, would be matters for adjustment between
the local receiving authority and the Exchequer and could be in­
cluded in claims for grant as evacuation expenditure in accordance
with paragraph 10 o f Circular 1800 [1$].
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e. Preparation o f the children for evacuation.

Medical examination and treatment.—In order that the children
evacuated under the new scheme should be in good medical condi­
tion, or that at least the child’s condition at the time of evacuation
should be known to the receiving authorities, instructions were given
by the Ministry of Health in Memo. Ev. 8 \105\ and in a joint cir­
cular \113~\ issued with the Board o f Education to evacuating au­
thorities with respect to medical examination of the children prior to
their evacuation. The evacuating authorities were requested “ to
carry out a medical inspection and, where necessary, efficient treat­
ment of all children to be included in the parties. No child who is
not free from infection or disease should be included in the party
unless arrangements can be made for its reception in an institution or
other place where it can be attended to until free from any such disease
or infection.”
The instructions from the Ministry of Health further indicated
that because of the short notice to be given to evacuating authorities
a certain number o f children would necessarily be evacuated before
infectious conditions and conditions of uncleanliness could be cared
for. Therefore receiving authorities were to take steps to insure that
children suffering from infection or disease, such as scabies, impetigo,
or serious conditions of uncleanliness, should not be billeted in that
condition on householders.
To meet this need it was suggested that the receiving authorities
should make available accommodations in hostels sufficient for ap­
proximately 5 percent o f the total number of children due to be
received. The Ministry o f Health recommended that preparations
be made for the requisitioning of empty houses to be used as emer­
gency hostels for these children. It was recognized tjiat existing
hostels or sick bays already in use could also be used. Receiving
authorities were advised to provide themselves with sufficient camp
beds and blankets to equip such emergency hostels. The evacuating
authority was advised to recruit a sufficient staff o f suitable helpers
to staff the emergency hostels. It was planned that these helpers
should travel with the parties o f children and remain with the
children in the hostels until they were fit to be billeted.
The Ministry o f Health recommended to evacuating authorities that
particular care should be taken to examine children registered for
evacuation through the school medical services, and steps taken to get
rid of such conditions as head lice, impetigo, scabies. So far as pos­
sible no child was to be sent out who was suffering from a condition
of disease or uncleanliness which the medical officer would regard as
necessitating exclusion from school. The Ministry recommended
further that the full available resources o f the school medical and
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nursing staff should be concentrated on the work of medical examina­
tion of children from the time evacuation was announced until it
was completed, and suggested that the priority of the school in the
timetable for evacuation should determine how far it was practicable
to carry out a medical examination before evacuation, or how far this
examination must be conducted after arrival in the reception area
and before billeting. The Ministry of Health recommended that,
if school children were sent out before examination was completed,
arrangements should be made for medical and nursing staff to accom­
pany the children on the journey in order to cooperate with the
staff o f the receiving authority on their arrival; and that where
medical examinations had taken place before the departure o f chil­
dren the evacuating authority should take all steps practicable to
identify children subject to enuresis or other disability which would
make it difficult to billet them on private householders. The evacu­
ating authority was to designate in charge of each party some one
person who would be responsible for acquainting the receiving
authority at the detraining station with the necessary particulars of
this kind. Instructions to the receiving authority included the
recommendation that provision for the attendance of medical and
nursing staffs at the detraining station should be required for con­
sultation with the medical and nursing staff who were to accompany
the party, or with the teacher in charge, with a view to making
prompt plans for the temporary placement in hostels o f children
who could not be billeted at once.
London 'plan for medical examination.—In response to the memo­
randum issued by the Ministry of Health making recommendations
with respect to the new plan for evacuation, the school medical serv­
ice o f the London County Council prepared a detailed plan for the
examination *of school children to be evacuated under the plan, the
general outlines o f which were included in the Council’s instructions
bulletin \_106] o f March 19, 1940. The Council scheme was to be
divided into two parts: First, the medical supervision of children
who had been registered; second, the arrangements for final medical
examination immediately before departure from London. For chil­
dren who were registered for evacuation the plan called for medical
examination, treatment of any minor ailment, follow-up observation by
the school nurses, and reexamination the day before evacuation was
scheduled. For children who had not been registered but whose
parents at the last moment wished to have them sent out, examina­
tions were planned to be held in connection with final registration
and assembly.
It was decided that with each child to be evacuated there should
be sent an evacuation card
sent out May 10, 1940, with an
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accompanying statement to physicians [L/£|) indicating whether
or not an initial medical examination had been held, the presence of
any physical defect affecting evacuation, and estimate of nutritional
state, and whether or not the child was receiving school dinners or
school milk in London, the condition of cleanliness, the presence of
infectious conditions such as impetigo or scabies, and any history
of enuresis. The examining physician was to indicate on the card
whether the child was fit for evacuation and billeting, and if unfit,
the reason. The same card was to be used for children registered
ahead of time and for those who attended for examination and
evacuation without registration.
A full bulletin of instructions on “Medical Treatment and the
Government Evacuation Scheme”
was issued to the London
County Council administrative staff for their information, reviewing
fully the position of the Government with respect to medical care of
evacuees and especially the school medical service program.
Notes [i-M] for the guidance of medical officers conducting the
final examination and instructions for filling out the evacuation card
were issued on May 10. Instructions
were given to the physi­
cians to mark on each child’s identification labels symbols in red
pencil indicating the existence of infections and their opinion whether
the condition o f the child warranted immediate billeting, or whether
he should be placed in a temporary hostel until certain conditions
were cleared up. A memorandum was issued to the examining physi­
cians indicating the symbols to be used. The same memorandum was
given to the receiving authorities so that the symbols could be
properly interpreted. Special indication was made when informa­
tion was available that a child might be expected to have behavior
Preparations were made by the London County Council authorities
to employ an adequate number of physicians to make the necessary
examinations before arid during the period of actual evacuation, and
a team of 238 whole-time and 59 part-time practitioners was obtained
for this work. A time sheet [II«9] was provided on which the
physicians kept a record of the days and time given to medicalinspection work. Payment was made at the rate of 15s. an hour or
part of an hour.
Since the number of London County Council nurses had been
greatly depleted, the Civil Nursing Reserve was called upon to sup­
ply a team o f 180 additional units, most of whom were untrained
nursing auxiliaries, together with 56 senior nursing students. De­
tailed memoranda and instructions were issued by the London County
Council to its staff, covering all points of the new evacuation scheme.
The plan called for the attendance of physicians and nurses at the
432652°— 42----- 7
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point o f assembly of children on the day o f departure itself, in order
that a possible last-minute gate-crasher for whom there was room on
the'train might be dealt with, and that any child who was suspected
o f haying an acute infection might be seen at this time. The bathing
stations were to be kept open through the evacuation period so that
as many children as possible who were in an unsatisfactory condition
could be treated before entrainment.

Second General Evacuation— June 1940
School children.

In May 1940, when the time for the second general evacuation
seemed to be at hand, it was found [120\ that only 80,000 school
children had been registered, whereas the quota originally assigned
to London was 267,000. It was decided [7#7, 122] to permit registra­
tion right through the evacuating period, and registrars for each
assembly point were appointed. A further drive for registration was
undertaken, and by June 8, at which time it was decided that the
evacuation should begin on June 13, 120,000 children had been regis­
tered. It was at this time that the group o f 297 physicians in
London were called upon to make the final examinations of the
children before evacuation.
Between June 13 and June 18 the second major evacuation from
London took place under instructions \12B] issued June 8. About
100.000 school children [P7] were evacuated to the west coast of
England and South Wales. The movement went forward smoothly
and more effectively than before. Destinations of parties of school
children were known, and receiving authorities were in a position to
anticipate the numbers o f children who would arrive. The move
was well planned and receiving authorities were prepared in advance.
Later in the month additional groups o f children were evacuated
from Portsmouth, Southampton, and Gosport, and early in July
25.000 children [ 91] were evacuated from the east coast. Since then
evacuations from Coventry and Bristol and a part of Birmingham
have taken place. Registration of school children has continued in
the London area since June 1940, and parties were sent out weekly
until the middle o f September. Since the middle of September they
have been sent out almost daily; this latter evacuation was described
as a “trickle evacuation.” About 50,000 children have been evacuated
in this way. In February 1941 it was estimated that nearly fivesixths o f all school children normally living in the County of London
had been evacuated.
Expectant mothers.

The plan for the evacuation' o f expectant mothers during the last
month o f pregnancy, initiated at the time of the first evacuation in
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September 1939, was continued throughout the succeeding months.
In April 1940 it was stated [126] by the London County Council
Education Department that the new proposals for the evacuation of
school children issued in February 1940 did not in any way affect
the continued evacuation o f expectant mothers in the last month
before confinement. Instructions on how the plan for the evacuation of
expectant mothers was to be continued were reissued. I t was as­
sumed that if there was a serious threat of air raids, or if air raids
actually began, a considerably larger number of women would wish
to be removed than had taken advantage o f the scheme up to that
time. Kegistration o f women who would wish to be removed in the
last month of pregnancy was requested. After the initial registra­
tion the register was kept open continuously, and it was hoped that
clinics and hospitals would cooperate in keeping the register up
to date.
A leaflet [127] explaining the plan to the public was issued in May
1940. This leaflet pointed out that the mother could choose whether
she wished to be evacuated only if air raids began or were imminent,
or, in any event, as soon as the last month of pregnancy was reached.
The new directions indicated that parties o f expectant mothers
would be sent out, and that in the event of air raids the evacuation
o f expectant mothers would occur on 3 of the 6 evacuation days to
be designated. The plan continued to provide for qualified midwives
to accompany each coachload. Women registering under this new
plan for expectant mothers were to be accommodated in billets or
antenatal hostels, and a lodging allowance was to be paid by the
Government to the householder or hostel authorities. When billeted,
the women were expected to meet expenses other than lodging and
to contribute toward the cost o f hospital care. The London County
Council indicated that it was hoped that women would remain in
the reception area after the birth of the baby and that they would
not be compelled to return to the evacuation area because o f lack o f
means. It was suggested that those who were unable to pay for
their keep should apply for assistance at the local office o f the Min­
istry of Labour.
In May, at the time when evacuation was imminent, detailed
instructions [128] to medical officers of health, medical officers o f
hospitals, secretaries o f voluntary hospitals, and administrative
officials were issued. The great importance of registering all women
in the last month o f pregnancy who wished to be evacuated was
stressed, since at that time accommodations in maternity homes or
hospitals would take care o f only 25 percent o f women in London
in the last month o f pregnancy. Schedules for the evacuation o f
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registered expectant mothers were drawn up, indicating assembly
points, day o f evacuation, and destination.
The chief evacuation under this scheme occurred together with
the evacuation of school children, already described, on June 13 to
18, 1940. Afterwards, a trickle evacuation of pregnant women
continued throughout the summer.
Children under 5 evacuated to residential nurseries.

Because o f the difficulties arising in connection with billeting moth­
ers and children under 5 at the time of the first evacuation in Sep­
tember 1939 and the weeks following, the new plan initiated in
February 1940 was limited, as has been pointed out, to unaccom­
panied school children. The care of young children in residential
nurseries, however, was further expanded, and the method of select­
ing children for placement was improved. The Government assumed
more responsibility for standards and cost, and required parents to
contribute to the cost as they could.
On March 1, 1940, the Ministry of Health issued a memorandum
\129] on nursery parties to chairmen o f voluntary day nurseries and
nursery schools, and to matrons, superintendents, and teachers in
charge o f evacuated nursery parties. Under the first evacuation
scheme 149 parties [130~\ of children under 5 from day nurseries, resi­
dential nurseries, or nursery schools had been evacuated to large
houses in the reception areas, 133 of these from the London area.
Residential nurseries were, in general, under the supervision of the
Maternity and Child Welfare Division o f the Ministry of Health,
but their organization and management were undertaken by volun­
tary organizations. - According to proposals that had been made to
the Ministry in 1938, after the “ test evacuation” , the National So­
ciety o f Day Nurseries, the Nursery School Association, the Church
o f England Waifs and Strays Society, and others had been active
in establishing residential homes. The number of such residential
nurseries had increased to some extent as voluntary agencies were
able to find and equip and staff suitable premises. In the original
evacuation plan, as was pointed out in the memorandum by the Min­
istry o f Health o f May 1, 1939, children under 5 years o f age who
could not be accompanied by their mothers or other responsible per­
sons might be evacuated under the supervision of the day nurseries
or nursery schools that had been evacuated to reception areas. In
the memorandum of March 1, 1940, the Ministry of Health assumed
responsibility for these nurseries, and its statement may be sum­
marized as follow s:
Vacancies occurring in evacuated nursery schools and day nurseries
should be filled by children who in the event of heavy and sustained
aerial bombardment could not be taken out of immediate danger by
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their mother or some other responsible adult, and who should be
2. Some central machinery ought to be established to consider appli­
cations, prepare a priority list of children resident in the nurseries,
recommend admission to a receiving home in London,. and plan for
transport to join the nursery parties in the country.
3. Steps should be taken to associate the London County Council as
evacuation and public-assistance authority and the metropolitan
borough councils as welfare authorities with any such central ma­
chinery, in order that so far as possible vacancies might be used to
the best advantage.

During the period after the beginning of the evacuation in Sep­
tember 1939 the Evacuation Department of the Women’s Voluntary
Services had taken considerable part in organizing and establishing
the residential nurseries for children under 5. Applications for evac­
uation to these residential nurseries were already being received by
the Women’s Voluntary Services from various London official bodies.
The Women’s Voluntary Services had utilized a small receiving home
at Bedford College maintained by voluntary effort and had been able
to evacuate by volunteer motor transport some 400 children. During
the same period the London County Council as public-assistance
authority had evacuated to residential nurseries some hundreds of
young children falling within the scope of the Poor Law.
In the memorandum of March 1, 1940, the Ministry o f Health an­
nounced that arrangements had been made to associate with the
Evacuation Department of the Women’s Voluntary Services a mem­
ber o f the London County Council’s staff o f care-committee organnizers, an officer of its Public-Assistance Department, and a repre­
sentative o f the Standing Joint Committee of Metropolitan Borough
Councils for the work of investigating and dealing with appli­
cations for placement o f young children in the residential nurseries.
This group of representatives of organizations were formed into a
panel under the chairmanship of the director of the subdivision of
the Evacuation Department of the Women’s Voluntary Services
known as the “Under Vive’s Department.” This panel was given
authority by the Ministry of Health to arrange for selection and
admission of all children to receiving homes in London and to resi­
dential nurseries. Facilities for investigation of cases were available
through the various organizations represented on the panel. Before
being placed, children were admitted to the receiving home for ob­
servation periods o f 2 or 3 days. Each child was examined medi­
cally before admission to the receiving home. A complete set of
records and forms \1S1\ for applications, consent of parents for
medical treatment, and so forth, were drawn up.
Having set up this organization for the filling of vacancies in
residential nurseries, the Ministry o f Health urged all nursery com-
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mittees and local authorities who had accepted responsibility for
evacuating the nurseries—
1. To use the machinery set up by the organization of this panel for
the investigation of cases before admission.
2. To notify the London County Council of all cases in which it is
believed that the parents of a child now in the evacuated nursery have
removed to live in a reception area, so that arrangements might be
made for the child to rejoin the parents and thus set free a place in the
nursery for another child from the evacuation area.
3. To cooperate in securing the agreement of parents to the billeting
with householders of children who have reached the age of 5.
4. To notify the London County Council of vacancies within the
recognized accommodation in the nursery as assessed by the Ministry of

In the memorandum o f March 1 the Ministry o f Health stated that
from then on parents o f children in nurseries would be required to
contribute toward the cost o f maintaining their children in the evacu­
ated nurseries and that in the future payments from parents should
be accepted by nursery committees only i f they were made for cloth­
ing or as a contribution to the nursery over and above the parents’
liability to the Government. In order that parents might be brought
into what is known as the recovery scheme (the scheme for payment
by parents o f part of the cost of care in reception areas—see p. 64),
the Ministry o f Health indicated that the London County Council
should keep a register o f the names o f all children in the nurseries,
o f parents’ addresses, of dates o f admission to the nurseries, and of
similar particulars concerning all children admitted to the nurseries.
In carrying out the directions o f the Ministry of Health, the evacu­
ation panel meets at the Women’s Voluntary Services headquarters
to review applications. As part of its work, the panel reviews each
week approximately 150 applications. Decisions are made on the dis­
posal o f the children applying for care in the residential nurseries,
either by assigning them to a nursery, if the case is suitable, or by
referring them to voluntary agencies such as the Invalid Children’s
A id Association or the Children’s Country Holidays Fund, for place­
ment or for supervision at home.
The result o f this order of March 1, 1940, was that residential
nurseries were brought under more definite control by the Ministry
of Health, standards for care were carried out more effectively, over­
crowding was prevented, medical supervision was assured, and plans
for necessary extension o f the program were based on evidence of
need as provided through the applications coming to the central
In 1940, 61 additional nurseries were equipped and supported by
the Government with the aid of funds from the American Junior
Red Cross [Utf]. The funds were received by the Women’s Volun
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e v a c u a t io n

of c h il d r e n


tary Services, but the nurseries were organized and supervised by the
Church o f England W aifs and Strays Society.

Effect of Bombing— September 1940
Organized Government scheme.

Early in September 1940 the severe bombardment o f London
began, and evacuation of school children again increased, though
under the trickle scheme that had been established during the pre­
vious summer. (A special mass-evacuation plan [1321 had been
issued modifying previous plans on July 27, 1940, but was never put
into effect.) No large evacuations from London took place, but a
continuous flow o f parties left the city daily, including (1) school
children of bombed-out families as well as others, (2) pregnant
women, and, before the end of September, (3) parties of mothers
with children of school age and under, who were bombed out.
A lm o s t immediately after bombing began it was realized that
evacuation o f mothers with young children and also children of school
age, had to be arranged. On September 16, 1940, a circular (2140)
[1331 was issued by the Ministry of Health establishing the plan for
daily evacuation o f such parties. On September 23 a second
circular (2155) [131f1 was issued, stating that arrangements had
been made for parties of these mothers and children to be taken
direct to one of the emergency hospitals under the Government
casualty scheme (usually a hospital in the reception area to which
the party was allocated), where they were to be accommodated for
2 nights in order to afford them the necessary rest, and, if necessary,
nursing care. Arrangements for admission to the emergency hos­
pital were made by the senior regional officer and the regional
hospital officer, who in turn arranged with local authorities for
transportation to the hospital and for subsequent billeting. After
2 days in the hospital the parties were then taken to the local re­
ception areas to which they had been allocated for billeting. On
October 11, 1940, the Education Officer’s Department of the London
County Council issued a complete set of instructions and advice
[1351 on the evacuation of mothers and children under this scheme,
and prepared leaflets [1361 of advice to mothers, giving simple
information about how evacuation would be handled and making
suggestions on how they would receive help with food and other
necessities if they were without funds to pay for them.
By November 1940 this scheme for the evacuation of mothers and
children was extended to include all mothers with children living
in the County of London and East and West Ham, and to home­
less mothers and children in any of the metropolitan evacuation
areas (including Medway towns). In November from 500 to 1,000
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persons were being sent away daily under this plan, and it was esti­
mated that the number evacuated up to November was 100,000.
The Women’s Voluntary Services cooperated with the Ministry
o f Health and the local authorities in carrying out these plans for
mothers and children and their care in emergency hospitals and
transportation, and gave special attention to reequipping them with
clothing as needed. The use of the hospitals as rest centers had the
great advantage of giving the receiving authorities at least 2 days’
notice o f the arrival o f a party to be billeted, and of allowing the
mothers and children 2 days’ rest and care after the experiences
through which they had gone. There was evidence that the mothers
were extremely grateful for the arrangement.
Private arrangements.

In September 1940, soon after the onset of bombing, the Min­
istry of Health issued Memo. Ev. 10 [137], which provided that
mothers with children under 5 years of age who lived in any part
o f the metropolitan evacuation area and who had friends or rela­
tives in a reception area, could be provided with free travel warrants
and be billeted at the rate o f 5s. for the mother and 3s. for each
child. The Ministry instructed the evacuating authorities o f Lon­
don to issue certificates to mothers with children of school age or
under, to expectant mothers, and to aged, infirm, and invalid per­
sons (including the blind) normally resident in these areas, and
placed on the evacuating authority the responsibility of making sure
that arrangements had been made for accommodation.
The evacuating authority was instructed also to issue a railway
voucher entitling the mother and her children to travel to the re­
ception area. Keceiving authorities were instructed to issue billet­
ing forms at the appropriate rate to the householder with whom ar­
rangements had been made, when she produced the certificate issued
by the evacuating authority. Arrangements could also be made by
mothers who wished to take with them older children. I f a child
was under 14, the billeting rate was 3s. a week; if 14 or over, 5s. a
Ministry of Health Circular 2170 [138] extended the provision to
all of the priority groups, including mothers with children of school
age or under, expectant mothers, aged, infirm, and invalid persons
(including the blind), and stated that persons of either sex rendered
homeless by enemy action might be billeted officially in any area
(evacuation, neutral, or reception), provided they could make private
arrangements to be received.
Unaccompanied children o f school age or under, for whom accom­
modations had been found privately, might be billeted officially
(Memo. Ev. 7 [139]), provided that the contribution which the par­
ent would be required to pay was less than 6s. weekly,
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The adjustment of mothers and children in reception areas.

Later in October the Ministry of Health issued a comprehensive
statement to local authorities (Circular 2178 [_/.£#]) giving consider­
ation to various problems arising from the evacuation of mothers
and children under the Government scheme and under private ar­
rangements. The Ministry reiterated the Government’s point of view
that the policy of dispersal on which evacuation plans were based
was sound, and asked the cooperation of the local authorities and the
householders in doing everything possible to help women with young
children to settle down in strange surroundings, and at the same time
to minimize as far as possible the inconvenience to householders.
The attention of local authorities was drawn to a statement addressed
to householders and mothers, intended to assist each in adjusting to
the new situation. The Women’s Voluntary Services also prepared
a leaflet for this purpose.
The principal provisions of Circular 2178 may be summarized as
follows :
Responsibility of public-assistance authority.— The problem of billet­
ing persons who arrived in reception areas and who were unable to
find accommodation for themselves was to be met by the public-assist­
ance authority. The public-assistance authority was instructed to
request the billeting authority to provide accommodation for such per­
sons as mothers and children who came within the scope of the Gov­
ernment scheme, in order that the public-assistance temporary-accom­
modation quarters might be cleared as soon as possible. The billeting
authority was instructed, when requested by the public-assistance
authority, to make provision for mothers and children, even if they
arrived without certificates from the evacuating authority. Further
instructions were given with respect to billeting women without chil­
dren, and for dealing with men, either employed or unemployed, who
were not, however, to be billeted.
Crowding.— The Ministry of Health reiterated that overcrowding must
be avoided and “authorities should not hesitate when necessary to use
compulsory powers without fear or favor in order to secure a reason-;
able and equitable spread.” It had been reported to the Ministry that
in a number of districts the smaller houses had been billeted to their
full capacity but that no billeting had taken place in a number of the
larger houses.
Use of empty houses for evacuated mothers and children.— The Min­
istry urged that the widest possible use should be made of empty
houses, in order to reduce to a minimum the calls upon individual
householders in the district and to provide a form of accommodation
in which the evacuated mothers could be made responsible for the
management of their own households and families. Caution was given
regarding the water supply and sanitary arrangements, the provision
of proper facilities for cooking, and so forth. It was pointed out that
wherever families were to be housed together in a larger house, some
supervision on behalf of the receiving authority would be necessary
and that the Women’s Voluntary Services would be ready to help.
In general, it was recommended that the policy of reception author-
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ities should be to place in large houses families which for one reason
or another were not easy to billet, and it was pointed out that it might
be necessary to engage a paid social worker to take charge of the
house. It was suggested that the evacuating authority or the evac­
uation department of the Women’s Voluntary Services might be able
to assist in locating workers.

Welfare workers. Furthermore, the importance of employing persons
experienced in handling individual children and families who were
found to be difficult to billet or house was emphasized. Full use of
existing services and organizations, both official and voluntary, county
and district, was advised to take care o f the needs of evacuated per­
sons and to absorb them as rapidly and as fully as possible into the
life of the community.
Employment of women.— Advice was given on the regular employ­
ment or occupation of evacuated women, and it was suggested that
so far as there were opportunities women should enter local wage­
earning employment, provided they did not displace local labor. Local
authorities were advised to make full use of the facilities provided by
the Ministry of Labour’s local offices. Part-time employment was
suggested when women were not in a position to take full-time em­
ployment. It was suggested that the release of some mothers for
employment would be facilitated by making arrangements for the care
of the children during the day by the establishment of nursery centers
and provision of communal meals. It was further suggested that the
mothers themselves should be encouraged to take an active part in
the work of such local services. The advantage to the householders
and the mothers of the establishment of mothers’ clubs was pointed
out, and the participation of the mothers themselves in the manage­
ment of the clubs was stressed. The establishment of nursery centers
for children in association with the mothers’ clubs was suggested. The
establishment of community laundries was recommended. Other occu­
pations for the women were proposed, such as making and mending
• clothes for themselves and their children. '
The London County Council stood ready to assign to local education
authorities officers familiar with the types of work proposed for women,
and teachers experienced in instruction over a wide range of occupa­
tions and crafts, including recreational activities. The assistance of
the Women’s Voluntary Services and the local Women’s Institutes was
offered. A list of organizations which might be able to assist in
problems arising in connection with the evacuation of mothers and
children was appended to the Ministry’s circular.

Health services for evacuated civil population, including priority

In addition to giving advice on health services for children and
other priority classes, the Ministry of Health issued to local authori­
ties in November 1940 a circular (2204) [¿ ¿ f] covering all phases o f
health services for evacuated populations, including priority classes.
The purpose of the circular was to make certain that the local authori­
ties informed all evacuated persons of the health and other welfare
services available in the reception areas and of the best methods of
taking advantage of them. The local authorities were advised that
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it was particularly important that all normal health and welfare
services should be provided for evacuated and homeless persons
billeted in the authorities’ areas or accommodated in hostels or other
communal institutions as a charge on the evacuation account. It
was pointed out that when expenditure was incurred by any local
authority in extending its services to evacuated or homeless persons
billeted or accommodated at the expense of the Government, which
was shown to be additional to the expenditure that would normally
have been incurred, the local authority would be eligible under sec­
tion 56 of the Civil Defence Act, 1939, for a grant in the amount of the
additional expenditure.
The circular took up the health services as follows :
Staff.— Local authorities were reminded that where additional staff
was required for the maintenance of any expanded health service, they
should approach the corresponding authority in the evacuation area
for such assistance as the latter was able to render.
Domiciliary treatment.— Public-assistance authorities in receiving
areas were requested to review the situation with respect to the pro­
vision of the services of district medical officers for any necessary
domiciliary treatment of persons billeted in their areas who had been
accustomed to rely on the services of such district medical officers.
Public-assistance authorities were asked to consider whether extended
arrangements were required, and were informed that additional expen­
ditures reasonably incurred in respect of evacuated or homeless per­
sons billeted or accommodated at the expense of the Government, or
the cost of additional appointments made with the approval of the
senior regional officer would “rank for grant” under the Civil Defence
Arrangements for medical attendance of unaccompanied school chil­
dren in foster homes were continued.
The scheme for care of insured persons under the National Health
Insurance Acts was declared to be still in operation in the normal way.
Nursing care was to be provided under any arrangements normally
made by the local authority, as well as through district nursing asso­
ciations or by private nurses engaged and paid by the evacuated

Nursing of minor ailments.— Suggestions as to nursing care for
evacuated persons other than children were made, and reference was
made to the provision of “ sick bay” accommodations for children under
the earlier evacuation scheme. The provision of “sick bays” for adults
was also suggested.

Hospital treatment.— Hospital care of unaccompanied children was
to be continued as in the original plan, treatment being provided at
hospitals within the emergency hospital scheme. For other evacuated
or homeless persons treatment in hospitals was to be provided on the
same basis as for normal residents in the area, the cost or part cost
being recovered from the Government.
Infectious diseases.— The use of normal isolation-hospital facilities in
receiving areas was recommended. I f additional accommodations were
required, local authorities were advised to submit proposals to the senior
regional officer,
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Maternity .— By the date of issuance of this circular— November 1940—
arrangements for maternity care were- in operation on a large scale so
far as the London evacuation areas were concerned. Local authorities
were informed that these arrangements would continue or be extended
as necessary, and that it was anticipated that a large proportion of
confinements among evacuated or homeless persons would be dealt with
under them. W ith the issuance of the circular in November, the oppor­
tunity was offered to expectant mothers at any stage of pregnancy in
the London area and in certain coastal towns to be evacuated to places
in reception areas where they had made private arrangements to be
received, comparable to the plan for private arrangements for mothers
with children. It was anticipated that particularly where such private
arrangements were made and the home conditions found to be suitable,
the confinements would take place in the billets. I f additional accom- .
modation in maternity homes proved to be necessary, local authorities
were advised to submit proposals to the regional medical officers for
approval. In the event of domiciliary confinement in the billet, a
special additional payment of 10s. a week was authorized for the 2
weeks immediately following the confinement, over and above the
lodging allowance normally payable to the householder. This arrange­
ment superseded the earlier arrangement authorizing a special payment
of 5s. a week.

On December 23, 1940, the London County Council issued a notice
to health authorities and a leaflet [i^-5] for expectant mothers
explaining again the necessity for registration at a maternity clinic
and the conditions of evacuation to the country for care in a ma­
ternity home.

Compulsory evacuation o f children on basis o f medical exami­
On December 19, 1940, Defence Regulation 31 (c) was added to
the Defence (General) Regulations 1939. The general purport of
the regulation as explained in a circular (2261) [¡ZJJ] of January 8,
1941, was that in any area specified by the Minister of Health the
proper authority might require the medical examination of any child
in the area who there was reason to suppose was suffering in mind
or body as a result o f hostile attacks or was in such a state of health
as to be likely so to suffer if he remained in that area. The order
required a medical examination by a medical practitioner appointed
by the authority, and if the physician certified that the child was
suffering or likely to suffer in the manner indicated, the authority
might give directions for the removal of the child. Provision was
made for appeal by the parent or guardian to a court within 7
In an order
dated January 6, 1941, the Minister o f Health
declared the London evacuation area to be an area to which the
regulation should apply and specified the proper authorities for the
purposes o f the regulation to be the local education authority for
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school children, and the maternity and child-welfare authority for
children under 5.
The Ministry, in its circular (2261) \_14-4\ of January 8, 1941,
stated :
W hile the purpose of the regulation is to ensure the evacuation of
children who are suffering by being kept in London, it is not contem­
plated that the authority will have to go to the length of issuing
directions for removal except in a minority of cases. The Minister
hopes that when the medical practitioner has satisfied himself that
the child ought to be removed, it may be possible in many cases to
persuade the parent or guardian to agree to evacuation ; and facilities
should be offered for any mother who so desires to accompany her
child if and when the child is deemed suitable for billeting.
Where, however, a direction for removal is found to be necessary,
the authority will, of course, bear in mind that the child is being
evacuated because he is suffering or likely to suffer in body or m ind;
and the direction for removal should not be issued in any given case
until the authority has made provisional arrangements for the recep­
tion of the child in an appropriate place.
The children who may have to be removed will probably fall into
two main groups:
1. Children who are in such a condition that they require to
be sent to hospitals.
2. Children who do not need hospital treatment and who will
perhaps subdivide as follow s:
а. Some may be suitable for specially selected billets or hos­
tels or residential-nursery parties.
б. Others may be unsuitable for immediate disposal in this
way, and it may be necessary to arrange for their temporary
treatment and observation in hostels organized for that purpose.

Detailed instructions for carrying out this order were issued by
the Ministry of Health [1H\ and by the London County Council
[lJf.6'] to the local authorities within their jurisdictions, including
the divisional medical officers and the district-care organizers. The
London County Council issued forms and certificates \_10\ for the
use of physicians who must certify to a child’s condition.
In February 1941, the Medical Officer of Health of the London
County Council reported that in only a few cases had the compul­
sory powers been necessary. As a rule, when a mother realized
that compulsion would be used, she voluntarily agreed to the evacu­
ation of her child or to going out of the city with him.

Health and W elfare Services Under Evacuation Scheme
in London and in Reception Areas
Maternity care.

A t the time of the establishment of the Emergency Medical Serv­
ices in London in 1989, the policy of evacuating women for mater-
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nity care to maternity homes in reception areas had already been
established. Because the Emergency Medical Services were the re­
sponsibility of the Ministry of Health, it was possible to arrange
that obstetricians should be assigned for duty at antenatal clinics
in London and for emergency work in the metropolitan hospitals.
It was possible also to assign others to duty at the maternity
homes in the reception areas. Under the Emergency Medical
Scheme, the continuation of prenatal clinics in London hospitals was
still possible, and the usual scheme of domiciliary care by midwives
was of course continued.
In the reception areas maternity care under the regular maternity
and child-welfare program was continued. Prenatal care by physi­
cians in local clinics and domiciliary delivery care by midwives
were continued as provided by the Midwives Acts. Hospital care,
when necessary, was made possible by local public-assistance
The early decision to evacuate pregnant women as one o f the
priority classes made it possible to proceed with plans for care of
evacuated women long before war was declared. Before the declara­
tion of war, however, insufficiency of funds made it impossible for
the Ministry o f Health to have equipped and ready for use the neces­
sary number of maternity homes and hostels. The selection of suit­
able premises, their alteration to meet the needs of a maternity home,
their equipment and staffing, inevitably took time. On the other
hand, the expense involved in holding such places in readiness for
occupation over long periods of time had to be considered. After
experience for a year and a half with providing care o f this sort,
it was the opinion of the medical officers of the Ministry of Health
that a way should have been found to have more maternity homes in
complete readiness at the time when the order for evacuation was
given. Confinements in billets did not prove to be the best arrange­
ment. There were not enough beds in hospitals in the reception areas
to handle the required number o f obstetric patients from the cities.
It was not the intention of the Ministry to provide country mater­
nity homes for the deliveries of all London women, an annual total
in 1938 of 56,206. Evacuation was on a voluntary basis, and except
for the first 3 months after war was declared in September 1939 the
demand for care in these country maternity homes was relatively
small. It was large enough, however, to make it possible for the
Ministry to organize and perfect plans for care. The demand in
September 1939 gave the medical officers some idea of how large
the demand would be when bombing started, but the subsequent de­
crease in demand made it difficult to obtain funds to equip and hold
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an adequate number of maternity homes to meet a repetition of the
1939 experience.
After the capitulation of France in June 1940 there was some
increase in the number of pregnant women registered for evacuation.
When bombing started, in September 1940, however, the number rose
rapidly until in the last 5 weeks of the calendar year 1940 only 27
percent of the normal number of deliveries took place in the adminis­
trative county of London (using 1938 figures for the same period as
the base). Comparison may also be made with the same 5 weeks’
period of 1939, when the number of deliveries in thp city was 60
percent of the 1938 total. The increase in the number of deliveries
o f evacuated women in the autumn of 1939 lasted only a short time.
L y the first quarter of 1940 the number of deliveries in London was
82 percent of the number in the comparable period in 1938, and in
the second quarter of the year it had risen to 95 percent. The total
figures for these periods, as submitted by the Ministry of Health
in April 1941, are as follow s:
Statement of Births (Live and Still) Obtained From the Registrar General’s
Number of births in the administrative county of London during—
(1) 1938___ - ......... — ________________ _____— ........ ...........
(2) 19401------------------------------------------------- --------------------(3) Four weeks:
Sept. 4-Oct. 1- -.
Oct. 2-Oct. 29__.
Oct. 30-Nov. 26Five weeks:
Nov. 27-Dec. 31.


Four weeks:
Sept. 3-Sept. 3 0 ...---------Oct. 1-Oct. 28___________
Oct. 29-Nov. 25_________
Five weeks:
Nov. 26-Dec. 30------- :-----Four weeks:
1 9jQ
Sept. 1-Sept. 28__________
Sept. 29-Oct. 26__________
Oct. 27-Nov. 23__________
Five weeks:
Nov. 24-Dec. 28---------------



54, 495
(Figures not yet available.1)











3, 214







i As the total 1940 figures are not yet available a comparative statement with the first two quarters of 1938
is given as follows:

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11, 750
13, 505





Emergency Maternity Homes
N um ber of confinements which took place in emergency maternity homes
from Jan. 1, 1940, to Dec. 28, 1940___ .






This was the only method available of giving the number of confinements in
the London area for the various periods specified. They may not be quite

Data on the number of deliveries o f evacuated city women in
billets were not available. In the calendar year 1940, 10,504 deliv­
eries took place in emergency maternity homes, the majority in
the last 4 months of the year. Maternity homes now provide some
3,300 beds to accommodate some 90,000 patients a year if run to
The maternal mortality rate (provisional) for 1939, which included
4 months of evacuation, was 2.8 per 1,000 total births, a slightly lower
rate than that for 1938. The figures for 1940 are not yet available.2
The number o f deaths in maternity homes has been very small. Com­
plicated cases have been sent to hospitals, but the records so far avail­
able do not indicate any increase in the mortality rate.
a. Adm inistrative arrangem ents.

In Memo. Ev. 5 [^5] the Ministry of Health discussed in detail
the billeting of pregnant women, the provision of antenatal care,
arrangements for confinement in maternity homes or hospitals, and
the requisition and equipment of houses suitable for maternity homes,
and pointed out that the availability o f suitable hospitals for mater­
nity care in a reception area should be considered in selecting the dis­
tricts in which pregnant women should be billeted and in selecting
premises for maternity homes.
Though the local receiving authorities had administrative respon­
sibility for the establishment of antenatal hostels and maternity
homes or the selection of billets for expectant mothers or mothers
and newborn babies, the Maternity and Child Welfare Division
of the Ministry of Health assumed responsibility for establishment
o f standards of care and equipment, approval o f all premises selected
for maternity care whether antenatal or postnatal or delivery care,
and for the maintenance of standards o f selection of personnel. The
success of the maternity program for evacuated women is largely
due to this provision.
In carrying out this supervisory function the Maternity and Child
Welfare Division increased its staff of medical officers of health,
trained in obstetrics and pediatrics, and of women inspectors until
there was one in each administrative region (several counties). These
2 Since the report went to press it has been learned that the maternal mortality rate for
1940 is lower than that for 1939, though exact figures are still not available
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medical officers were stationed in their respective regions and were
responsible administratively to the senior regional medical officer of
health, though functionally to the director of the Maternity and
Child Welfare Division at the Ministry in London.
In September 1939 the Ministry of Health pointed out in a cir­
cular (G. E. S. 36 [1J7]) to local authorities the necessity of having
all maternity work in reception areas under the clinical supervision
of an obstetric specialist who should be in charge of any maternity
units that were established for complicated cases. It was stated that
additional obstetric consultants should be employed and paid on
the Emergency Medical Services scale. The local authority was not
expected to bear the cost of these extra salaries. The circular also
pointed out that medical officers with sound obstetric experience
should act as residents in the larger maternity homes and assist the
specialists in other ways. The local authorities were requested to
submit to the Ministry at once proposals outlining their schemes for
this specialist care, including complete details of duties, time sched­
ules, and regions to be served by each specialist employed. Joint
appointments by two or more local authorities were permitted. The
salary scale was as follows :
Whole-time obstetric specialists (nonresident), £1,300 a year with
appropriate reductions for part time.
Obstetric officers acting as residents in maternity homes or hospital
units for complicated cases, £550 a year (later increased to £800).

In the preparatory period local authorities were requested to sub­
mit to the Ministry proposals upon which detailed plans could be
worked out. The Ministry issued two schedules, one [7^5] for evac­
uation areas and one
for reception areas, outlining by a series
of questions information necessary for the area officials when approv­
ing a plan for maternity care and for the Ministry in its function
o f coordinator between the two types of areas. The Ministry also
issued a very detailed schedule \150] to be filled out by a local
authority when selecting a country residence or other institution to
be converted into a maternity home. Included in this schedule were
items on physical and sanitary equipment, on space for patient ac­
commodation, including labor wards, lying in wards, bath facilities,
and separate accommodations for patients with rise of temperature, on
sterilizing arrangements, on domestic arrangements, on necessary
adaptations and fittings, on equipment and furniture, on affiliated
hospitals for complicated cases, on transport facilities, and on staff,
administrative medical officer, consultant obstetrician, clinical medical
officers, and midwives. The standard o f one midwife for two patients
was set up as the ideal, and the suggestion was made that for matron
(head nurse and midwife) persons might be made available from
maternity departments o f hospitals in evacuation areas. The Minis432652°— 42------8
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try through its regional offices sends inspectors (medical and nursing)
to make certain that the premises proposed for a maternity home are
suitable and that the staff and equipment are adequate. Similar
review and inspection are made o f premises to be used as hostels
fo r antenatal or postnatal care.
b. Antenatal care.

Antenatal care up to the last month of pregnancy was given as
a rule in the evacuation areas by physicians in the antenatal clinics
in hospitals under the local maternity program. Pregnant women
who wished to be evacuated for delivery care were expected to register
well in advance at the antenatal clinic where up-to-the-minute records
were kept o f those whose confinements were expected during the
coming month. At the time of the first evacuation in September 1939
these women were listed as “imminent” cases and were sent out by bus
in parties with a m idwife; women whose confinements were not due for
over 1 month were listed as “ early” and, if they desired to go out, were
sent by train with parties o f children. Until bombing started it was
difficult to get pregnant women to register for evacuation, partly be­
cause they wanted, if possible, to remain under the care o f the hospital
with which they were familiar and partly because there seemed to be
no greater danger in London than elsewhere and they were unwilling
to leave their homes and their husbands until the last minute. After
bombing started, these objections no longer held.
Arrangements for the care of pregnant women in the reception
areas were as follows: During the first evacuation pregnant women
were billeted in private households and expected to provide their own
meals, the Government paying the householder a lodging allowance
only, 5s. a week. Billets were selected because they were near a mater­
nity home or hospital, or because the householder was willing to have
the delivery take place in her house. In this latter case the house­
holder received an additional allowance o f 5s. a week for the 2 weeks
after confinement. Transportation to the maternity home was ar­
ranged by the local authorities, usually by volunteers.
Some women in the last month o f pregnancy were admitted directly
to maternity homes to await delivery there. This was customary i f
the woman showed any unusual symptoms on arrival in the recep­
tion area.

A record of previous care in the evacuation area was supposed to
be sent out with every pregnant woman, and in every case at least a
summary of care was sent. On the woman’s arrival, the record was
given to the local maternity and child-welfare authority, which took
over the responsibility for care. I f a woman was to be admitted to a
maternity home for delivery, a prenatal examination and further
supervision were usually given by the physician and midwives respon­
sible for the maternity home. These antenatal examinations might be
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given at a clinic set up in the maternity home or in the community.
I f the delivery was to be in the billet, the prenatal care was made the
responsibility of the local qualified midwife who, as was the custom,
called in a physician if she saw need for one. In crowded reception
areas midwives were often lent by the evacuating authority to the
receiving authority to assist with care.
After the experience acquired in the autumn of 1939, it became
apparent that it was more satisfactory to place women who were in
the last month of pregnancy in antenatal hostels situated near the
maternity homes, there to await transfer to the maternity homes at
the onset of labor. During the summer o f 1940 and after bombing
started, many local authorities undertook to provide such antenatal
hostels. The improvement in the whole scheme was at once apparent,
and the Ministry of Health encouraged their establishment in con­
junction with each maternity home or hospital. Beds in maternity
homes occupied by waiting women were thereby released, and a
larger number of deliveries could be handled in each home.
Each antenatal hostel was in the charge of a competent matron,
and a considerable amount o f the work about the house was done by
the pregnant women themselves. As a rule a cook was provided,
but the housework was handled by the women.
The plan for antenatal care in hostels has now been tried long
enough to be shown to be satisfactory, and it is being adopted as
fast as suitable houses can be found or requisitioned for the purpose.
c. Delivery and postnatal care.

In general, delivery care for women remaining in the evacuation
areas was given at home by local midwives or physicians. Immedi­
ately after the setting up of the Emergency Medical Services scheme
in London in September 1939, only complicated and emergency ob­
stetric cases were admitted to the hospitals in the metropolitan dis­
trict. This was followed by a period when there was some relaxation
o f this policy and women were again admitted more freely to local
hospitals. After bombing started, arrangements were made between
many London hospitals and the Ministry of Health to set aside in a
nearby county one maternity home for each hospital, so that women
accustomed to care in a certain hospital might continue to have care
by the staff o f that hospital even though evacuated. This arrange­
ment also proved to be satisfactory for the teaching hospitals,
which had found great difficulty in continuing satisfactory arrange­
ments for teaching obstetrics to medical students and midwives.
The arrangement usually provided for requisition and alteration
o f premises by the Ministry of Health through its regional staff
and for equipment and staffing by the London hospital. As a rule
the London hospital transferred to the maternity home the chief
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matron, midwives, and resident physicians and all such equipment
as labor-room furnishings and supplies and ward equipment.
Maternity homes.—In February 1941 it was reported that approxi­
mately 120 so-called “improvised maternity homes” had been estab­
lished by local authorities but under the supervision o f the regional
officers o f the Ministry of Health. O f these, 90 were inactive use;
30 were held in reserve. High standards of care were established
by the Ministry early in 1939, and in 1941 they were being stringently
enforced and strengthened. Each active maternity home was staffed
with competent midwives in whose selection the Central Midwives
Board assisted, with house physicians selected by the local maternity
and child-welfare authority according to qualifications set up by the
Ministry, and with an attending consulting obstetrician, who fre­
quently was one of the consulting specialists for the county childwelfare authority.
Great care has been taken in the selection of the houses to be used
for maternity homes of this sort. As a rule they have been large
country places, equipped with gas and electricity, with many rooms
which could be adapted fairly readily to use as small wards, delivery
rooms, labor rooms, nursery, and so forth. It has been necessary to
provide quarters for the staff and facilities for isolating infected
patients. Occasionally a house not supplied with gas and electricity
has been selected but only if proper arrangements could be made for
sterilizing instruments and supplies by the use of oil or coal stoves.
The maternity homes accommodated from 25 to 60 patients each.
For a home with 40 or more beds the local authority was required
to appoint a resident obstetrician, and if a home was equipped to
take complicated cases and operative cases a resident obstetrician of
recognized experience was required. In some cases the chief con­
sulting obstetrician for an area (sometimes a county) had taken up
residence at such a special maternity home. One such home was
visited where essentially all cases admitted were operative or compli­
cated. The resident staff all came from a teaching hospital in Lon­
don, and the consultant obstetrician in residence was a well-known
specialist in obstetrics who was employed on a full-time basis by the
local authority. Also on the resident staff of this maternity home
were two other competent obstetricians and a corps of well-trained
midwives who gave the nursing care. The chief consultant in this
case was also responsible for the quality of obstetric care given in
25 other maternity homes situated in the county and for the transfer
o f all complicated cases from antenatal hostels or billets to the
special maternity homes.
As a rule women were kept in the maternity homes 14 days after
delivery. Separate isolation quarters and staffs were provided for
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febrile cases in all homes. Nurseries were provided fo r the care o f
the infants. Pediatricians could be obtained by special call but did
not attend as a regular thing. Infants were supervised largely by
the midwives, but medical advice was available from the resident
physicians as needed. N o special quarters or equipment for pre­
mature babies was required. Some o f the homes made special efforts
to keep premature infants in warmer rooms, and special arrangements
fo r warming the beds were made, depending on the experience o f
the matrons. The infants were largely breast-fed.

Postnatal hostels.— Oh discharge from the maternity home or
hospital the mothers and infants were originally sent back to the
billet from which they had come or to another billet. This arrange­
ment was not very satisfactory because often the mother was not
strong enough to take care o f herself and her infant and provide her
own meals. The result was that many mothers preferred to return at
once to the city where they could count on the familiar help from
husband, relatives, and neighbors. The desirability of establishing
postnatal hostels to which mothers could go for 2 to 4 weeks of con­
valescent care was soon apparent, and the Ministry of Health en­
couraged the local authorities to provide them. A fter such a period
of convalescent care mothers were much more willing to remain in
the country in a billet. This was especially true after bombing
d. Comment.

The plan for the evacuation o f women for maternity care has been
well developed and has been a success. It was based upon the exist­
ing Nation-wide domiciliary and hospital scheme for maternity care
by midwives aided by physicians and was expanded by the addition
o f many maternity homes. The domiciliary care, common for resi­
dents o f a community, was continued in evacuation areas but did
not prove satisfactory for evacuated women in reception areas. The
establishment o f well-equipped and well-staffed maternity homes has
been a satisfactory substitute for hospital care, especially for un­
complicated cases. The arrangement by which a local authority
provided antenatal hostel, maternity home, postnatal hostel, all ac­
cessible to a hospital with a maternity service, proved to be the best
general plan. When obstetric staff could be transferred from a
teaching hospital, the most satisfactory type of arrangements, even
for operative cases, could be made in these improvised maternity
homes. It was the opinion of many that a considerable number o f
the maternity homes might become a part o f the regular maternitycare scheme in peacetime. The reduction in the maternal mortality
rate in 1939 and 1940 is obvious evidence of the high quality o f care
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Children under 5,

Under the Government Evacuation Scheme provision for children
under 5 years o f age was made in three ways:
a. In billets in reception areas with their mothers.
b. In nursery parties accommodated in large country
c. Under private arrangements with or without their
mothers in the charge o f friends or relatives to whom the
Government paid an allowance.

In addition to those evacuated under the Government scheme,
many children were sent out wholly under private arrangement.
a. Billeting.

Billeting mothers and children under 5 with householders did
not prove to be very successful in the autumn o f 1939. The diffi­
culties that arose have been discussed; they were due largely to
the difference in housekeeping customs o f the country and city
women, to many minor points o f incompatibility, and to lack o f
community facilities which would take the visiting mother out o f
the household for a period o f time each day. The insufficient num­
ber o f health visitors and the almost complete absence o f social
workers meant that many maladjustments which could have been
straightened out by a trained worker resulted in the return o f the
evacuated mothers to London.
A more successful plan for the accommodation o f mothers and
young children was that o f placing one or more, sometimes as many
as 10, families in a large house together, giving each mother her
own quarters for sleeping and light housekeeping. This arrange­
ment proved even more successful than that in which a communal
kitchen was provided for the group.
The later development of community social centers, laundries, and
nursery centers did much to remove many points o f friction and gave
opportunities for mixing o f the newcomers with the former residents
on common ground. The increase in the number o f health visitors
and the appointment o f welfare officers has helped materially, espe­
cially since September 1940. It is the present policy o f the Govern­
ment to encourage the absorption o f newcomers into the life of
the reception-area communities as fast as possible.
b. N ursery parties in residential nurseries.

It has already been pointed out that it was the policy o f the Govern­
ment to evacuate nursery schools, day nurseries, or residential nurseries
from the evacuation areas and that until 1940, except for inspection
for sanitation and communicable-disease control, essentially full re-
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sponsibility for these institutions in their new environment was left
to the private organizations or the local authorities originally re­
sponsible for the institutions in the evacuation areas. That 149
residential nurseries were established in 1939 and 61 others set up in
1940 has already been pointed out, and the problem of control of
infectious diarrhea has been referred to (see p. 21).
Personnel.— One o f the outstanding problems in the early organiza­
tion o f these nurseries was the adaptation to a 24-hour basis of
institutions ordinarily run on a day basis only, such as nurseries and
nursery schools. The workers transferred from the city to the new
institution often had had no experience o f this sort. There was no
uniformity in the kind o f person placed in charge. Sometimes it was
a matron from a day nursery who may or may not have been a Stateregistered nurse; sometimes it was a nursery-school teacher. The staff
assigned to the task of 24-hour care was usually too small, and the type
o f personnel was often not adapted to the particular job. The use
o f child-care reserves (see p. 119) proved to be o f very great assistance
to the nurseries, for these workers could be assigned to the routine daily
care. So-called “ nursery nurses” or “ Truby K ing” nurses trained for
general care o f children also proved to be helpful.
Experience gradually showed that it was essential to have three or
four kinds o f workers in each institution for young children. It was
generally believed that because o f the over-all importance o f the health
problems the person in charge should preferably be a State-registered
nurse who had had adequate experience in care of children in a hos­
pital or institution for children. Assistance on the domestic side o f
the management o f the nursery was essential, and, for this, nursery
nurses and child-care reservists, as well as cooks, were needed. The
need for assistance with play and routine occupation soon showed the
importance of organizing the nursery-school type o f classes in each
of the nurseries under the charge o f nursery-school teachers. In this
phase o f the work child-care reservists also were proving useful.
It was, o f course, recognized that variations in such a plan for per­
sonnel would occur according to the individual situation. The benefits
which accrued to the different types of institutions when a full staff
o f workers was introduced were frequently remarked on by workers
interviewed. For instance, the introduction of nursery-school teachers
and classes into one large residential nursery which before evacuation
had been an institution for dependent children under the auspices
o f the public-assistance authorities in London was an improvement
which everyone realized was needed and would become permanent.
Play equipment.—A shortage of play equipment was reported in a
good many of these residential nurseries.
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Food.—Food, with the exception o f a good source of vitamin C,
was reasonably satisfactory because of the priority granted children
for milk. Fresh vegetables were not too plentiful.
Medical supervision in residential nurseries.—Medical supervision
of the children in the residential nurseries was given by local prac­
ticing physicians who visited the institutions daily and gave routine
care to sick children. The county maternity and child-welfare au­
thorities were asked to assume administrative and medical supervision
of the nurseries. Milk was pasteurized or boiled. Isolation facil­
ities of some sort were provided but the staff was not always adequate
for this purpose. The Ministry of Health was making an effort to
bring about necessary changes in this respect. The need for childguidance work among the children in these nurseries was recognized.
The increased responsibility assumed for these nurseries by the
Government early in 1940 is proving to be an advantage. Regula­
tion o f numbers of children, and so of crowding, of facilities and
sleeping quarters, of personnel and sanitation, is bringing about im­
provements. It is the policy of the Government to encourage the
introduction of nursery-school classes.
c. Private arrangem ents.

In addition to billeting of children with their mothers and place­
ment in residential nurseries, private arrangements for care of young
children with friends or relatives in reception areas have been com­
mon, though the extent is not known. Since bombing started, the
Government has permitted the payment of lodging or boarding allow­
ances for children thus placed. Local authorities and voluntary
workers know of this latter group, since they are listed for allow­
ances, and give aid in their adjustment to their new environment if
desired. The child-welfare clinics and other services are open for
all children whose parents or foster parents wish to make use o f
School children.

In 1939, plans for school children provided for their evacuation
in school parties unaccompanied by their mothers. This plan had
certain great advantages. Large groups of children could be easily
registered and assembled, placed in charge o f their teachers, and
transported as units to areas where they could be kept together for
educational purposes. Many parents were willing to have children
o f school age evacuated in school parties, when it would not have
been possible for them to accompany the children themselves. The
plan had the obvious disadvantage o f breaking up the family.
T o have dealt with the same number o f children in fam ily groups
during the first large evacuation would have been many times more
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difficult, and the arrangements for schooling would have been de­
layed even more than they were under the existing scheme. After
bombing started and the plan for the trickle evacuation had been
well established, the decision was made to allow mothers to take chil­
dren o f school age as well as younger ones with them into the re­
ception areas. This meant assignment of children of school age to
school parties in the area to which the family had been sent and
not necessarily to their own school party. On the whole, mothers are
more satisfied when they have all their children with them in one
place. Some effort had been made by mothers to find billets for
themselves and their younger children in the village or town where
their children of school age had been billeted.
a. Billeting.

It has been pointed out that school children were largely billeted
in private households. In a great majority of cases children were
billeted only in houses where the householder had expressed volun­
tarily a willingness to take a child. Though the local authorities
had powers under the Ministry’s regulations to require householders
to take children, this compulsion was rarely used. Obviously it was
not for the best welfare o f a child to be billeted where he was not
wanted. In some cases compulsory powers had to be used to force
owners of large estates and houses to make quarters available to the
authorities. In these cases mothers and children rather than school
children alone were billeted.
The householder receiving unaccompanied school children was re­
sponsible for their complete care. Some assistance was given
by “helpers” who were sent out from London with the school
parties. These helpers were untrained persons who had volunteered
to assist if paid a small wage and given their keep. Their duties
were to help the teachers keep track of the children, visit them in
their billets, assist the householders in mending the children’s clothes,
and in some cases take charge of a group o f three or four difficult
children in a separate house. Such helpers were of great assistance
in the reception areas. Often they were older women whose own
children had grown up and who were anxious to be o f use in the
evacuation scheme. Sometimes they were volunteers who had had
lo n g experience in the child-care-committee work in the London
schools. They were billeted for board and lodging, 21s. a week
being paid to the householder; some o f them were also given an
additional wage up to 19s. a week.
The organization of recreation centers or other community services
for children in billets, such as school meals, will be referred to later
(see pp. 121 and 124).
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b. H ostels.

When a large number o f unselected children are suddenly billeted
on private families in any community, it is obvious that there would
be a certain proportion o f misfits and some turn-over would neces­
sarily result. Experience has shown that provision for interim care
between assignments to billets must be provided for approximately
5 percent o f the total number o f children due to be received in an
area. Experience has shown also that a number o f types o f hostels
are necessary and that a group o f communities, perhaps a whole
county, should plan for such hostel care so as to make the best use
o f available premises and, what is more important, o f trained
personnel to manage the hostel.
The need fo r trained welfare workers and child-guidance experts,
including psychiatrists, as well as social workers and psychologists,
in connection with the management o f these hostels and the care o f
the children has gradually been recognized. This w ill be referred to
later, but it may be pointed out here that the increasing demand on
the part o f local health authorities and volunteer workers fo r such
workers to give guidance to the program is being only partially met,
because o f the lack o f trained personnel.

A t the beginning o f the evacuation in September 1939 the importance
o f hostels was not fully appreciated. As a rule one or more hostels
were available in each community, though certain communities were
provided for more satisfactorily than others. The special function
at different hostels was not well defined. Temporary or “buffer”
hostels were established in many o f the reception areas soon after the
evacuation took place. When a child placed in a billet needed to be
removed either for replacement or because some behavior problem,
had developed, it was often found to be desirable to place him in a
hostel for at least a few days. The result was that a great mixture
o f cases were cared for in these temporary hostels and quite normal
children who were there awaiting rebilleting were mixed with chil­
dren having more or less serious behavior problems, or, in some cases,
with children who were suffering from such complaints as scabies.
The necessity for having a temporary hostel for normal children and
a special hostel for “ difficult” children soon became apparent.
The establishment o f a “ sick bay” was an urgent need in every
reception area, since many o f the householders who took in unaccom­
panied school children were not in a position to take care o f these
children when they were sick or had some minor infectious condition.
Local physicians staffed the sick bays and State-registered nurses
and auxiliary nursing aids gave the nursing services. The use o f
local “ fever” hospitals for children with the major contagious dis­
eases was recommended by the Ministry o f Health.
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The cost of these hostels or sick bays was taken care o f in the first
instance by the local authorities, who were reimbursed by the Gov­
ernment for full cost o f care. Many volunteers assisted in the care
o f children and in giving the domestic help.
It is now recognized that the responsibility for hostels, as for ma­
ternity homes, should probably rest with the county authorities, so
that hostels o f all desirable types could be made available more
economically and used by the several local authorities in the area.
A memorandum (Memo. Ev. 8 [ 105] ) issued by the Ministry of
Health in February 1940 reviewed in some detail the whole subject
of hostels and communal billets and made recommendations with
respect to the provision o f certain types o f hostels by local receiving
authorities [05]. The memorandum pointed out the urgent need to
provide hostels for—
1. Temporary care of children between assignments to billets.
2. Observation of children who were thought to be unsuitable for
billeting in private houses.
3. More or less permanent care of children requiring a greater degree
of control and supervision than could usually be given by a private
householder (the so-called “hostel for difficult children” ).
4. Use as sick bays or infirmaries.

The Ministry recommended that whenever the cause which made
the child unsuitable for ordinary billeting was o f a temporary nature,
the stay in the hostel should be as short as possible and the child
promptly billeted or rebilleted. The Ministry deprecated the tend­
ency to retain children in hostels and sick bays after they had ceased
to need special attention, both for the sake of the child and because
o f the need for more rapid turn-over in these temporary hostels. The
memorandum stated that all cases in which the stay of a normal
child in a hostel o f this type exceeded 3 weeks should be reported to
the senior regional officer o f the Ministry of Health.
In the same memorandum the Ministry pointed out that so far as
possible each hostel provided by a local authority should be reserved
for children belonging to one type, and different types o f children
should not be collected under the same roof; for instance, children
placed in a hostel because they are beyond control in ordinary billets
(behavior problems) should not be mixed with those suffering from
enuresis. It was suggested that neighboring authorities might agree
to reserve hostels for special purposes and arrange for interchange of
children requiring special attention.
Later supplementary memorandums [108, 110] issued by the Min­
istry o f Health on the subject o f hostels, giving additional sugges­
tions to the local authorities on such matters as selection o f children,
selection o f premises, equipment and domestic arrangements, staff,
voluntary help, diet, and the organization o f the children’s life. At
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the same time the Board of Education issued a circular [ 109\ making
recommendations with respect to the provision of hostels for school
children, particularly older children in need of facilities for home­
work and private study, such as secondary, junior-technical, and selec­
tive central school children. It was suggested that these hostels
should be organized along the line of school boarding houses and that
only older children of the school should be selected to stay in the
hostels. It was recommended that proposals for hostels for evacuated
school children should be formulated by local education authorities
and that local education authorities in the receiving areas should
undertake the conduct of the hostel on behalf of the evacuating
c. School camps.

The Camps Act was passed in April 1939 providing for the con­
struction o f 50 vacation camps for city school children. Construction
was promptly started under the National Camps Corporation and by
May 1940, 31 camps had been built in England and Wales, 5 additional
in Scotland. The camps were intended for holiday use and not as
boarding schools for year-round occupation. Classroom space was
inadequate and part of the dormitory space had to be taken for classes
when they were occupied by parties of school children at the time of
the evacuation. Furthermore, bathing and toilet facilities were in­
adequate for all-year use. For the relatively small number o f chil­
dren that could be placed in these camps, the cost of construction
and care was high. Problems of adjustment o f teachers to the 24hour responsibility were not always easy to solve.
Health and sanitary provisions required constant supervision.
Nurses were employed to be on regular duty at each camp, and physi­
cians attended daily to take care o f sick children. Provisions for sick
bays were inadequate in the original plans, and frequently part of a
dormitory had to be used to supplement the one isolation unit. It
was the opinion of many that the camps were not an economical or
socially satisfactory way o f caring for evacuated children. They
were more satisfactory for older school children than for younger
ones. In January 1940 the Board of Education issued a circular
(1496) [151] giving advice about the use of Government camps for
secondary, senior, and selective central schools for evacuated children.
It was agreed that as holiday camps for billeted children they would
have served an excellent purpose and would have provided the house­
holders with relief which would have been warmly welcomed.
Health and medical services for children.
a. In London.

Children wader 5.—When the order for evacuation of children
occurred in September 1939, most of the health visitors who were
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responsible for the organization and management of child-welfare
clinics throughout the various boroughs of London were immediately
assigned to first-aid posts, rest shelters, and other emergency services
for duty under the Emergency Medical Services o f the A. R. P. This
meant the closing of practically all child-welfare clinics in the Lon­
don boroughs and an immediate cessation of nearly all health services
for children under 5. It was soon apparent that a large number of
children under 5 still remained in the city and were without the
usual child-welfare-clinic service. Reestablishment of the service was
started fairly promptly, however, after the first general evacuation,
but it was not for several months that many of the child-welfare
clinics were again in operation, usually in first-aid posts to which the
health visitors were attached. This plan o f associating the child
welfare clinic and first-aid post has worked fairly satisfactorily and
has made it possible for the health visitors to carry on some o f their
child-welfare work as well as to be on call for emergency duty in the
first-aid post. This dual function, however, has limited to a consid­
erable extent the service rendered by the health visitor to mothers
in their homes and is deprecated by many of the child-welfare author­
ities. The assignment of health visitors to emergency service in
London has meant also that fewer were available for assignment to
aid in the receiving areas. It was current opinion that health visitors
should not have been assigned to first-aid or A. R. P. work.
School children.—The abandonment o f the school medical services
in London at the time o f the first evacuation, their reestablishment,
and the inauguration of the complete medical examination and follow­
up treatment o f children before evacuation have been described. With
the increase in the number of children evacuated in June 1940 and
again after bombing began in September 1940, the problem o f the
London school authorities decreased. It continued to be essential,
however, to provide sufficient school treatment clinics as well as exam­
ination services in the schools to give constant supervision to all chil­
dren remaining in the county. By February 1941 many of the school
physicians and nurses had been lent by the London school authorities
to the local education authorities in reception areas. All children
leaving the city under the trickle evacuation scheme then in force were
examined carefully, given treatment for any infectious conditions,
and cleaned up before being assembled for evacuation. A final in­
spection on the morning o f evacuation was for the purpose of discov­
ering any recontamination with scabies or pediculosis since the last
examination. School nurses were giving constant supervision.
A sufficient number o f child-care workers had been retained in Lon­
don to give follow-up service in each o f the major divisions of the
county. These workers were divided into two groups—those serving
directly from the schools under the Education Officer’s Department
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and those serving from the school treatment clinics. The former
performed work similar to that o f child-welfare workers in the United
States; the latter, work more like that o f a medical-social worker,
though only part of the staff had had “ almoners” training.
The close cooperation between the maternity and child-welfare serv­
ices and other public-health services under the jurisdiction of the
Ministry o f Health and the School Medical Service o f the Board of
Education, brought about by appointment by the Board o f the chief
medical officer o f the Ministry as chief medical officer o f the School
Medical Service, has been particularly important in the problem of
caring for children in the evacuation areas. In many cases the respon­
sibility for examining children under 5 has been given by the evacuat­
ing authority (Education Officer’s Department) to the School Medical
Service. This has assured a uniform type o f examination o f all chil­
dren to be evacuated.
Medwal core of sicJc children.—Medical care o f sick children in
London after the evacuation became a part o f the general plan for
Emergency Medical Services. Pediatric out-patient clinic services
continued to be available in many of the hospitals in London accus­
tomed to include this service normally* The children’s hospitals con­
tinued to render out-patient service. Emergency hospital care o f sick
children was provided through the Emergency Medical Services
plan, children being taken into certain specified hospitals in each sec­
tor and later transferred to base hospitals in the outer zones o f the
sectors. A few children’s hospitals were established outside the Lon­
don area where specialized care could be given. Most o f the pedia­
tricians were assigned to routine medical service under the Emergency
Medical Services, though a limited number were reserved to take
charge o f the specialized clinic and hospital work. It was found that
because pediatricians h a d . been assigned to routine services
there was a shortage o f pediatricians to assign to child-welfare clinics
in London or to care for children in residential nurseries in reception
areas outside o f London. The assignment o f pediatricians to routine
Emergency Medical Services was deprecated by many since their as­
signment to special work for children in the civilian population was
greatly needed.
b. In reception areas.

Children under 5.— Child-welfare clinics in the reception areas were
opened to mothers with young children from the evacuation areas,
who, being accustomed to using this service very fully in the cities,
soon crowded the clinics. Local child-welfare authorities were in­
structed to call on child-welfare authorities in London to help with
the assignment of health visitors, but it was several months before
any assignments were made. 'The number o f child-welfare clinics had
to be increased. In many places it became clear that the quality of
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the child-welfare service provided in rural areas was not so high,
either in extent or in type of work, as that in the cities from which
many o f the evacuated mothers had come. Pediatricians were not
generally available in rural areas for this work. Many city mothers
complained that they could not get the help they needed. This
resulted in a gradual improvement in the service offered in the rural
areas, though even now the standards in some areas are not up to
the city standards.
School children.— School medical service in reception areas, as has
been pointed out previously, has had to be strengthened, particularly
in the counties receiving great numbers o f children. Physicians and
school nurses have necessarily been assigned from the evacuated cities.
The demand for physicians by the Emergency Medical Services has
made it difficult to obtain and retain enough school medical officers
to carry on an adequate service. Modifications in the service proposed
by the Board of Education have been referred to. A ll reception areas
have some service, however, even though it may not be sufficient to
meet the usual standards of the Board of Education.
Medical care of sick children —Medical care for sick children under
5 years was provided in reception areas by local practicing physicians
called by the mother and paid for by the mother directly. I f hospital
care was needed, arrangements were made by the mother, and again
she assumed full financial responsibility when she was able. I f she
could not pay either for care by a physician or for hospital care,
she was instructed to apply to the local public-assistance authorities
for help, as would any other resident of the town. I f there was an
out-patient clinic at a hospital, the mother was of course entitled
to use it.
When a school child billeted in an individual household became
sick, the householder was authorized by the local reception authority
to call a local physician of her own choice to take care of the child.
Payment o f the physician was made from a local pooled fund pro­
vided by the Government at the rate of 10s. per child per year. This
fund was provided to pay not only for medical care but also for
certain other minor expenses necessary for the welfare of the children.
Hospital care both for school children and for children under 5
was available in or near most localities. As has been pointed out,
many local authorities provided a sick bay for children with minor
ailments. Children with infectious diseases were sent to genera]
hospitals or fever hospitals in the vicinity,
c. Im m unization against diphtheria.

Immunization o f children against diphtheria was not carried out
as a routine measure prior to evacuation in September 1939, nor was
it made compulsory at any time.
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In January 1940 the Ministry of Health issued a circular (1903)
to local authorities and a revised memorandum on artificial immunity
against diphtheria (Memo. 170/Med.). In December 1940 an addi­
tional circular
was issued by the Ministry approving the pro­
vision o f local facilities for immunization on the understanding that
they should be under the general supervision o f the Medical Officer
o f Health and urging all local authorities to set up intensive programs
o f immunization. This was followed by active campaigns to im­
munize children o f all ages both in evacuation areas and in reception
areas, but special emphasis was placed on the immunization o f pre­
school children. The Central Council for Health Education cooper­
ated in the preparation o f pamphlets and posters.
Community services in reception areas.

The responsibility for the development of various community activi­
ties to facilitate the adjustment of evacuated mothers and children
to their new environment was given to the local reception authorities
by the Ministry of Health, and suggestions o f types o f services that
would be helpful were made before evacuation was ordered and were
amplified in a number of ways later, as experience indicated need.
It was appreciated early that the crowding in small households would
often be difficult to manage and that the provision of recreational
facilities which would take school children out o f their billets for a
few hours after school each day would relieve tension considerably.
The desirability of providing community social centers for mothers,
nursery centers for young children, and other communal services was
not greatly appreciated until after the evacuation occurred in Sep­
tember 1939, and few preliminary preparations for services of this sort
were made.
a. Local w elfare com m ittees and personnel.

In an early memorandum \10\ to local authorities, the Government
recommended the organization o f local welfare committees in recep­
tion areas but stated that “ the greater part o f the work o f such a
committee would lie among the unaccompanied school children.”
These committees were formed by the local authorities in many com­
munities. They served the local authorities in advisory capacities
and gave leadership in the organization of community activities. The
Women’s Voluntary Services took an active part in this committee
A t this time the Government made no recommendation with respect
to the employment of trained social workers (child-care workers).
Nor did the Government urge that health visitors should take an
active part in helping with the adjustment o f mothers and young
children to their new surroundings. The lack o f child-care workers
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Civil-defense measures for the protection o f children in Great Britain
Children studying menu at an Oxford communal-feeding center.
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Communal rest center con­
ducted bv the London
County Council.
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Hot meals served at London
communal-feeding center.
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Above.— Waiting for a communal kitchen (Bradford) to open at lunchtime,
Menu can be seen on side of hut.

Below.— General view of a communal-feeding center.
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Above.— Long Barn, a beautiful fifteenth-century house in Kent, is now a
home for 50 bombed London children, all under 5 years of age. Thou­
sands of wealthy homes are ready for adaptation as hostels, under the
auspices of local maternity and child welfare authorities, to free mothers
for work of vital importance to the national war effort.

Below.— In the beautiful grounds of Holy brook House a day nursery has
been established.
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Above.— The Castlebar Nursery School, Sydenham, has been evacuated to
a beautiful mansion at Marsham-le-Hatch, Ashford, Kent.

Below.—’Feeding time at Holybrook House day nursery.
nurses with their charges.
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Three trainee
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“ Under fives” leave London— An
ambulance left L ondon this
morning for a babies’ hostel in
the country. These children
are from all parts o f London
and are to be the first occupants
of an all-babies home away
from the raid areas. Members
of the nursing services and the
W. V. S. help the toddlers into
the ambulance.
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a m

Mealtime at an orphan­
age in a Cambridge
mansion— Furniture
on a scale to suit its
small users.
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Crocus time in Devon—
This little lady is far
away from London and
the threat of bombs.
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Evacuees at Dartington Hall in
He von— Marion is only three,
so she has to be helped over
the stile. Marion comes from
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Evacuees on the way to school in the
primary-school buildings of the
Dartington Hall school, Devon.


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Devon beach as a classroom for
London children— Evacuated
children, many from the con­
gested areas of London, have
replaced the holiday crowds
on Devon beaches this year.
Little evacuees have an inter­
esting lesson on the beach.
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Evacuation in Britain— A new life for British children. War has been some­
thing of a blessing to these little city children, who have exchanged the
dusty playground of the streets for a sunny country bathing pool. In
place of a generation of pale little town children, Britain looks forward
to a healthier breed, educated in the invigorating surroundings of her
open country.
P h o to g ra p h s c o u r te s y o f B r itis h M i n is t r y o f In fo r m a tio n .
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in the provincial cities may have accounted for this omission so far
as social workers were concerned, but lack of workers could not
account for the limited use made o f health visitors, since in 1939
there were a number o f health visitors in every county. The expe­
rience o f health visitors in administering the child-life protection
provisions of the Public Health Act apparently was not taken full
advantage of by the local authorities. This may have been wise,
however, since health visitors were greatly needed to continue their
regular work of giving health supervision to pregnant women and
young children.
Welfare officers.— Though the authorities were not aware, at the
time the first evacuation took place, of the need to assign child-care
workers from London to the reception areas, by October 1939 certain
receiving authorities, especially boroughs, had begun to ask for their
help. Because of the urgency o f the requests the London Education
Officer’s Department agreed to lend on a temporary basis 47 o f these
workers to reception authorities. In spite of almost immediate evi­
dence that their assistance was of the greatest help in organizing the
communities to absorb the newcomers, most of these workers were
returned to London before the end of December.
It was not until October 1940 that employment of welfare workers
was recommended [7^9] by the Ministry of Health. Before this
time the Ministry had begun to add “welfare officers” to its own
regional staff, and during the autumn and early winter of 1940 a
number o f child-care workers were released by the London Educa­
tion Department and assigned on a long-time basis to health offices
in the reception counties.
Because there were so few of these welfare officers, their work
necessarily had to be largely advisory and organizational in char­
acter. The long experience which these workers had had in London
as organizers of volunteer committees and supervisors o f volunteer
case workers was a great advantage to them in helping volunteers in
the reception areas to do a better job of community planning and
individual case work. In February 1941 these welfare officers had
proved their worth, and it was agreed that they should become part
o f the permanent staff o f the health departments in many counties
or county boroughs. The demand for these workers exceeded the
supply, and the need for training additional social workers was
repeatedly pointed out.
In February 1941 the Ministry of Health appointed a chief welfare
officer to its London central administrative staff.
Child-guidance workers.— Some description of the place o f childguidance workers has already been given (see p. 27). In February
1941 there was unquestionably a great need for expansion of the
432652°— 42----- 9
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whole child-guidance program. Many of the psychiatrists who cus­
tomarily served the child-guidance clinics had been called into the
military service. Occasional consultations were being held, but in
some o f the clinics psychiatric social workers and psychologists were
having to function largely without the regular advice of a psychi­
atrist. For instance, in Huntington there was no organized clinic.
An educational psychologist had been working in the area for 15
months since the first evacuation but was able to have consultation
service from a psychiatrist only every 2 to 4 weeks.
The London Child-Guidance Clinic, with complete staff, had been
evacuated to Oxford to serve the very large group of children billeted
in that city. The Oxford clinic was continuing to function largely
for residents, though plans were on foot to have each clinic serve
some residents and some evacuated children. Each of these clinics
was fortunate in having a psychiatrist on regular service. One was
an Army psychiatrist assigned to a hospital in Oxford, the other was
a woman. The need for training additional child-guidance workers
has been pointed out.
Health visitors, district nurses, school nurses, and midwives.—
Though health visitors, district nurses, school nurses, and midwives
had been assigned by evacuation authorities to reception areas, there
were not enough of any in the reception areas. The evacuation
authorities were obliged to keep enough health workers in the cities
to meet emergencies and provide for the people who had to remain in
the city or who desired to do so. As it was, until bombing started
and a larger proportion o f pregnant women w'ere evacuated, there
were too few midwives in London to care for the increased number
o f domiciliary deliveries. As has been pointed out, many health
visitors and school nurses were at first assigned to Emergency Medical
Services duty and later released, though in some cases not entirely,
to return to their regular work. The number of school nurses as­
signed to reception areas did not meet the needs. Likewise, the
number o f district nurses in the reception counties was not sufficient
to carry the additional load o f caring for evacuated children and
pregnant women. Assignment o f district nurses who were also mid­
wives from London to reception areas proved helpful, but not enough
were assigned to assure the usual quality of service. Assistance of
nursing auxiliaries was helpful chiefly in institutional care, as in sick
bays and local hospitals.
School 'physicians, child-welfare physicians, and dentists.—As in
all other classes o f health or social work, there was a shortage in
medical and dental service in reception areas. Local school physi­
cians were given the responsibility for medical service to all the evac­
uated school children. Assignments o f school physicians on a full­
time basis from London relieved the situation in some places, but in
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many there continued to be a shortage, and the quality and quantity
of service given necessarily suffered. The same situation held for
physicians carrying the child-health work, and for dentists.
Helpers, child-care reservists, and others.—The Government early
recommended the employment o f “helpers” for a number of kinds of
jobs. The evacuating authorities were advised to employ such work­
ers to accompany school parties and assist the teachers after arrival
in the reception areas in general supervision of the school children.
The type o f work done by these helpers has already been, described.
That they were invaluable in helping with the school children was
repeatedly reported by officials and volunteer organizers alike.
The receiving authorities were also advised to employ “ helpers”
to assist in the residential nurseries or other residential homes for
children. The workers in residential nurseries were, in many cases,
women who had taken a special course of training in child care and
were known as child-care reservists.5 They, like the helpers for

5C h i l d - c a k e R e s e r v e .— In 1939 a short emergency course of instruction in child care
for volunteers was started by the Women’s Voluntary Services. It was clear at that time
that a large number o f women would be needed to help with the children in evacuated
nurseries and as escorts for other groups of children. It was assumed that some prepara­
tion o f these volunteers for their responsibility in caring for young children was required.
The first series o f lectures included an introductory course of six lectures and supple­
mentary courses on child welfare comprising six lectures on infant care and six lectures
on the toddler.
This course was entirely a voluntary effort and was financed out of
private funds. About 300 women were trained and all were immediately absorbed in
positions. The course was not sufficiently well established to be maintained after the
outbreak o f war in September 1939.
In June 1940 the Women’s Voluntary Services suggested to the chairman of the National
Council for Maternity and Child Welfare that the work should be taken over by that
Council. Not only had training of women to care for children become essential, but it
was felt that it should go further than the emergency course which the W. V. S. had
arranged previously. In June 1940 the National Council for Maternity and Child Welfare
set up a special Child Care Reserve Committee and inaugurated a new course of instruc­
tion. An announcement [152a] of the child-care reserve put out by the National Council
for Maternity and Child Welfare pointed out that it was being organized in order to have
ready a body of women between the ages of 18 and 55 who after a course of instruction
would be prepared, when called upon, to assist those responsible for the care of little
children in wartime.
The announcement stated that those on the reserve might be
required as—
1. “ Children’s wardens” of nursery centers.
2. Assistants in evacuated nurseries (resident).
3. Assistants in any work for children according to local needs, such as wartime
assistants to help in the care of lost children in the grave emergency.
The course of instruction consisted of 12 lectures: accompanied by a practical dem­
onstration, over a period of 2 weeks. The course was given in accordance with a syllabus
approved by the Ministry of Health and the Board of Education. At the completion of
the course there was an examination. Successful candidates were required to attend
for at least 50 hours’ practical instruction at a recognized institution. It was contemplated
under the plan that child-care reservists employed on full time would be paid at the
general rate laid down for Women’s Civil Defence volunteers— that is, £2 a week, non­
resident. About 3,000 women registered for the course in London. Several hundred took
the course before September 1940, when bombing began. These reservists were quickly
absorbed in the nursery program. After the onset of bombing, the courses in London were
discontinued. However, they were started in the provinces in seven areas. Through these
regional courses, it is hoped, a large number of additional child-care reservists will be
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school parties, were usually volunteers who, in return for board and
room, or in some cases a small wage—up to 19s. a week—were willing
to give full time to the work.
In other residential homes, such as hostels, workers might or
might not have had training. Most o f them were local volunteers or
local women employed as regular staff. In staffing the hostels for
difficult children special effort was made to employ workers who had
had experience in institutional, care, especially in “ approved homes”
for delinquent children. Usually not more than one such experienced
worker could be obtained for each hostel.
Volunteers.—Though the local receiving authorities were primarily
responsible for the organization of community activities, the task of
developing services was turned over largely to local volunteers. The
great service rendered by volunteer organizations of women in every
phase of the program of care o f children in the reception areas cannot
be stressed too much. That most o f them were not trained for the
tasks undertaken made the tasks all the more difficult. Few had had
any training in social work or in the psychological aspects o f behavior
problems. The scarcity of trained social workers and child-guidance
workers to give leadership and support to the volunteers was the
weakest point in the program. The volunteer workers were the first
to say that they needed guidance and help of this sort and often were
responsible for the appointment of such workers. One volunteer
organizer in charge of evacuated children in a medium-sized city
stated that “too little attention has been paid by the Ministry o f
Health to the importance o f securing an adequate supply o f trained
social workers and others with practical experience o f case work to
undertake the work of billeting and the subsequent visiting. Wher­
ever practicable, and certainly in all urban areas where a paid
billeting staff is appointed, a proportion of them should be trained
and experienced case workers”
Advisory service from the London headquarters of the Women’s
Voluntary Services was frequently the only way in which, at the start,
concrete help was given to local volunteer workers. The leaflets al­
ready referred to and the bulletins on communal feeding supple­
mented in a most practical manner information sent from the
Ministries. It was members of the Women’s Voluntary Services who
were called on by the local authorities to be responsible for billeting
and supervision of the children, to organize community social centers
for mothers, nursery centers, hostels for older children, community
laundries, and communal-feeding centers, and to assist with the estab­
lishment of residential nurseries and maternity homes. A descrip­
tion o f the organization o f the Women’s Voluntary Services and of
how they participated in the evacuation plan will be found in an
appendix to this report.
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It is a real credit to the volunteers that they were able to turn to
and put over the enormous task of billeting, visiting, supervising, and
organizing the many activities which were suddenly thrust upon them
when evacuation started. That this had to be done without assistance
from trained social workers was inherent in the British system o f
welfare work with its consequent lack of sufficient trained workers.
Because it was well executed from an administrative point of view
does not mean that, if possible, it would not have been better to have
the whole organization under trained social workers, directing and
supervising the volunteers and giving direct case-work service as
The community activities most commonly found now in reception
areas have been referred to frequently in this report and, in respect
to most, little more needs to be added. Some special points, however,
may be brought out here.
b. Com m unal-feeding centers and school meals.

(See also p. 12.)

In reception areas communal-feeding centers in many instances
developed out o f the preexisting school-meal program. Extension of
school meals to provide for mothers and young children before or
after school children were fed, or even at the same time, was rela­
tively easy. Systems o f school meals had been organized by about
60 percent of the local education authorities under the powers con­
ferred on them by the Education Act of 1921. Free meals were
provided by 50 percent o f the authorities.
On November 21, 1939, the Board of Education issued a circular
(1484) \15J£\ to all local education authorities in receiving areas,
urging that they establish communal-feeding centers as soon as
possible, in collaboration with the local receiving authorities and
voluntary bodies. In view of the experience of local education au­
thorities in dealing with the provision of meals for school children,
and the fact that provision for evacuated children would in some
cases be made by an extension of existing school canteens, the Board
of Education and the Ministry of Health agreed that the organiza­
tion of communal meals should be undertaken by the local education
authorities and not by the local receiving authorities as was origi­
nally recommended \_1$\ in May 1939. The local authorities in
rural areas were especially urged to provide school canteens for resi­
dent and evacuated children. Where school premises were not suit­
able for the establishment of a school canteen, the local education
authority was advised to find accommodation outside, for which
payment could be made.
With regard to financing of communal-feeding arrangements, the
circular pointed out that the cost of equipment, service, slight altera­
tions in existing buildings, and other overhead charges would be
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regarded as evacuation expenditure to be met by the Government.
The price to be paid for the meal was to be fixed to cover the cost
of food. Householders were to pay the cost o f meals for evacuated
school children out of their billeting allowance. This, in a good
many cases, kept the child from participating in the hot meal at
school, since the householder found the expenditure to be a relatively
large amount of the total weekly allowance. This was one of the
reasons why the billeting allowances for older children were increased
in May 1940 (see p. 81).
Parents o f local school children were allowed to take advantage of
the communal-feeding scheme, and the normal arrangements for
financing school canteens were to apply. Parents who were able to
pay for the meals were charged the cost price, whereas the local
education authority paid for meals for necessitous undernourished
It was recommended that where accommodations were sufficient,
evacuated mothers and children under 5 should be allowed to attend
on payment of the gross cost of the meal, but the education authori­
ties were not permitted to provide separate canteens for mothers
and young children.
Various publications o f the Board of Education may be referred
to. Three bulletins in the series on “The Schools in Wartime” deal
with food: No. 3, “ Canteen Meals for School Children” [18], No. 15,
“ Food: How the Teachers Can Help the Nation” [155], and No. 19,
“ Food” [166].
In addition, in connection with its food-education campaign ini­
tiated before the outbreak of war, the Board of Education issued
in 1940 pamphlets “ Salads and Vegetables” [167], “Milk” [158], and
in i941, “ Good Fare in War-time” [159]. These contain practical
advice, including menus and recipes. The London County Council
also issüed a bulletin on “The Feeding of Handicapped Nursery
School and Day Nursery Children” [160].
In July 1940 the Board of Education, concerned because only half
the local education authorities had made provision for school meals
for necessitous undernourished children, again called their atten­
tion to the provisions of the Education Act and urged, in Circular
1520 [161], the establishment of a communal-feeding scheme which
would include free meals for necessitous undernourished children,
basing the determination o f “ necessitous” (a test required by the
original Education Act of 1921 and interpreted in Circular 1443
[162] of the Board, issued in 1935) on as broad and liberal a policy
as possible. , It was pointed out in Circular 1520 that “it is not neces­
sary that definite physical signs of malnutrition should be evident,
and children may be selected as in need of feeding on the strength
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o f recommendations by teachers or others who are in regular contact
with them from day to day.” The Board also emphasized the im­
portance of holding periodical nutrition surveys at which all children
not receiving free meals or milk would be passed under review.
Circular 1520 also gives to the local education authorities advice
on meals for children coming from a distance, meals for the children
of mothers engaged in war work, meals for evacuated children, and
meals for other children, on premises and equipment, and on free
milk, and milk on payment under the “milk in schools scheme.”
It is also of great interest that the Government, in recognition of
the importance o f school meals and milk in the protection of chil­
dren, revised its rates of grant to local education authorities in
respect of approved expenditure on the provision of free meals and
milk and on overhead charges in respect of meals provided for pay­
ment. This revision, effective July 1, 1940, provided for a« minimum
grant of 50 percent o f the whole expenditure on the service, and
for authorities formerly receiving more than 30 percent, an increase
of 20 percent. This resulted in an increase up to 92 percent of the
expenditure in the case of one authority formerly getting 72 per­
cent. The circular (1520) pointed out that there were few areas,
if any, in which no expansion was needed, and “in view of the
vital national importance of maintaining and improving the nutri­
tion o f school children,” the Board asked all authorities to con­
sider at an early date the recommendations and to submit proposals
for expanding their provisions. The Board estimated the gross cost
o f a school meal at about 6d.
Inspection o f this school-meal service was expanded to include
all inspectors, not just school medical officers [ 163].
On December 3, 1940, (Circular 1531 [_?&£]) the Board of Educa­
tion extended the coverage for school meals, at cost, to grant-aided
secondary and other schools.
In December 1940 and again in February 1941, the Board of
Education issued administrative memoranda (Nos. 262 [165] and
274 [166]) giving information about agreements between the Min­
istry o f Food and the Board on the allowances of food to school
canteens by the Ministry. In December 1940 the allowance was
improved for all schools, including breakfast and tea as well as
dinner, and in February 1941 allowance o f meat was revised again,
but this time downward.
In February 1941 the Board issued an important circular (1539)
[167] to all local education authorities on “ Cooperation by Local
Education Authorities in Community Feeding” covering “stand-by”
provisions for community feeding during special emergencies, co­
operation by local education authorities in community feeding in
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normal operation, and maintenance of school canteens during
emergencies. The instructions broadened the policy of cooperation
so that school authorities might assist local authorities in any
emergency or normal plan,
c. Community centers.

In some households the situation could be handled if the evacuated
mother was able to get away from the household with her children
for several hours a day or if she was able to place her children in
a nursery center so that both she and the children would not be too
much underfoot in the household. A great majority of the households
receiving children were small, and often the addition of the evacuated
family to the housewife’s family meant that there was definite crowd­
ing in the household even though the occupancy did not exceed* the
standard of one person per room. Difficulties also arose when the
evacuated- mother attempted to do her laundry, using the house­
holder’s facilities. In the early months of this first evacuation there
was but little provision to deal with problems of this sort. To meet
these difficulties, various local authorities undertook to make different
types o f provision, such as the establishment of a community social
center, a nursery center, community laundries, and communal feeding
(see p. 121).
Social centers.—The use of village and town halls for social gath­
ering places for mothers or for recreational, occupational, and instruc­
tional classes and lectures in leisure-time activities was approved by
the Government as part of its evacuation scheme. In a circular [168]
issued jointly by the Ministry of Health and the Board o f Education
in November 1939, the use of village halls and club premises is urged,
but it is pointed out that the development of community activities
should not be limited to any one section of the population, such as
the evacuees. One of the objects o f the scheme was to develop activi­
ties which would help absorb the evacuated mothers and children
and the young people as they grew up into the life of the community.
The Government urged the use of the village hall for such purposes
as a community center rather than as a hostel for difficult children or
a sick bay, important as these latter provisions are.
Many communities found it possible to use a church hall or som,e
comparable space for a gathering center for mothers each afternoon.
Here they were able to form clubs which they themselves initiated in
some cases; here it was possible for women already resident in the
community to meet the newcomers under conditions in which no one
was host and no one guest (or if anything the newcomer was the host),
which helped the relationships. Here the women could sew and have
their tea. Volunteers, as a rule, helped get the center activities under
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way, but effort was consciously made to leave much, eventually all,
of the responsibility to the women themselves.
In many communities the same premises were used to house a
nursery center, or the young children were given an opportunity for
group play in a separate room while their mothers met.
Community laundries.—The difficulties that were almost inevitable
on “ wash days” when the newcomer did her laundry in the small
quarters of the householder, were entirely overcome in those com­
munities where a central wash house or community laundry was
established. The premises were usually some small house or build­
ing on the ground floor of which a stove, tubs, and ironing tables
suitable to accommodate four to six women at a time were set up and
adjacent to which there was a yard sufficiently large to dry the clothes.
Hot and cold water were prerequisite to the undertaking. The prem­
ises and equipment were very simple in some villages, but even so
were very much appreciated by the evacuated women.
Nursery centers.— It has been pointed out that the Board of Edu­
cation and the Ministry of Health had issued jointly in January 1940
a circular
describing the purpose of the nursery center (see
p. 79).
The nursery center is described as “ something between a day nursery
and a nursery school” and was proposed to meet young children’s needs
in the reception areas under the exceptional circumstances with which
communities were faced. A frank modification of the nursery school
was necessary because of the impossibility of obtaining enough trained
nursery-school teachers to organize the needed number o f centers, but
the general principles of nursery education were retained so that the
center should not deteriorate into a place for custodial care of children.
The attitude of the Government was well expressed in the opening
paragraphs o f the appendix to this circular as follow s:
As a result of evacuation, .there are, in many areas, a number of
young children under school age, between 2 and 5 years, about whom
there is some cause for anxiety. These children are in strange sur­
roundings; they are asked to behave in a different way from what is
usual in their own homes, and to eat unfamiliar food. They are often
cumbering the feet of people who are too busy to attend to them, so
they find tiresome and destructive things to do which are not liked by the
grownups. But this age, 2 to 5 years, is a very important time in a
child’s life, and unhappy experiences now may have a serious effect on
these little girls and boys when they are grown up. We have, we hope,
removed them from danger of one kind and we ought to see to it that
we are not exposing them to dangers of another kind, for these children
are our future citizens and a great deal will depend upon what kind
of people they are.
The first thing to understand is that young children need very special
care. Their helplessness demands the attention of someone in whom
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they can put their trust and who will be able to give them the training
which will enable them to become less helpless and more independent.
They need the sense of safety and security which is provided by some
space they can call their own, in which they can rest and play accord­
ing to their needs. They require such things as toys and play materials
which will give them something to do, so that they can live the kind
of life which helps them to develop and grow. Most of all they need
a grown-up person who will understand their point of view and see
when sympathy and help is needed. It is often very difficult to provide
such necessities in the home where they are living. Many houses are
more crowded than usual, and housewives are busier than they have
ever been before. Many mothers who are in billets must be feeling that
their own lives are cramped and that it is difficult to give their young
children the care they know they ought to have.

An earlier circular (1474) [76] of the Board o f Education “ School­
ing in an Emergency” had proposed two types of educational programs
for young children: (1) A large-scale organization in the nature of a
nursery school, or (2) a small-scale organization with quite small
groups o f children, housed, perhaps, in a large room o f a private house.
It was the second type of undertaking which the Board and the Min­
istry described as a “nursery center” ; only children from 2 to 5 were
to be admitted, with a maximum o f about 20 for each center.
The organization of the centers was the responsibility o f the local
education authorities working with the local reception authorities.
Application for the establishment of a center was made on a form
[169] provided by the Board of Education and submitted to the
Board’s inspector of schools for the area.
It was recommended that a local committee be formed consisting
of representatives of the local education, child-welfare, and reception
authorities, to which should be added a representative of the local
branch of the Women’s Voluntary Services for Civil Defence. The
committee was to be responsible for all matters connected with the
establishment and maintenance'of the centers, and it was suggested
that the secretary of the committee be appointed by the local reception
It was recommended that nursery centers be considered for any
community in which 50 or more evacuated children between 2 and 5
years of age were living.
With respect to accommodation, the Government circular indicates
the type of quarters, floor space required (15 square feet per child),
the necessity for hot water, lavatories, furniture and equipment, suit­
able rest space, and desirable garden or play space.
Special attention was given to the staff that would be required to
manage a nursery center. It was recommended that a “warden”
be put in charge who should be selected for her suitability for the work.
She might be paid or she might serve as a volunteer.
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The circular stated:
A superintendent must be appointed to supervise the work of the
wardens, and this superintendent should be a trained and experienced
nursery-school or infants’ teacher. Her work will consist of super­
vising the activities of the centers which are managed by the wardens,
and she may well have charge of four or five of these, though naturally
the number of centers which she is1able to supervise will depend upon
their local distribution.
Voluntary helpers will no doubt be readily available to assist the
wardens, including for example the mothers of the children, girls who
have recently left school, or any other volunteers who are prepared to
offer their help.

The duties of the staff were set forth in the appendix to this
circular, as were also detailed suggestions on “The Order of a Young
Child’s Day,” “ Play,” and many other aspects of the nursery-center
arrangement and organization.
The circular pointed out that arrangements should be made for
regular visits to each center by a doctor and a nurse. The local edu­
cation authority and the child-welfare authority were made
responsible for this.
The development of many of these nursery centers during 1940
was delayed for several reasons, among which were the lack of de­
mand by local authorities due to lack of understanding of their
value, the relatively small number of young children in the reception
areas due to their exclusion from the second large evacuation scheme
formulated in February 1940. When bombing started in September
1940 and many mothers with young children were again included in
the Government scheme or went out under private arrangements, the
demand for nursery centers began to grow.
In the late winter of 1940-41 the Nursery School Association,
appreciating the value of the nursery centers and desiring to see them
extended in reception areas, appointed, with the consent of Govern­
ment authorities, eight nursery-center organizers to work in the recep­
tion areas where many children under 5 were living. The lack of
response to the proposal of the Ministry of Health and the Board of
Education in January 1940 to finance the establishment of nursery
centers was believed by the association to be due to the lack of quali­
fied leaders in the provinces to create an understanding of the pur­
pose of the nursery center or how it would help in the adjustment of
city mothers with young children to the life in the country. The
nursery-center organizers were well-trained nursery-school teachers
and leaders. It was the intent of the Nursery School Association to
appoint additional workers of this type as soon as funds were avail­
able. The appointment of workers of this sort by a volunteer
national organization was in keeping with the British tradition.
Nursery centers are not being limited to reception areas. In some
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industrial cities they are taking the places of day nurseries or are
being operated as parts of day nurseries.

Effect of Evacuation on Education
With the order for evacuation in September 1939 the responsibility
for the education o f a very large Lumber of evacuated children fell
upon educational authorities in the reception areas, but the education
authorities under the London County Council and other evacuating
authorities were still responsible for giving assistance of various
kinds to the local authorities and for the education o f children left
in London.
That the educational system was seriously disrupted by the proc­
ess of evacuation is a fact. The policy adopted by the Ministry of
Health, which placed the saving of lives of children and protection
from the strain and stress of bombing first and planning for con­
tinued education second, was predicated on the supposition that bomb­
ing would start with the onset of war. The implementation o f this
policy, and to some extent its merits, have been questioned by many
who have felt that planning for education in the reception areas could
have been more specific before evacuation took place. In retrospect
[JtO] it was possible almost immediately to see how advance planning
could have been done more satisfactorily to arrange, for instance, for
the secondary-school children. The more recent moderately large
evacuations have shown that transportation companies can plan train
schedules in advance and carry out the schedules. It would seem
now to be feasible to plan more effectively for very large evacua­
tions ; and even though it might not be possible to state in advance
the exact destination of every class of each school, reservations in
certain cities and towns might be made for higher-grade children,
and in general the destination of elementary-school children by coun­
ties or boroughs could be planned.
As long as an evacuation scheme is voluntary, it will not be pos­
sible, when a first order to evacuate is issued, to predict what propor­
tion o f parents will decide at the last minute to send their children
out. I f evacuation had been compulsory, arrangements would have
been simple, but sentiment in England as shown by Gallup polls in
November 1939 when the difficulties of the evacuation scheme were
at their height was still against compulsion. The success of the
later evacuations from a number of the industrial cities and the
advance planning for assignment of the school classes to specified
reception areas indicate the progress made in the whole scheme.
The early criticism was undoubtedly responsible for the prompt
improvement which took place in planning. The very fact that
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the first large movement had been completed and that thenceforth
evacuations could be in smaller groups made improvement easier.
Education in evacuation areas.

With the order for evacuation in September 1939, all schools in
London were closed, and education within the County of London was
no longer compulsory. Though a large number o f London school
children were evacuated within the next few days after the evacuation
order, many returned from the reception areas in the ensuing 2 or 3
months, as has already been pointed out. The result was that there
were many thousands o f school children in London unable to attend
school and free to roam the streets. The situation was made worse
also by the fact that usual vacation plans were not in effect.
With the issuing o f the evacuation order many of the school build­
ings had been taken over by the civil-defense authorities to serve as
rest centers and A. R. P. headquarters, and for other emergency pur­
poses. In October 1939, 100 school buildings were completely occu­
pied or reserved for civil-defense purposes, 450 were partially occu­
pied, and only 130 remained entirely unreserved. The educational
authorities were concerned with the situation and determined to or­
ganize a scheme for educational supervision o f the London children
in their own homes.
On September 29, 1939, the Board of Education issued a circular
(1479) [97] expressing its concern and deprecating the return o f
children from the reception areas to the evacuation areas, but also
recognizing the fact that “it would clearly be intolerable that a
substantial proportion o f the school population should continue in­
definitely to be deprived of education and its allied services, and
should suffer the demoralization which must inevitably follow the
removal of school discipline and control.” T o meet this situation in
part the Board suggested that local education authorities in evacua­
tion areas organize a system of visits by teachers to the homes o f the
children. This would allow contact between teacher and child to be
continued without involving the assembly o f more than small groups.
The Government policy o f dispersing population and forbidding as­
sembly in large groups without adequate shelter provision such as
would have been necessary had children been immediately returned to
schools was responsible for the plan.
To develop this scheme, 350 full-time teachers were retained or
brought back to London. Each teacher working under the scheme
was given headquarters at a school from which he could issue educa­
tional material to individual children. Radiating from these head­
quarters the teachers attempted to establish contact with the school
children in the area either in the streets or in their own homes, or in
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open spaces, with a view to getting them under helpful supervision.
Small groups of children were taken on excursions or to playgrounds
under the direction of teachers. In this way a network was estab­
lished over the whole o f London with the hope o f maintaining some
contact with the children.
The success of the plan was limited greatly by the withdrawal o f
compulsory education. Though a large number o f children received
some help through the scheme and in some cases were actually stimu­
lated to a more independent approach to study, a great number did
not avail themselves o f the plan, and for a period there was a group of
children “ running wild” in the city streets. By the end o f a month
it became apparent that this plan was not going to meet the need, and
decision was reached by the Board o f Education that the schools should
be opened again. That many school buildings would have to have
extensive reconstruction in order to make them safe or provide good
shelters was known. Until they were made safe, the local authorities
were not to open them for classes.
On November 11, 1939, the Board o f Education issued an order
reopening such schools in the evacuation areas as could be made avail­
able for education o f the children o f parents who desired them to
attend. The number of schools wholly available for education of
children remaining in London was extremely limited and far too small
to accommodate the children.
In the spring of 1940 education was again made compulsory in evac­
uation areas. Because only a limited number of school buildings had
been put back to their original use for education, the distances which
many children had to go to school still interfered with their attend­
ance. Though in February 1941 it was reported that a very great
majority of London children were attending school, it was admitted
that occasionally children were being found who were not yet back
in school.
Education in reception areas.

According to information \_170] received in February 1941 from
the Board o f Education, 758,000 children were evacuated in September
1939 in school parties with their teachers and voluntary helpers. In
spite of the return to the cities which followed, there remained in the
reception areas in December 1939 some 472,000, or 62 percent o f those
evacuated. Thereafter the flow back was slower and by mid-April
1940 the number of evacuated school children was “upwards o f 300 000.”
After the fall of the Low Countries and the onset o f the bombing of
London the trend was reversed and 620,000 evacuated school children
were in reception areas by December 1940. The evacuation continued
up to February 1941, though at a slower rate because of the cessation
o f heavy bombing for a short period. It has been learned recently
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(May 1941) that after the recurrence o f severe bombing in March and
April the rate of evacuation o f children increased.
To add this large number of children to the school rolls of the local
education authorities in the reception areas was no small task. Seri­
ous difficulties were experienced at first. It was not found possible
to maintain the unity o f the individual schools in many areas, as
had been planned. Many school units, despite the efforts o f local
directors o f education, were broken up and scattered over a number
o f villages. This was inevitable because of the system o f billeting and
transport. In some cases school parties were reassembled more or
less completely almost immediately after evacuation took place, more
attention being given to the reassembling of divided secondary and
“ central” schools than to ordinary elementary schools. In many
places school accommodations were inadequate; in many the scheme o f
double shifts was necessarily applied. The hiring o f halls and other
buildings was approved by the London County Council Emergency
Committee. This made possible the accommodation of many school
units. Books and equipment were supplied in large quantities (more
than 5,000 tons) from London by rail, truck, school ambulances, busses,
and private cars [7£].
To assist the work of the local authorities in the reception areas
the London County Council assigned members o f its educational
inspectorate to the various reception areas. The duties o f the in­
spectors included cooperating with the local education authorities in
getting suitable premises for school parties, assisting in arranging
activities—educational, social, and recreative—for children when not
in school, reassembling school parties that had been broken up, and
redistricting secondary and technical schools. The assistance o f these
inspectors was welcomed by the local educational authorities largely
because the plan had been prearranged before the evacuation took
The rural teachers made many suggestions that were helpful to the
town teachers and gave information that made it possible for the
town teachers to include in their curricula classes and talks based on
country activities. For the city children an opportunity was thus
given to learn much about country and farm life which had never been
possible before. Likewise the city teachers gave to the rural teachers
suggestions and information for broadening the scope of their teaching
program for the country children. These features o f the effect o f
evacuation on education have received favorable comment by many in
a. Secondary schools.

A t the time o f the evacuation 77 secondary schools were transferred
to reception areas. O f these, 64 were at once “linked” with secondary
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schools already established in reception areas and 5 with senior
schools; 9 were sent to areas not provided with advanced schools, and
rebilleting became necessary. Adjustments were made in fees for
children in the secondary schools, though in general parents were ex­
pected to pay to the school authorities in the reception areas the fee
usually paid in the evacuation areas. The education officer in London
was authorized at the time of the evacuation to remit wholly or in part
fees o f pupils in secondary schools and of pupils taking full-time
junior courses in technical institutions. Special temporary plans for
scholarship examinations to be held by local education authorities as
well as by London authorities were developed. Special care was taken
to see that “ special certificate forms” had their usual normal time
tables, and the examining bodies for school certificates were prepared
to take into account the limited use that could be made at first o f
special rooms such as laboratories and workshops.
There is no question that education o f evacuated children along
the lines to which they had been accustomed in the city was greatly
modified and that for older children the disadvantages were greater
than for the younger ones. To what extent the newer experiences
will make up for the lack o f certain formal educational features can­
not yet be estimated. Many children, especially those reaching school­
leaving age, have expressed the desire to live and work permanently
in the country; some have found work in the country. A recent
memorandum [170] of the Board of Education makes the following
The full educational effects of the transplanting of this very large
number of town children into entirely fresh surroundings, mainly
rural, so vastly different from those to which the majority had previ­
ously been accustomed, cannot yet be estimated. In the course of a
report after some months’ experience of evacuation the Chief Inspector
of Elementary Schools wrote that “The general picture of education in
reception areas is encouraging rather than discouraging. • * * *
There can be no doubt that many children’s lives have been greatly
enriched by their removal from large towns, and in the case of children
from the worst homes the conditions that make for sound education
have been substantially improved. Indeed if there is one lesson from
evacuation that has begun to emerge it is that formal education based
upon bad home conditions is largely a waste of effort and money,
because the children from bad homes cannot attune their minds to it
or begin to realize its purpose or its possibilities. So far no evidence
is reaching the Board that formal education is seriously suffering j
the new interests and the wider basis of first-hand experience which
the children have been getting might, in any case, on any broad view
of education be felt to compensate for some falling off in formal attain­
ments. * * * In general teachers have been forced to improvise, to
depend less on school apparatus, and to see more value in children’s
out-of-school activities and experience. This, at its best, has brought
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into school work a fresh reality and humanity. * * * I have no
doubt that the good educational effects of evacuation outweigh the

What the total effect on1education will be remains to be seen. The
opinion was frequently expressed that the whole educational system
would undergo change after the war.
b. School holidays.

To prevent as far as possible the return of evacuated school chil­
dren to London and other evacuation areas at Christmas or for other
holidays, the Board of Education issued a circular (1482) [777] on
November 10, 1939, suggesting that teachers should be released for
holidays in rotation, either before or after the set holiday period, so
as to enable a sufficient number of them to be available for duty
during the period when the schools were closed. It was also suggested
that the Christmas holiday be somewhat curtailed.
That this plan did not prevent many parents from bringing children
home for Christmas is well known. However, it did help keep chil­
dren occupied who remained in the reception area because the
teachers assisted the householders and reception authorities by
organizing activities for them.
c. School leaving.

Though the statutory school-leaving age had been raised to 15 years
by the Education Act, 1936, to be effective September 1939, because
o f the war the operation of the act was suspended by the Education
(Emergency) Act of 1939. To deal with the problem o f children in
the reception areas who reached the school-leaving age, the Board of
Education suggested to local education authorities in a circular (1475)
[770] issued August 31, 1939, that each authority obtain from the
head teacher of each evacuated school, at the beginning of each term,
a list of children who had reached school-leaving age or would reach
it before the end of the term, and forward this to the evacuating
authority, who could in turn ascertain the parents’ wishes. A t first,
when a child took employment in a reception area the billeting allow­
ance was stopped at once. Later this practice was modified because
it was found to be impossible for these young workers to support
themselves entirely on the wages received. It was recognized that if
they were at home, room and board in many cases would still have
been provided by their families.
d. Financing the education o f children in reception areas.

The policy of the Government that local education authorities in
reception areas should be responsible for providing the education for
the evacuated children but should suffer no financial loss thereby
[77^] raised many problems of adjustment between the authorities
432652°— 42------ 10
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in reception areas and those in evacuation areas. In November 1939
a committee was appointed to develop a working financial arrange­
ment between authorities. On January 31, 1940, a report [I7J] was
made by the committe to the President o f the Board o f Education
dealing with all details of the matter, including expenditures recover­
able from the Exchequer, adjustments in respect of elementary-school
children and o f secondary-school pupils.

Report on Conditions in Reception Areas— “ Shakespeare
A thorough review of the conditions in the reception areas was
made in the last 6 weeks of 1940 by a committee appointed on Novem­
ber 15 by the Minister of Health, Mr. Malcolm MacDonald, under
the chairmanship of Mr. Geoffrey Shakespeare, M. P. The two
other members of the committee represented the viewpoint of local
authorities— Mr. H. Darlow, Town Clerk of Bedford, and Miss A. C.
Johnston, Women’s Voluntary Services. The committee was directed
to inquire into the welfare of evacuated and homeless persons and
examine the provision made for their comfort and contentment and
for easing the burden on the householders receiving them. The re­
port [I7J] of the committee (the “ Shakespeare report” ) was made
on January 2, 1941. The conclusions reached by the committee and
its recommendations sum up in general the conditions found in
February 1941 and are therefore given at some length here.
The committee undertook to visit the reception areas and study
at first hand the conditions under which evacuated persons were be­
ing cared for. They interviewed representatives of the Ministries
of Health and Labour, the Assistance Board, and the Women’s V ol­
untary Services, and inspected all kinds of facilities and services
provided under the scheme. The committee visited billets and inter­
viewed hosts and guests. In all, IT counties were visited, having an
estimated population o f 6,289,000, plus 1,566,000 evacuated persons.
The area had had, therefore, an increase of approximately 25 percent
in its usual population.
The committee points out at the beginning of its report that the
chief problem lay in the fact that “ a wide gulf is fixed between the
sentiments, habits, and outlook of town and country.”
It cannot be expected that the invasion of the home of the house­
wife in the reception areas by the London mother will be achieved
without friction. Even if friction be avoided, it is not a desirable
process that the fam ily life in London should be disrupted, that wives
should be separated from their husbands or children from their par­
ents. W e desire to emphasize these fundamental facts, which are some­
times forgotten. Furthermore, the evacuated mother so often arrives
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in a state of mental distress. She, too, has her pride. For weeks she
has borne the brunt of night bombing with unconquerable spirit and
under conditions that might well have impaired the strongest nerves.
She feels the strangeness of her new surroundings. She is full of
anxiety for her husband and her home. Time hangs heavily on her
hands. I f then an unfriendly atmosphere is suspected the urge to
return becomes overwhelming. Evacuation on this large scale has no
intrinsic m erit; it can only be the lesser of two evils, and justified by
the necessity for the dispersal of population in wartime.

The committee found that on the whole the scheme was succeeding,
that in many districts it had become a matter of local pride to
retain evacuees, that the standards of achievement were not every­
where uniform, and that, though much still remained to be done, by
and large great progress was being made. “ The hard lessons learnt in
the 1939 evacuation have not been forgotten.”
In general, the evacuation of unaccompanied children was the
most successful. The health o f the children had improved, and they
had adapted themselves to their new surroundings. The great ma­
jority o f children were receiving full-time education, in many coun­
ties having been absorbed into the local educational systems “ without
materially impairing the education o f the local children.”
“ It is in the reception o f mothers with their children,” the report
points out, “ that problems mainly arise.” The accounts o f unjus­
tifiable behavior by London women related largely to the evacuation
o f 1939. Since bombing started, the sympathies of housewives in
the reception areas and the response in the conduct o f London mothers
had improved the situation greatly. It was evident to the investi­
gators that where there was an atmosphere o f friendliness and where
adequate welfare arrangements had been made, the London women
were “ settling down with resignation but not with enthusiasm in
their new surroundings.”
The report sets forth the elements which in the opinion o f the
investigators are essential to the success in the reception areas of any
evacuation scheme. It also calls attention to the difficulties to be
overcome. The recommendations concern evacuation of homeless
families which have been bombed out, as well as children. They are
summarized as follows:
1. Adequate reception arrangements.
It is important to secure the use of a building where parties of evacuees
can stay for a few days to clean up and be medically examined and
where they can be sorted out and chosen for appropriate billets. The
homeless arrive deficient of clothing and often in a state of anxiety.
The use of emergency hospitals for reception is referred to.

2. B illeting and quartering.
The work of billeting officers, whether paid or voluntary, is par­
ticularly arduous. Continuous surveys of accommodation are neces-
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sary, and much office work is. imposed upon them. Sufficient staff is
essential to relieve the burden. Surveys must be kept up to date and
the right of entry to houses in the search for billets is needed to make
them really adequate. This should be granted where it is desired by
the local authority concerned.
Exercise of compulsory billeting powers is necessary in some dis­
tricts or at some stage in many districts, to remove suspicion that
well-to-do persons are not playing their part. Such allegations are
not always well founded but unfortunate instances occur. * * *
Unfriendly and recalcitrant householders should be made aware by
the billeting authorities that these powers will be exercised in case
of need.

3. W elfare arrangem ents.
The provision of adequate welfare facilities is the essence of good
reception arrangements. These include:
(а) The establishment of clubs for mothers, combined where
possible with communal feeding for both mothers and children at
cheap rates. Sometimes the local education authority can extend
the school-meal services to other classes of evacuees. In other
areas evacuees can attend centers initiated or taken over by
the Ministry of Food.
(б) The establishment of nursery centers. Where the premises
are adequate these can be combined with a communal center.
Nursery classes should be provided by local education authorities
where possible for evacuee children.
Where the mother is relieved of the care of her child during
the day she can often find employment in the district. There
is little doubt that regular work will do more than anything else
to help her settle down in her new- life.
(c) Arrangements for occupation and recreation for the evacuee
mothers at these clubs. This is being done under the supervision
of local authorities, the W . V. S., the National Council for Social
Service, the Women’s Institutes, and other voluntary bodies.
Make-and-mend parties and work in connection with the communal
centers such as cooking and cleaning are needed to relieve the
monotony of enforced idleness. The work is often better arranged
by committees of the women themselves.
(d) Arrangements for bath houses and for laundry facilities
on a communal basis.
( e ) The provision of week-end hostels where husbands can
stay when they visit their wives is much appreciated.
The success of these communal welfare activities largely depend^
on the choice of a supervisor of a suitable type.

4. The need for m ore w elfare officers.
It is essential that more welfare officers who understand the psy­
chology of London mothers should be appointed. W elfare officers ap­
pointed to the regional staffs of the Ministry of Health in the regions
which we visited have proved their worth and are being strengthened.
W h a t is now immediately wanted is the appointment, throughout
the reception areas, of welfare officers to coordinate and stimulate
all welfare activities such as the provision of community centers, com-
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munal feeding, mothers’ clubs, nursery centers, occupational training,
and the like. It is important that the officers appointed should have
a knowledge of social legislation in order to be able to give skilled
Where the county plays a large part by giving leadership on evacu­
ation questions such appointments might well be on a county basis.
In other cases, boroughs or large districts would wish to appoint
their own welfare officers. Welfare officers will work in close touch
with the local welfare committees. The latter have been found in­
valuable in settling questions of difficulty which may arise between
authorities and teachers in charge of unaccompanied children or
between householders and those billeted upon them. Representatives
of the evacuees themselves should be co-opted onto these committees,
the number of which should be largely increased.
There is said to be a shortage of women of a suitable type for
appointment as welfare officers. It is suggested that the Ministry of
Health should appoint a selection committee in conjunction with the
L . C. C., the W . V. S., and the National Council for Social Service,
to prepare a list of suitable persons for submission to the regional
officers. Appointments could then be made from these lists.

5. R equisitioning o f premises.
Adequate welfare arrangements depend on the availability' of suit­
able premises.
To liberate premises for welfare purposes, there are recommended:
( а ) Regular conferences between regional commissioners and
Military Service liaison officers.
(б ) Review of lists of premises earmarked by Government de­
(c) More drastic use of powers of requisitioning by the Min­
istry of Health, particularly in regard to requisitioning parts of
occupied houses for welfare or other purposes.
( d ) Fuller cooperation by educational authorities for use of
school premises for welfare purposes, both after school hours
each day and during the week ends.

6. Furniture and equipment.
There is a general shortage of furniture in the reception areas for the
equipment of requisitioned houses as homes or hostels.
The standard of furnishing and equipment for billets and hostels
provided by authorities is too low.
A list has been issued to billeting authorities by one regional office
of the Ministry of Health telling them of the equipment they may pro­
vide for mothers and children. A similar list should be issued by the
Ministry to all billeting authorities, as there was great unevenness in
the equipment provided. In some regions there is a shortage of
blankets. * * * regional welfare officers should be empowered to
authorize on the spot the purchase of equipment for hostels and com­
munal centers.

7. Easing the burden o f billeting.
Closely associated with welfare work is the treatment, of special
classes of evacuees. W e refer to large families, unbilletable cases,
difficult children, and those in need of special attention. More prem-
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ises are urgently required for the housing and treatment of persons in
these categories.
Even in cases presenting no special difficulties it is more desirable '
to place several families separately in large empty houses, or one
fam ily by itself in a requisitioned house, than to billet them in occu­
pied houses. This avoids the invasion of the home and the friction
occasioned by two women cooking at the same stove. The shortage
of empty premises is, however, acute in many reception areas. In
some cases condemned cottages have been reconditioned with success
and used to house large families separately. In one borough a large
private school has been requisitioned and adapted. In these premises
a large number of mothers and children lead a communal life with
facilities for education, recreation, cooking, laundry, and so forth,
provided within the precincts. The domestic side of this particular
experiment was run by a committee of London mothers and was a
brilliant example of community life well conceived and executed.

8. Need for m ore buffer hostels.
Where separate billeting or community life is not possible resort must
of necessity be made to billeting in private homes and this has to be done
in the vast majority of cases. * * * It is essential that buffer hostels
or clearing houses should be available to relieve the strain on hostesses
even when the evacuees have settled down happily. A part of the
building used for the first reception of evacuees can sometimes be
reserved for this purpose. Evacuee mothers may enter a maternity
home leaving their children in their billets; there may be sickness in
the householder’s family, or the rooms may be required for a relative
of the hostess returning on leave. In such cases buffer hostels meet
a real need.

9. Difficult and special cases.
Difficult cases or special cases, not suitable for billeting in private
homes, should be immediately dealt with by rehousing in special
hostels. W e refer not only to children suffering from skin diseases,
impetigo, scabies, and so forth, who should immediately be sent to
premises converted into sick bays, but also to the difficult cases of bedwetters, emotional children, and delinquents, who require special care
under trained supervision. To meet the needs of rural areas and
of smaller urban districts, the establishment or taking over of hostels by
the county authority should be encouraged in order that different types
of children may be treated separately. There should be one hostel at
least in each county for difficult older boys. In one county an excellent
pooling arrangement had been established by which each district pro­
vided a special type of hostel in its area to serve the needs of the com­
bined authorities. The regional staff of the Ministry of Health should
make more investigations to ensure that there is a sufficient number of
trained staff in the hostels, and that they have adequate pay and reason­
able conditions of work.
In view of the fact that children arq not now evacuated from schools
but from shelter life and conditions under which the supervision of the
School Medical Service is lacking, they should be received in emergency
hospitals in the reception areas or in temporary hostels so that they
can be rested and cleaned up before being billeted.
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10. Public health and medical treatment.
The large influx of population into the reception areas has imposed
a heavy burden on medical and hospital services, whether voluntary or
provided by local authorities. Emergency arrangements to deal with
sudden epidemics have been enjoined by the Ministry of Health on all
local authorities, and buildings have been earmarked for this purpose.
It is recommended that these buildings be immediately adapted for
such use. There is not yet enough provision for infectious diseases,
and there should be provision in all regions for measles cases where
there are complications or where the billets are unsuitable for home
Official evacuees (other than unaccompanied children) and unofficial
evacuees who require medical treatment either seek a medical prac­
titioner of their own choice, if they can afford to do so, or must come
under the District Medical Service. This latter service is not being
extended with sufficient rapidity. The cost of its extension should not
fall on the local rates. Where the burden of the treatment of official
evacuees falls on the voluntary hospitals, this should be charged to
the evacuation account. It should be made possible for those who
subscribe to the Voluntary Hospitals Contributory Scheme in the send­
ing areas to enjoy similar benefits in the reception areas. These
problems are specialized and need only be mentioned.

11. Provision o f m aternity care.
In general it may be said that a sufficient number of maternity
homes have been provided in the areas we have visited but the useful­
ness of their work would be increased if there were more provision
of antenatal and postnatal homes associated with them. A further
difficulty arises in that the burden of billeting mothers and babies
when they leave the maternity home falls on the one district where
the maternity home is situated. It would be advisable if, under the
supervision of the county authorities, arrangements could be made for
the placing of these cases through a wider area. Many authorities
have buffer hostels or clearing houses where elder children can be
billeted during their mother’s confinement; but more temporary resi­
dential nurseries are required for children under 5 to serve the same

12. Clothing.
The responsible teacher in each school should arrange a weekly
inspection of kit so that parents can be asked to send clothing before
the need becomes acute. In the event of the latter’s failure to do so,
the evacuation authority should be communicated with and the issue
of clothing should at once be authorized by them when the parents
are not at home. Financial liability can be fixed afterwards. Too long
delays have been caused by lack of regular inspection and by protracted
correspondence with evacuation 'authorities.

13. A ssistance-board scales and other allowances.
More ample use of the discretionary powers by officers of the assistance
board and the strengthening of its yisiting staff so that adjustments
in scales can be made more promptly are recommended.
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The assistance board should consider whether it does not need the
power of recovery against husbands who refuse or neglect to make
reasonable contributions.
Local authorities in the sending areas should make arrangements
for the storing of furniture, even if the house is habitable, when re­
quested to do so by evacuees in the reception areas; e. g., in the case of
a wife whose husband is absent in the Services, a widow, or an old-age
pensioner. Evacuees are less inclined to return when their home has
been given up than when they are paying rent for premises which they
are not actually occupying.
No general increase in boarding allowances for children is recom­
mended but an increase of the home nursing allowance of 5s. a week to
the householder, on production of a medical certificate, is recommended.

14. Billeting allowances fo r children leaving school to find employment.
Many children on reaching school-leaving age would like to take up
work in the country but are prevented from doing so because their initial
pay would not cover the cost of their board. I f the 5s. lodging allowance
could be paid for them while their pay remains below a certain level
this difficulty would be met. Arrangements should also be made for
the supervision of such children by juvenile-employment committees
and by voluntary associations charged with the welfare of the young.

* 15. Advice Bureaus.
To ensure that evacuees are made aware of all the amenities in the
district and may have their problems readily attended to, the estab­
lishment of an Advice Bureau, where possible, serves a valuable pur­
pose. Evacuees want to know what are the facilities for rest centers,
communal feeding, nursery centers, the address of the employment
exchange, the assistance board, the provision made for medical treat­
ment and similar matters, and advice should be available on these
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Certain aspects o f the over-all problem of evacuation that would
have a bearing on procedures that might be instituted in the United
States, should such ever become necessary, may be commented on
1. Policy o f dispersal o f population in congested areas and evac­
uation o f nonessential population.

The basic policy of dispersal of the population from the congested
areas o f industrial cities under bombing and the evacuation of the
nonessential population has been shown to be sound. To save the
lives o f children and mothers not only has humanitarian aspects but
is essential to the future of the national life.
2. Timing the evacuation.

The evacuation of children from London and other industrial cities
and the closing of the schools and related health services before
bombing actually started disrupted the educational system and seri­
ously affected the life and well-being of children who remained in the
cities or returned almost at once. Carrying out evacuation before
the onset o f bombing, however, meant that it could be done when
there was neither serious agitation nor voluntary mass evacuation,
as might well have been the case had bombs been falling. Further­
more, it provided opportunity for the Government to learn the weak­
nesses o f its scheme of transport and of its plan of preparation of
the children for evacuation, reception, and placement. To remove
between one and one and a half million persons, largely children, in
4 days from a few large cities was a sizable undertaking in itself. I f
it had been accompanied by the hurried voluntary mass movements
that would undoubtedly have occurred if bombing had started simul­
taneously, the orderly character o f the evacuation of the children
might have broken down and real chaos have been the result.
The fact that bombing did not occur at the declaration o f war could
not have been anticipated and sets no precedent for other situations
where bombing might be the first form o f attack. The severity of
the bombing of London when it did start justified the early policy
that children should be removed from areas o f potential danger so
so far as possible before bombing started. Whether children should
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be removed from cities potentially subject to raids before the actual
onset o f attack, is a point for careful consideration. The decision
would rest, partly at least, on the presumable effectiveness o f plans
for their removal at the time bombing occurred, on the possibilities
for their protection in the cities under bombing, and to some extent
on the emotional state of the people.
3. Priority classes.

The decision to establish priority classes o f persons for evacuation
under the Government scheme was essential to the orderly planning
and conduct of the scheme. The selection o f school children as a first
priority group to go in school parties under the supervision of teachers
but unaccompanied by parents had advantages from the standpoint
of organization and removal of large numbers of children in a very
short time. It had the disadvantages o f breaking up thousands of
families and subjecting literally hundreds o f thousands o f children
from 6 to 16 years o f age to the experience of leaving home with its
concomitant sense o f insecurity. The presence o f the child’s class­
room teacher as the leader o f his party partly mitigated this feeling of
insecurity. The success which was somewhat rapidly achieved in ad­
justing unaccompanied school children to their new surroundings in
reception areas on the one hand, and the almost complete failure of
adjustment o f mothers who were evacuated with young children on
the other, point toward the wisdom of the British Government policy.
In September 1940, when a relatively large proportion of school chil­
dren had already been evacuated and the trickle scheme was in force,
it became possible to send out mothers and children o f all ages to­
gether. The question has been raised whether it would be more de­
sirable from a social point of view to use the family rather than the
school class as the unit for mass evacuation. The choice between the
family and the school class might depend on the speed with which
it was desired to remove and place large numbers of children and on
the known attitude o f city mothers toward remaining in the country.
It is doubtful whether any city-bred mothers would be willing to go
to the country and stay unless there were real danger at home. To
achieve a mass evacuation of very large numbers of children in a few
days, the unit o f choice would certainly be the school.
4. Noncom pulsory nature o f the evacuation.

The noncompulsory nature o f evacuation in England meant not
only that it was left to parents whether or not they would take ad­
vantage of the Government scheme, but also that parents could bring
their children home again at any time. The return of mothers and
young children to the cities was very easy because distances were
short. It was simple for parents to visit children in the reception
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areas. In fact, visiting was encouraged, and reductions in transpor­
tation fares were arranged in order to make it possible. It thus be­
came all too easy for parents to bring their children home, and the
“ turn-over” o f evacuated school children was soon a matter o f concern
to the Government, not only because of the disturbing effect on the
children and their education but because of the added cost.
During the winter and spring of 1939-TO the question of com­
pulsory evacuation was discussed, but the situation never reached
the point where the Government felt that such a drastic step was
necessary. Public opinion was certainly not for compulsion, nor
had it even reached the stage where general registration for evac­
uation of school children was successful. When bombing started
in London, the right o f the parent to decide was still considered
paramount. Not until the effects of shelter life and continued bomb­
ing began to show in the general state of health and well-being of
some children did the Government see order evacuation even
for this selected group. The order for compulsory evacuation of
children “ suffering in mind or body as a result of hostile attacks”
was used more as a lever to persuade parents to evacuate their chil­
dren voluntarily than to remove the children forcibly.
Compulsory evacuation at the onset of war would have accom­
plished quickly the desired goal of removing children from danger.
Under compulsory evacuation, the Government would have had to
assume, even more than it did, complete control of each child and
entire responsibility for his welfare. Parents would have been
freed essentially from all responsibility. However, at the time of
the first evacuation the Government was not prepared to carry out
a scheme of placement of all children nor one in which parents did
not continue to carry some responsibility. In fact, it was the deter­
mined policy that parents should continue to carry some responsi­
bility, at least that for clothing and for general oversight of the
children’s welfare. If, at the onset of war, there had been as com­
plete a coverage in the reception areas with trained social workers
aided by special child-care workers as there was with child-health
workers, compulsory evacuation might have been contemplated with
some hope of success. However, even after bombing began the Gov­
ernment did not have available sufficient staff trained in social case
work to give the necessary supervision to children evacuated volun­
tarily to the reception areas.
In February 1941, though there was still some strong feeling that
the Government should have taken complete control and compul­
sorily evacuated all children, the consensus still seemed to be against
it. The fact that approximately 85 percent of all children had been
voluntarily evacuated at this time would indicate the willingness of
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parents to comply when it was clearly dangerous for children to
remain in the city.
5. Health and medical services for children.

During the course of the 18 months’ experience with evacuation
there was great progress in improving the health and medical super­
vision of children. The initial examination o f the children and
treatment of infectious conditions or conditions o f uncleanliness
before evacuation was early shown to be essential to the success of
the scheme. When this procedure was not possible, as in the case
of evacuation of bombed-out families, the use of emergency hospitals
in the reception areas to provide initial medical examination and
opportunity for cleansing and rest proved to be a most effective and
acceptable step preparatory to billeting.
The assignment o f school physicians, nurses, and health visitors
from evacuation areas to reception areas to supplement local per­
sonnel was also found to be essential. The establishment o f childhealth and school medical services before the war had laid a good
foundation throughout the reception areas for health and medical
supervision. What was needed when evacuation occurred was the
rapid expansion of personnel and facilities and the addition in some
areas o f more specialized medical officers as pediatricians for childwelfare supervision. Unfortunately, expansion had to be accom­
plished gradually and was never really sufficient to meet the needs
of the newcomers completely. Though the withdrawal of school phy­
sicians for military forces has curtailed service to both evacuated
children and normal residents, no areas have been left without a
minimum school medical service.
The early establishment of school treatment clinics for care o f
minor ailments and referral of children with more severe illnesses
to hospital clinics has provided a service for school children which
has proved invaluable in the wartime program, in both evacuation
and reception areas. The addition of the sick bays in the reception
areas, where billeted children could be given bed care for minor
ailments, has supplemented the school treatment-clinic care fairly
satisfactorily. The medical care of sick school children in their billets
given by local physicians and paid for by the Government seems to
have been an acceptable scheme. The medical care of young children
which had to be paid for by their mothers who accompanied them
was less successful, since the mother frequently would not call a
physician because she could not afford it. To arrange for aid from
public assistance was not always easy or desired.
On the whole, the health supervision and medical care have been
reasonably good. There is, of course, still room for improvement.
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6. M aternity care.

The program o f maternity care for women normally resident in
evacuation areas was based on the well-established peacetime pro­
gram of domiciliary midwife care, hospital care, and medical con­
sultation. This was supplemented by the provision o f maternity
homes of high standard in the reception areas and facilities for
antenatal and postnatal housing and care. The success of the war­
time program can be traced directly to the high quality of the pre­
vious Nation-wide service and to the skill used in its adaptation to
emergency conditions. Because the public had been educated before
the war to know what good care was, the Ministry of Health was
able to insist on the maintenance of high standards o f equipment and
staffing of the approximately 120 maternity homes under local au­
thorities. It was everywhere recognized that the war situation was
sufficient reason for exerting every effort to provide the best possible
maternity care. Public opinion was completely in support of the
Government’s program, as indeed it had been since the last war.
7. The welfare program.

One o f the most evident causes of the failure o f mothers and.
children to remain in reception areas at the time of the first evacu­
ation was the lack in the provinces of paid workers trained in the
organization of community services or in the giving of individual
social-case-work service to mothers unable to adjust to their new
surroundings. Volunteer workers in the reception areas, willing and
ready to work, had to tackle jobs for which they were unequipped
and were without the guidance, in most instances, o f trained leader­
ship. Not until June 1940 were “ welfare officers” (child-care organ­
izers from the London County Council) assigned to regional offices
of the Ministry of Health. Extension of this service to the regional
offices and to the county and borough authorities was proceeding
gradually. The Chief Medical Officer o f the Ministry of Health
expressed the greatest appreciation and understanding of the work of
these welfare officers. The administrative officers of the Ministry
who were responsible for carrying out the evacuation scheme like­
wise expressed their realization o f the need for paid social workers
and their intention to extend the work as rapidly as possible to all
local authorities. It was evident that the efforts of one such worker
in a community could bring about improvement in community ac­
tivities, a better understanding by volunteers of the social needs of
mothers, and a change in attitude of many evacuated mothers by
case work with a few. The experience of these welfare officers as
child-care workers and committee organizers in the London school
system was invaluable in connection with the supervision o f school
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children in billets and the organization of temporary hostels or
hostels for difficult children. It was believed in the provinces that
the service should become a part of the peacetime program.
The extraordinary contribution o f women volunteers to the present
success of the evacuation scheme cannot be stressed too greatly. In
view o f the complete absence o f any paid social workers provided by
Government, there was but one course of action for the volunteers,
namely, to take over the welfare aspects of the work. Without the
initiative and ingenuity, the indefatigability, and the devotion of
hundreds of local leaders of volunteers, the evacuation scheme would
never have been brought out of the chaos into which it was plunged
at the beginning. As members of local welfare committees, as billet­
ing officers, as friendly visitors, as workers in hostels, nurseries, ma­
ternity homes, communal-feeding centers, and community social cen­
ters, as clerks in the offices of the local authorities, the women volun­
teers have carried on the work necessary for care of the evacuated
children and for the gradual absorption of the mothers into the
communities. The task of caring for the individual evacuated chil­
dren fell upon hundreds o f thousands of citizens and householders.
The task of organizing and guiding the program month after month
under the direction of the local authority fell upon the groups o f
volunteers. That they have handled it amazingly well under the
circumstances is clear. Some volunteers, however, had come to
realize that they had been forced, because o f the lack of trained social
workers in the communities, to undertake work which in many cases
was beyond their capacity to carry out well. There appeared to be
a growing appreciation of the need for a paid staff o f well-trained
social workers who should take over the major responsibility for
billeting, for selective placement o f difficult children and young chil­
dren, for visiting and follow-up care, for organization of community
social activities, and should give guidance to the volunteer workers
in developing and carrying out the numerous community activities
for which they should be responsible. It was not the idea that paid
workers should do away with the volunteers, but rather that together
they would give increasingly better care and supervision to the host
o f children now in the reception areas.
8. Child guidance.

Never has there been a situation where child-guidance workers were
needed more than the present one in England. The number of
workers available for service in the reception areas is far too sm all
to meet the need even though a large part of the workers from evacu­
ation areas are lent to the provincial authorities, as indeed is hap­
pening at present. The situation in any city under bombing or in
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constant danger of bombing is creating many emotional disturbances
among children who remain there and also among children who have
been removed. Anxiety expressing itself in many ways is the out­
standing condition that must be met. Among the children who have
been evacuated unaccompanied by a parent emotional disturbances
have been common, resulting often from a sense of insecurity for
themselves or for their families left behind.
It is now realized that a child-guidance clinic with a full team of
workers—psychiatrist, psychiatric social worker, and psychologist—
is needed in each thickly populated reception area, as well as in each
city under bombing if children still remain there. In some cases
where a full team has not been possible, a single worker has been
assigned to an area to advise the local authorities and volunteer work­
ers on selected cases. Such single workers have obtained occasional
consultation from psychiatrists. Additional workers are greatly
needed. The prewar provision was not sufficient even for peacetime.
9. Education.

The plan to evacuate children in school parties had as one of its
primary motives the continued education o f the children by the
teachers with whom they were familiar and who knew their scholas­
tic record. The educational system in London had been utterly de­
moralized by the closing o f schools at the time o f the first evacuation
and by the transfer of school buildings to Air Raid Precautions and
Emergency Medical Services authorities for emergency work. For
some months now great effort has been made to provide education
for children still in London. Though school attendance has again
been made compulsory, the distances that must be traveled by some
children to reach a school make the rule difficult to enforce.
In reception areas great progress has been made in establishing
the education program for evacuees and in maintaining the work for
the normal residents. In some places a single unified system has re­
sulted which is considered best since it has helped the process o f ab­
sorption o f the newcomers into the life of the community. In other
places a dual plan is still in operation and even a double-shift scheme
by which regular school buildings are used twice. This latter plan
is not believed to be very satisfactory, and as fast as possible other
arrangements are being made.
The adjustment o f city teachers to a long-time stay in the country
has not always been easy, partly because o f obligations the teachers
may have had to their families in the cities and partly to personali­
ties. These difficulties have usually been adjusted.
The provision o f equipment and books has been fairly well taken
care o f; special laboratory equipment for secondary and technical
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schools has been more difficult to install in sufficient amount, but
this too is gradually being provided. Arrangements for examina­
tions have gone forward between local education authorities in
evacuation areas and those in reception areas. Evacuation authori­
ties have aided reception authorities in many ways and have sent
inspectors into the field to assist the local education authorities in
adjusting problems arising from the evacuation.
The situation which appeared to be so bad immediately after the
first evacuation has certainly been improved greatly in the past year
until now the great majority of children in the reception areas are
getting full-time education. The extension of nursery education
through nursery centers is now being given more attention by the
Board of Education and the Nursery School Association. Though
there has been serious disruption to the regular educational system,
it is generally believed that certain gains have been made through
the forced move and greater flexibility o f curriculum will result to
the advantage o f both city and country schools.
10. General situation in February 1941.

During the 18 months since the first evacuation in September
1939 great progress has been made in developing a workable scheme
for removal of children from cities under bombing in large numbers
on a single occasion or in small numbers daily. The chaos which
followed the first evacuation has not been allowed to occur again.
The authorities profited promptly by lessons learned at that time,
and great effort has been made to improve procedures. Health and
medical services are provided today reasonably well under the cir­
cumstances. Education has been reestablished, though with limita­
tions. The need for social work among evacuees in the reception
areas is recognized, as is the need for child-guidance workers. No
one looks upon the whole evacuation scheme as anything but the
lesser of two evils, but it is agreed that it is the lesser of two evils
and that all children should be evacuated from cities under bombing.
In February 1941 it was estimated that nearly five-sixths o f all
London children had been evacuated. More have gone out since.
Two or three small studies of the effect o f evacuation have been
made, chiefly in the attempt to learn why children returned to
London or Liverpool and what problems were involved in adjust­
ment o f mothers and children to new surroundings. More compre­
hensive investigations are needed o f the success or failure of this,
the most extensive child-placing project ever undertaken. So far
no large-scale case study has been proposed or carried out. That
one should be made would seem to be self-evident if the values and
lessons of the experience are to be made available to students o f social
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administration and recorded for future study. Furthermore, the
problem of readjustment of the child to his own home after the war
is no small one, and study should be made now of the relationships
existing between the child and his own home and parents as well as
his foster parents. Help in meeting this situation, which may be
even more difficult than was that o f evacuation, could perhaps be
obtained by study of families where this readjustment has already
come about. The reports that many children do not want to return
to their own homes is disturbing, though perhaps to be expected.
What should be done about it has already begun to give concern to
thoughtful observers.

432652°— 42------11
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Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

In Respect of the Protection and Welfare of Children in
a Civil-Defense Program in the United States
Observation and study o f the many and drastic steps that have
been taken in England to provide protection to children and mothers
under the Government’s civil-defense program lead to the following
general conclusions in respect o f any application to the United
Preparation for adequate protection o f children in a civil-defense
program requires not only advance planning for a program o f action
when emergency arises, but active preparation so that communities
shall understand the situation with which they may be faced in an
emergency and shall foresee the problems that may appear, and
take the steps necessary to supplement their existing facilities and
services if the needs of children are to be met should emergency come,
and train in advance the necessary personnel, professional and
Advance preparation for maternity care and protection of chil­
dren does not mean just inventories and paper planning, but the
actual provision and equipment o f facilities and services needed to
meet the situation. Experience in England has demonstrated this
in many ways. For instance,, the delay of the British Government
in providing funds with which to make available and equip the
necessary maternity homes, residential children’s nurseries, and
hostels for children prior to evacuation resulted at the start in inef­
ficient handling o f the maternity program, and in a great dearth of
places for care o f young children and hostels for school children
who for various reasons should not have been placed immediately
in private households. Many o f the problems faced at the time of
the first evacuation could have been avoided had the authorities
made available funds for advance preparation. Again and again
this point was made by responsible Government oflicials o f the Min­
istry o f Health and others concerned with the broad plan o f pare for
The relative inadequacy in the United States of facilities and
services for child health and welfare and maternity care, especially
in small cities, towns, and rural areas, and the greater distances
between cities and potential reception areas make our problem o f
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planning for the protection of children a far greater one even than
that encountered in England.
Advance planning, advance preparation, and advance training of
personnel should be undertaken at once. Fortunately, no step need
be taken that involves expenditure o f funds (except those for part
of the central planning) which will not contribute to the health
and welfare of children in normal times, no step need be wasted
effort, even though at the moment it must be directed toward defense
rather than toward normal, orderly progress.
In making recommendations in respect o f protection o f children
in the United States it is necessary to recognize, as in some other
aspects of a civil-defense plan, the interstate as well as the intrastate
character o f any scheme or program. The protection of children in an
area under bombardment would call for the fullest use of the skills
o f professional workers and an even higher ratio o f workers to
children served than under normal conditions. The desirability of
adopting the general policy of thinning and dispersal o f the popu­
lation of an area o f potential danger, when the object of attack or
the seat of other disaster associated with defense, would appear to
be axiomatic in any civil-defense plan. The need for the thinning
o f such a population by the evacuation of those members not essen­
tial to defense or the maintenance of the life of the community and
for the establishment of certain priority groups, including children,
would appear to be equally obvious.
Whether complete or partial evacuation o f a city or group of com­
munities will ever be necessary in the United States cannot be fore­
seen at this time. To have plans available for the use of State and
local authorities would reassure citizens and parents who are now
concerned that in case of danger children be given every protection
and an opportunity to go to a place o f safety. Plans would be
needed to meet a number of different situations, such as a planned
voluntary evacuation over a period of 2 or 3 weeks with continuous
orderly migration thereafter, or a sudden larger evacuation precipi­
tated by some acute emergency.
Planning for protection of children in the critical defense areas
is of more immediate concern and should receive increasing attention
as the number and extent o f the areas grow. The conditions under
which children live in these great areas should be a matter o f concern
to all the Nation.

That a plan be developed by a governmental authority with
the participation of other appropriate Government agencies for the
protection of children in civil defense, which shall include measures
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necessary for protection o f children in areas o f potential danger
from bombardment or other serious disaster associated with defense,
and measures for the dispersal and evacuation of children and
mothers from congested areas at the time o f attack or disaster.
II. That the authorized agency or agencies be empowered to seek
the assistance and advice of responsible State and local officials and
representatives of professional and other voluntary organizations
having knowledge of available resources for civil defense and needs
on a local and regional basis.
III. That the authorized agency or agencies be charged with the
following responsibilities:
1. The designation of areas o f potential danger and corre­
sponding reception areas of relative safety.
2. An immediate inventory of resources for care and protec­
tion of children in case of bombing and evacuation, (a) in areas
o f potential danger and (b) in potential reception areas, such
an inventory to include the existing facilities and services for
health, welfare, education, housing, and so forth, and estimates
for their necessary supplementation in preparation for meeting
emergency needs.
The competence of localities to meet emergency needs must be
assured in advance, and must cover the protection of children
from physical injury and from too great emotional strain, the
maintenance of adequate feeding facilities, and the care and edu­
cation of the children in case of evacuation or dispersal from
their own homes.
3. The preparation o f a detailed plan for evacuation of chil­
dren and other priority classes, including—

a. A statement of objectives, scope, m,ajor principles, poli­
cies, and standards to be observed in the operation of the
b. The designation of official agencies to be responsible
for carrying out the plan at Federal, regional, State, and
local levels.
c. A detailed presentation of those aspects of the plan that
involve interstate responsibilities and relations such as trans­
portation, housing, community organization, and standards
of care in reception areas, including health, medical care,
social services, education, recreation, and so forth.
4. The development of a practical plan to make prompt provi­
sion through the appropriate agencies for the essential supple­
mentary services and facilities needed by States and localities
so that they may prepare in advance for the protection of children
and mothers in emergency, including—
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a. The strengthening of existing local agencies in areas
of potential danger and potential reception areas and the
creation of a mobile corps of physicians, public-health nurses,
child-welfare workers, nutritionists, and other workers ade­
quate in number and qualifications to supplement effectively
the services to children and mothers in any community faced
with an emergency beyond its resources.
b. The provision of additional facilities for training per­
sonnel, professional and voluntary, for care of mothers and
children, and for making such personnel available on a flex­
ible interstate as well as intrastate basis (see suggestions
under recommendation IV for types of training proposed).
5. An immediate study of—
a. The distribution of physicians needed for the care of
children and maternity patients in all areas of the country,
with particular reference to the needs of areas of potential
danger or potential reception of evacuated children.
b. A suitable plan for exemption from military service of
physicians needed to provide these services, and at the same
time for recognition of their continuing contribution to
national defense.
6. The extension in the immediate future of various commu­
nity activities which will give widespread experience in the
operation of types of work that will contribute to meeting emer­
gencies both in areas of potential danger and in potential recep­
tion areas, such as—
a. Communal feeding (hot lunches in schools or industrial
b. Summer camps for school children.
c. Vacation opportunities for mothers and young children
in groups, or nursery schools, or day nurseries.
d. Organization of community social centers, nursery cen­
ters, community household aids, such as communal laundries,
kitchens, and so forth, in the management of which groups
of householders participate.
7. Funds should be made available to implement the work pro­
IV .
That recruiting and training o f personnel be given serious
consideration in the immediate future.
It is believed that in order to provide in advance even part of the
additional personnel that will be needed for the care of children and
mothers in areas of potential danger from bombardment should
attack occur, or in reception areas should evacuation of children and
other priority groups be necessary, an extensive program of recruit-
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ing and training o f professional and voluntary personnel is necessary.
It is recommended: ,
1. That short courses for training pediatricians and obstetri­
cians in the principles of public health and in the organization
of maternal and child-health programs be established immedi­
ately, and that physicians trained and experienced in pediatrics
and obstetrics be encouraged to take such courses to equip them­
selves to participate more effectively in an emergency program
should need arise.
2. That facilities for training public-health nurses be extended
at once, as follows:
a. A full course of public-health training (9 months) to
1,000 additional nurses during the coming year.
b. Two quarters or one semester to at least 2,000 additional
nurses within the next year.
c. Additional training in the next 2 years to provide for
a doubling of the present number of public-health nurses.
3. That arrangements be made for the employment and intro­
ductory training during the coming year of at least 1,000 grad­
uate nurses as clinic nurses in the maternal and child-health
program or, after a period of introduction in a visiting-nurse
association, as assistant nurses under the supervision of a quali­
fied public-health nurse, with the understanding that training in
public-health nursing shall be made possible at a later date if
the candidate can qualify.
4. That immediate plans be made to organize a Civil Nursing
Reserve of volunteers who have taken a general course in first
aid and home nursing, and have had a period of not less than
50 hours’ experience in a hospital learning the fundamentals of
bedside care.
Two special courses should be offered:
a. A course for training volunteer children’s nursing aids
to assist in hospitals or convalescent homes for children, in
child-health clinics, in school medical services, and so forth.
b. A course for training volunteer aids to public-health
5. That facilities for special child-welfare-service training and
experience be extended at once with a view to training 200 addi­
tional workers during the year beginning July 1941, through—
a. Nine months’ training in a school of social work for
100 persons qualified for admission to such schools.
b. Six months’ special training in a school of social work
in child welfare and in group work for 100 persons with
some training and experience in social work.
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That immediate plans be made to organize a Child Care
Volunteer Reserve of volunteers to be known as Child Care V ol­
unteers who have taken a specified course in child care and have
served not less than 65 hours in a nursery school, a child-health
clinic, or a child-caring agency.
The courses offered should include: '
a. A general course to equip volunteers to help with chil­
dren in emergency situations, such as first-aid posts, rest
centers, transport, emergency feeding centers.
b. An additional course, or courses—
(i) To equip volunteers to aid, under professional
supervision, in organization and staffing of nursery
centers or schools (residential or day), hostels, camps,
and other places of congregate care for special groups
of children.
(ii) To serve under professional supervision, as com­
munity helpers and visitors to children placed in indi­
vidual foster homes.
(iii) To give service in community social centers and
other group activities.
T. That facilities be provided to train communal-feeding aids.
The courses offered should include:
a. A general course in nutrition.
b. A special course in group or communal feeding with
special emphasis on school meals, canteen organization, and
management in emergency services.
That steps be taken to organize a body of volunteers that will
coordinate all existing voluntary organizations of women and others
so far as they are concerned with matters of civil defense and that
will have as its primary purpose service to Government agencies,
local, State, and Federal, in carrying out the civil-defense program.

It is believed that the successful prosecution o f a plan for the
protection of children in a civil-defense program would require not
only the efforts o f responsible Government agencies, but also the
assistance that would be obtained through the organization o f a
responsible voluntary body of women to serve the Government au­
thorities in carrying out their civil-defense plans, especially as they
relate to the protection of children, and the utilization of women in
civil-defense activities and in training for such activities.
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The Women’s Voluntary Services, organized in June 1938, has
played a major role in civil defense. It was organized by Lady Read­
ing at the request of the Home Secretary, Sir Samuel Hoare, who
saw a need for substantial help of women in the development of the
A. R. P. service and in preparing the civil population to withstand air
attack. The Home Secretary asked Lady Reading to coordinate all
women’s services into one organization which would work in close
cooperation with other civil-defense services. The purpose, as stated
in his letter of May 20, 1938, was—
1. The enrollment of women for the Air Raid Precautions
Services of the Local Authorities.
2. To help to bring home to every household in the country
what air attack may mean.
3. To make known to every household what it can do to protect
itself and help the community.
It was soon apparent that the scope of women’s services for civil
defense went far beyond this original concept of the Home Secretary
and might include certain activities in connection with the work of a
number of other Ministries, such as transport, salvage, canteens and
communal feeding, evacuation, care of bombed-out families, nursing
auxiliaries, child care, clothing, and other civil-defense comforts and

General Plan of Organization
The form of organization of the Women’s Voluntary Services has
been one of its major strengths. Nationally the W. V. S. was organized
at the request of the Home Office, through which it received premises,
telephone service, clerical assistance, stationery, postage, gasoline, and
the salaries o f a small number of key workers for the headquarters and
regional staffs. Later cooperative relationships with the Ministries
of Health, Food, Supply, Labour and National Service, Transport, and
others were established, but, centrally, financial assistance still comes
from the Home Office (Ministry of Home Security) and the Chairman
and the General Secretary are responsible to the Home Secretary.
Regionally, the organization followed the same geographic arrange­
ment as the other civil-defense services with 12 regional administrators
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and 12 regional organizers responsible for advising on local develop­
ments. Locally, each W. V. S. center was organized for the primary
purpose o f serving the local authority (county, borough, or district)
in whatever way the authority found it needed help. Local W. V. S.
centers now receive assistance from the local authorities in the form
o f premises, telephone service, postage, gasoline, and clerical assist­
ance. They do not undertake projects unless approved by the local
The work o f the local centers varies to a considerable extent,
depending on the requests for help from the local authorities. Cer­
tain types of work are commonly undertaken, such as transport,
evacuation, clothing, salvage, canteen or communal feeding, clerical
assistance. In cities subject to bombing the W. V. S. has con­
tributed to A. R. P. services very greatly through transport o f the
injured, assistance to wardens through the Housewives’ Service,
assistance in the rest centers, canteen and communal feeding for
A. R. P. workers and bombed-out families, and assistance in the
information and “ administrative centers” established by local
authorities, to aid bombed-out families in obtaining immediate
financial assistance, billets, rehousing, clothing, and so forth. In
reception areas W. V. S. has been asked to give help in practically
every phase o f evacuation procedures, including in some places full
responsibility for billeting. A large number o f W. V. S. centers
in municipalities have undertaken the registration of women for
training for nursing-auxiliary reserves to be given by the St. John
Ambulance Association and the British Red Cross Society. A few
centers organized courses for child-care reserves, but this has recently
been turned over to the National Council for Maternity and Child
Welfare. (More detailed description o f the more important services
will be given later. See p. 169.)
The plan for financial support from the Home Office to provide
premises, telephone, light, heat, stationery, gasoline, and secretarial
help, as well as salaries of a few administrative members o f the
staff, was immediately adopted, which relieved Lady Reading and
her staff from the task o f fund raising. It was soon found that an
additional sum o f money would be needed to pay expenses of certain
volunteer members of the staff who could not afford to make out-ofpocket expenditures but could give their time and service. A sum
of £25,000 was provided by the Home Office for the first 3 months, after­
ward changed to £100,000 on an annual basis. The amount has not
all been used, but it has made possible the help o f many o f the best
volunteer workers.
On a national, regional, and local basis, then, the W. V. S. has
been organized to serve the governing bodies and has received finan­
cial assistance from them in kind rather than in cash, thus being
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relieved o f all obligation to raise funds for its fundamental needs.
The service necessary to carry out its many projects, national and
local, is now contributed by more than 800,000 volunteer workers,
of whom 6,070 are “ appointed staff.” There are also 169 paid work­
ers provided through the Ministry o f Home Security or the local
authorities. Whether there has been a sufficient number of paid
trained workers will be discussed later.
The present organization includes the headquarters office and
staff in London, 12 regional offices and staffs, and some 1,700 localcenter offices and staffs.
It should be pointed out at the start that the women who were
associated in the organization of the plan o f work had a seriousness
o f purpose and a primary sense o f responsibility which has com­
municated itself to the whole body of workers. There would appear
to be a complete absence of the “ dilettante volunteer” who comes and
goes at will. Each member as she enrolls is impressed with the
responsibility of the job for which she is to be held accountable;
she must be willing to work hard and often full-time; she must
accept training and instruction as indicated. She must demonstrate
that she is reliable and competent; it is made clear to her that she
must take her work seriously— as seriously as if she were paid, even
if she gives only one-half day a week.
Headquarters organization and staff.

The headquarters staff includes the Chairman (a volunteer), a
General Secretary (assigned to the position from the civil service)
paid a full-time salary by the Home Office and responsible for office
management and for relationships with Home Office and Civil Serv­
ice, and three vice-chairmen who have supervision of specialized
departments of service at headquarters.
There are also a chief regional administrator (responsible directly
to the Chairman), in charge of regional staff, and 12 assistant
regional administrators.
Several specialized departments of work have been set up at the
headquarters office in London, with a director for each. There are,
for example, a Technical Department, including A. R. P., First Aid,
and Housewives’ Service, an Evacuation Department, Nursing and
Casualty Services, a Food Department, a Transport Department,
a Refugee Department, an Information Service, a Publicity Depart­
ment, and an Overseas Department. These departments have staffs
varying in size according to need. Several have special advisory com­
mittees, as the Advisory Committee on Evacuation. Each depart­
ment comes under the immediate jurisdiction of one of the vice
chairmen or the Chairman. All policies of the various departments
are determined in conference with the Chairman and all relation
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ships between the special departments and the regions are carried
out by conference or correspondence between the assistant regional
administrators and the heads o f the departments. Conferences be­
tween the heads of departments and responsible persons in the various
Ministries are held after policy has been determined in conference
with the W. V. S. Chairman, and either the Chairman or a vice chair­
man attends all conferences with a Minister, under secretaries, or per­
manent secretaries.
In the headquarters and regional offices each responsible worker
has a “ stand-in” for her position. The regional organizer, for in­
stance, is the “ stand-in” for the regional administrator. In most cases
a second volunteer worker is the stand-in for a volunteer holding
an important position such as county or center organizer. This has
been a most important feature of the voluntary scheme for reasons
that are obvious.
The position of General Secretary is a most important one. The
first person to hold it was a civil servant from the Ministry of Labour
chosen because of her long experience in administrative work and
unusual experience in organizing large new undertakings and develop­
ing good relations with the various branches of Government. In her
own words her job was to “ put Lady Reading’s ideas into practical,
workable form and make contacts with the civil service” in the vari­
ous Ministries. When she accepted the position it was with the under­
standing that she had the right of appeal to the Home Office if she
felt that Government policy was not being followed or if she disa­
greed basically with the Chairman on some policy o f procedure. She
also insisted on bringing with her from the Ministry o f Labour one
stenographer and one typist on whose skill and judgment she could
rely. These were to be full-time paid positions.
The General Secretary worked out the complete administrative
plan for the headquarters office and the regional set-up, including all
details of office management, procedure for review of work and let­
ters written by volunteers, filing, referral, and so forth. She was
responsible for drafting form letters, memoranda, bulletins, instruc­
tions, and so forth. She apparently planned the regional organiza­
tion and the general scheme of local activities, though she had no
responsibility for these local activities. She was responsible for see­
ing that the routine administrative work o f all special departments
and the regional offices was carried out effectively and that the inter­
office relationships ran along smoothly. The task of keeping a large
number of volunteers working regularly and efficiently was no small
one. The General Secretary assisted the Chairman in the organiza­
tion o f advisory councils and committees and in the selection o f key
workers for the regions and counties. Upon this selection of key
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workers for local centers and regions depended the success or failure
o f the organization.
Regional organization ar\d staff.
The regional staff consists o f 12 regional administrators (volunteers)
and 12 regional organizers (paid by the Home Office) at regional head­
quarters. Until war was declared the regional administrators all had
headquarters in the London office, whereas the regional organizers
worked from regional headquarters. A t the present time, assistant
regional administrators serve as the representatives o f the region in the
central office and are in constant contact with the chief regional admin­
istrator and the specialized departments.

Each of the 12 regional offices is staffed by an administrator, an
organizer, clerical assistants, and volunteers. The regional adminis­
trators were selected for their knowledge of the area and their stand­
ing and prestige in the community. Chief attention was paid to the
individual’s ability to do a job o f work, and women were selected who
had taken part in local Government activities or were leaders in some
local or national organization. In a number of cases the adminis­
trators (and the same is true of county organizers) had held positions
on county or borough councils or had been municipal magistrates.
In one case the regional administrator had held a responsible position
with the Girl Guides; in another (the London area) the adminis­
trator had held a good position in a large commercial firm.
The regional organizers, on the other hand, were selected in all cases
because o f their experience and ability to organize a program o f work.
As they were to be paid for full-time work, specific qualifications
were sought, and the General Secretary apparently was entirely re­
sponsible fo r their selection. A fter selection they were appointed by
the Home Office as “ temporary civil servants.” Obviously they had
to meet standards o f training and experience. The organizer’s job was
to reach every county and borough and district in her region, develop
interest in the program, find the women best suited to take leadership
in the various communities, and give expert assistance to these leaders
when they were selected. The regional organizer was responsible for
seeing that the administrative policies from headquarters were carried
out. She usually made all first contacts with the local authorities
(local county-council clerks or borough-council clerks), though the
regional administrator undertook some o f this in certain cases and
advised the organizer about people in the various counties.
Each regional office has at least one paid clerk, sometimes more.
Volunteers do most o f the office work and all other regional jobs c o n -"
nected with the work o f special departments, such as clothing distri­
bution, canteen and transport organization, evacuation, and so forth.
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County and local-center organization.

Each county has a county organizer who is a volunteer selected, as
has been pointed out, for her knowledge of the women’s work in the
county and her prestige with the people and county authorities. The
county authorities were consulted in each case before a county organ­
izer was appointed since it was imperative that there be a good rapport
between them. Often the county clerk was asked to suggest names or
a list of names were suggested to him. The county organizers are
never paid workers, though in some cases some expenses are allowed
when the worker could not afford to take the position if it meant outof-pocket expenditure. In a number of counties paid assistants have
been appointed in addition to one or more paid clerks. The job of
the county organizer is to develop activities as requested by the countycouncil clerk or council committees, or other county authorities, such
as the billeting officer (if other than the county clerk), responsible for
certain governmental functions on a county-wide basis. The county
organizer was responsible for recruiting volunteers to take charge and
carry out projects under her jurisdiction and for developing local
centers by arrangement with local authorities. A t the beginning the
county organizers made the rounds of all local authorities to explain
the W. V. S. and the type of help that could be offered and to respond
as far as possible to requests for help regardless of the nature of the
request. A t first (in 1938) local authorities were apt to be suspicious.
Gradually, as the local authorities found that the W. V. S. would
give a variety of kinds o f help, the requests for assistance increased.
By February 1939, when the house-to-house canvass for billets for'
evacuees was required, local authorities had come to depend on the
W. V. S. for many things.
The county and other local authorities responsible for civil defense
were instructed in a circular letter from the Home Office that, as in
all other expenditures for civil defense, they could request reimburse­
ment of 60 percent of what they supplied to the W. y . S. in the form
of premises, telephone, heat, light, postage, and clinical services. All
county centers and 1,700 local centers have been organized in coopera­
tion with local authorities. All municipalities except 36 now (Feb­
ruary 1941) have W. V. S. centers.

Selection and Appointment of Volunteers and Paid
Selection of volunteers.

The method of selection o f county and center organizers and of
the host of volunteers who make up the body o f W. V. S. workers
has determined to a considerable extent the success o f the whole
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program. In connection with this, consideration should be given to
the place of full-time paid workers in the plan of work. Selection
o f regional staff is made by headquarters staff, selection of county
and borough staff by regional staff with concurrence of headquarters,
selection o f local-center staff by county staff with concurrence of
regional staff and headquarters.
Qualifications for a volunteer.—In the opinion of the first Gen­
eral Secretary the most important element in the selection of volun­
teers who are to take the lead in a local-center program is previous
experience (described as training) in some local work, as county or
borough councillor, alderman, local magistrate, local education or
other committee member, or as a leader in such an organization as
the Women’s Institutes, Women’s Cooperative Guilds, Girl Guides,
and so forth. Many British women have participated on a volunteer
or elective basis in the work o f their local authority and are
familiar with the methods of local government. The General Sec­
retary felt that a center organizer’s success depends on this back­
ground o f experience, her understanding of the discipline necessary
to do a job o f work, and her ability to steer clear o f personality mixups. Reliability in keeping hours o f work, sense of responsibility
to see a job through regardless of personal inconveniences are essen­
tial characteristics, whether the volunteer is giving full time or
part time to her work. The volunteer can give just as effective
service as the paid worker if she has the training and the necessary
sense o f discipline. Volunteers in W. V. S. are usually part-time
.workers but many o f the center leaders give essentially full time
and some much overtime.
Need for skeleton staff of paid full-time workers.

The General Secretary felt that when full time was required o f
a trained worker it was desirable to employ her on a paid basis.
She did not think this applied to the county organizer, though the
assistant county organizer and clerical workers might well be paid
workers. (The county organizer was usually selected for her local
“county” prestige and as a rule did not give full time. In many
counties she needs a trained assistant.)
When discussing selection o f workers with .the regional adminis­
trator and regional organizer o f region 6, similar opinions were
In Cambridge the center organizer in charge of evacuation (a
local magistrate) stated that more trained full-time paid workers
were needed. In her opinion there should be at least one paid full­
time W. V. S. worker as organizer in each county and in each bor­
ough. It was her opinion that paid trained welfare workers (social
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service) were needed and that chief billeting officers should be paid.
The recent appointment of paid welfare workers by the regional
authorities and by some of the counties and some boroughs was in
her opinion a great help to the W. V. S. workers. This was indi­
cated by experience in the town of Bedford, where welfare workers
were employed from the start of evacuation in September 1938.
She believed that if more of these workers had been made available
by the local authorities much of the difficulty with evacuation would
have been avoided. I f trained social workers were employed by
local authorities, the need for them in W. V. S. organization would
not be so great.
Appointment of workers.
Paid workers.

The regional organizers are appointed by the Home Office (Min­
istry o f Home Security) as temporary civil servants and paid by the
Home Office. Local full-time paid assistant organizers and clerks
are appointed and paid by local authorities who may be reimbursed
by the Ministry of Home Security for 60 percent of the salaries.
The total number of paid workers, including all local workers, in
February 1941 was 169.
Volunteer workers.

A ll regional administrators, county and borough organizers, and
center organizers receive “ notice o f appointment” from headquarters
signed by Lady Reading as chairman. In February 1941 there were*
6,970 total “ appointed” volunteer staff.
The notice of appointment includes an understanding that the
appointee is prepared to be guided in her capacity as a member of
the staff of the Women’s Voluntary Services by such official notices
as are sent to her from headquarters. The notice in full is as
follow s:
I am glad to be able to inform you that the General Purposes
Committee has approved your appointment to the staff of Women’s
Voluntary Services as
and I am to express to you their great appreciation of your willing­
ness to give your services in this way.
The work attaching to your appointment will be set out in memo­
randa and notices which will be sent to you from time to time and I
understand that you are prepared to be guided in your capacity as a
member of the staff of Women’s Voluntary Services by such official
notices as are sent to you from Headquarters.
I know you fully appreciate the responsibility attaching to this
appointment and therefore you will understand that the General Pur­
poses Committee have thought it desirable that our voluntary workers
should have a recognized status. It is suggested that should either
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side wish to withdraw from the arrangement, the normal period of
notice given should be a month. In very exceptional circumstances the
Chairman would reserve the right in consultation with the General
Purposes Committee to withdraw the appointment but not without dis­
cussion with the member of the staff concerned and, on the other hand,
you as a member of the staff would have the same right.
In view of the responsibility which attaches to this post, I should be
glad if you would kindly let me have a formal acceptance of appoint­
ment on these terms.
Yours sincerely,
(The Dowager Marchioness of Reading)


Lines of Authority and Method of Organization
General policies o f the W. V. S. are developed at headquarters and
are approved by the Home Office. Regional and county organizers,
however, are given considerable freedom of action and responsibility
for local organization.
In a letter to all center organizers dated May 31, 1940, just before
the capitulation of France, the chairman stated:
Regional administrators have, in the event of a breakdown of com­
munications with headquarters, full authority and information to
direct W . V. S. work in their regions within the framework of the
regioinal commissioners’ organization.
Today a further situation must be envisaged and that is the fact
that communications between regional and county headquarters
and centers may break down. * * * if communications with your
regional and county headquarters break down, you will act wisely
and sensibly, carrying out the duties entrusted to you by the authorities
in your locality.

Though W. Y. S. policies are directed from headquarters and under
authority received from the Home Office, local projects within the
framework of the headquarters’ policies and standards are carried
out under the local authorities responsible for A. R. P. and other
civil-defense activities. There is great strength in this plan o f coor­
dination, but also there might be great risk of domination from
headquarters and restriction of initiative on a local basis if the
headquarters office were not wise in its policy o f allowing local
W. V. S. centers to develop plans with local authorities with the re­
servation that plans for new projects must be approved at head­
quarters before they are put into effect. The Chairman’s dynamic
and imaginative personality permits this scheme to work.
Policies are actually worked out by the Chairman, together with
the vice chairmen, the chief regional administrator, and the heads
o f specialized departments. The Home Office approves activities and
publications before they are put into effect. The Chairman is her­
self responsible for initiating most of the policies, and it is her vision
432652°— 42------12
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and practical good sense and insistence on cutting red tape which has
saved many a desperate situation in times of crisis. She has inspired
her chief assistants with much of the same spirit, but it is often her
vision that puts things through.
In the days when the W. V. S. was in process of organization the
Chairman spent much time in visiting all parts of the country, stimu­
lating interest, helping to lay plans, assisting local leaders.
Method of organization in local centers.

The first meeting for the organization o f the W. V. S. was called
by the Home Secretary in June 1938. The following months were
spent in setting up regional and county plans of organization and in
selection of regional and local leaders. By August it was apparent
to the Chairman that local action might be needed soon.
To hasten local organization representatives of all national women’s
and welfare organizations on the W. V. S. Advisory Council were
asked to submit lists of persons competent to help organize local activ­
ities in every village and town where the organization had a branch.
In a period of 3 or 4 days in late August these lists were cataloged on
cards and filed according to locality, and copies of the local lists
were sent to the regional and county organizers with instructions to
proceed with local organization. In September 1938 a small “ test”
evacuation took place from London, and the names submitted to
organizers in neighboring counties proved to be most useful. Dur­
ing the fall of 1938 and the winter of 1939 plans for local organiza­
tion went forward rapidly.
The usual procedure was for the county organizer and her assistant
(if she had one) to visit all towns and villages in the urban and
rural districts under her jurisdiction and with the help of the local
authorities designate a “ center” organizer for the town or village
and with her develop a tentative plan of what the women might
offer in the way of assistance to the local authorities. In the same
way, borough organizers develop W. V . S. “ centers” in districts
within the borough. Each center would organize a volunteer staff
to carry out various types of work.
In the early stages of organization the local authorities were often
suspicious of the motives behind the W. V. S. offers o f assistance
and in many cases did not ask for help until much later. Once the
county or local clerk found out that he did get help in some job,
no matter how inconsequential from the W. V. S. point of view, he
was more ready to accept suggestions for other types of service.
The W. V. S. always made it clear that it would try to do whatever
was asked.
Assistance in the A. K. P. work of the local authority, especially
in the distribution of information through lectures and talks, firstaid classes, and so forth, was usually among the first of the services
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requested. Gradually the responsibilities o f local authorities became
so pressing fo r various form s o f civil-defense work that they were
only too eager to seek the help that could be given by the W . V . S.
The amount o f responsibility delegated by the local authorities to the
W . V . S. has varied greatly. Some local authorities have given
full responsibility to W . V. S. staff members fo r billeting evacuated
children and have appointed them officially as billeting officers;
others have used W . V . S. members as assistants in the billeting.
Many local authorities turned over to the W . V . S. such jobs as
clothing distribution, salvage, canteen organization, communal-feed­
ing centers, staffing o f hostels fo r children, nurseries, and so forth.
Most local authorities have used the W . V . S. transport, services in
many ways. In municipalities subject to bombing the authorities
have requested help in a great number o f ways, from ambulance
driving and other first-aid, warden, and fire-fighting work, to assist­
ance at rest centers, canteens and communal-feeding centers, and
at “ administrative centers” or “ inform ation centers” fo r the guidance
and help o f bombed-out families.
The organization o f the W . V. S. was so flexible that it could be
called on to do almost anything in time o f emergency, and without
its help tragic situations would have been still more tragic. Com­
ment on the organization and work o f the W . V. S. in situations of
pressure and emergency was always highly favorable, but the work
o f the W . V . S. would have been even more effective if local au­
thorities had been better prepared officially to care for homeless
families and the great trek o f evacuees, both that planned for chil­
dren and other priority classes and that o f the bombed-out families.
The transport organization o f the W . V . S. and the organization
for assistance given in the evacuation scheme, in feeding schemes,
and more recently fo r assistance in care o f homeless families are
outstanding fo r their efficiency. In all, the W . V . S. worked with
local authorities and with other voluntary agencies.

Relation of the W . V. S. to Other National Women’s
In his original request the Hom e Secretary asked the Chairman
to coordinate all women’s services available for any phase o f civildefense work into one organization which would work in close co­
operation with other ciyil-defense services. It was apparent in the
spring o f the year 1938 that there were many women’s organizations
whose programs were related to some phase o f civil defense and
more or less Nation-wide in actual practice, and whose constituent
members were impatiently awaiting opportunity to assist in civil
defense. There was no single organization which reachedliterally
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every village and town, nor was there any one which could be
rapidly expanded to include all aspects o f civil defense as visual­
ized by the Home Secretary or requested by local authorities. It
therefore seemed essential that a new Nation-wide service should be
formed, but it was equally important that the members of existing
organizations should participate in the new service while at the
same time the specialized work o f the existing organizations should
be continued. Representatives o f eight of the largest organizations
were called together by the Home Secretary to discuss the proposed
organization of an over-all scheme for voluntary service by women
to be developed in coordination with the Home Office. The eight
organizations concurred in this general plan proposed, and the
Women’s Voluntary Services was born. At this first meeting it was
agreed that there should be an Advisory Council of the women’s
and other national organizations concerned, which would meet to
advise on organization and policy with a view to continuing if it
seemed advisable.
The Advisory Council was organized promptly. Seventy-eight
organizations were asked to send representatives to serve for 3 months
with a view to seeing how the proposed plan would work out and to
reorganizing the Council or abandoning it at the end o f that time.
It was made clear that the council had advisory powers only and
that, as the W. V. S. received its authority from the Home Office,
basic policy would be developed by the Government in cooperation
with the responsible staff. The Advisory Council met and showed
great interest, and decided to continue after 3 months had elapsed.
The Council has served as a means of disseminating information
to a large number of women and of exchanging information among
member agencies; it provided a means o f finding capable local leaders
and wardens. Though the W. V. S. was closely coordinated with
the Government, the Advisory Council member agencies were in no
way bound as to their internal policy and were free at all times to
comment on or criticize the W. V. S. or Government policy, as had
been their right and custom previously. They were free to carry on
their own work, but also they were enabled through the W. V. S. to
pool their resources and help in making a universally available service
which none of them could provide alone.
Membership in the W. V. S. did not imply membership in any one
of the existing organizations, nor did a member of an existing organi­
zation necessarily become a member of W. V. S. There is, of course,
great overlapping in memberships, and this has meant greater coopera­
tion and more effective coordination of effort among the existing
organizations. Visits in several counties and towns gave evidence
o f actual cooperation with the Women’s Institutes— a national or­
ganization of rural women— for instance. The W. V. S. cooperated
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widely with the W. I. in making jams and preserves last summer.
The W. V. S. everywhere cooperates with the Citizens’ Advice Bu­
reaux which are operated under the auspices of the National Council
of Social Service, and other cooperative arrangements could be cited,
as with the National Council for Maternity and Child Welfare, the
Red Cross, the St. John Ambulance Brigade, and others.
Comment from outside the W. V. S. indicates that some of the
existing organizations have felt that their work has been swallowed
up or that their long-time programs have been disregarded. This
would seem to be inevitable, and it is surprising that the feeling was
not more prevalent. Though comment of this sort was made, usually
it was followed by the remark that the speaker did not want to be
interpreted as opposed to the work o f thQ W. V. S., which was excel­
lent, but as emphasizing that the work of the existing organizations
was valuable and should not be disregarded or neglected by the
A t one time the policies of the W . V. S. in relation to labor interests
were of some concern to the trade unions, since it was believed that
the rapid expansion of volunteer work was infringing on jobs which
normally should be paid positions. This was especially true in canteen
The need for a channel for the expression of opinion by the pre­
existing welfare organizations was met by the formation of the
“Women’s Group for Public Welfare,” organized under the auspices
o f the National Council of Social Service. Another organization for
the investigation o f public-agency action as it is related to women’s
work and the needs of wom,en and children in the evacuation scheme
is the “Woman Power Group,” made up of women Members of Par­
liament and a few other influential women concerned with these prob­
lems. These organizations have had a definite restraining influence
on the expansion of W. V. S. into the fields of labor interests.
The W. Y. S. Advisory Council was reorganized to somie extent
over a year ago and an executive committee appointed which meets
every 2 weeks or every month. This has seemed to be a more effec­
tive arrangement. Though this committee has only advisory powers
it has been helpful in formulating internal W . Y. S. policy.

Types of Work Undertaken
As has been pointed out, the headquarters office in London is
organized in departments which deal with administration and with
the specialized services. The departments concerned with specialized
services are as follows:
Technical Department, dealing with all questions connected with
training for A. R. P., including Housewives’ Service and First Aid
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Transport Department, dealing with all matters connected with
transport, ambulance driving, and auxiliary fire service.
Information Department, which is the headquarters recruiting office
and information bureau.
Publicity Department, dealing with all matters connected with the
press, films, posters, and so forth.
Hospital Department, cooperating with the Central Emergency Com­
mittee for the supply and training of nursing auxiliaries, and dealing
with all other questions of staffing for hospitals, including hospital
supply workers.
Evacuation Department, dealing with all questions arising on the
organization of evacuation services and training for them, including
special sections on evacuations of mothers and children under 5, and
distribution of clothing.
Food Department, dealing with canteens and communal-feeding
Salvage Department, collecting metals, paper, bones, and so forth.
Overseas Department, concerned with all gifts from overseas.
Refugee Department, dealing with refugees from invaded countries.
London Department, responsible for all work in the metropolitan area.

In June 1940 the W. V. S. issued the following list of types of
workers involved in their program:
Ambulance drivers
Ambulance attendants
Clerical workers
Canteen workers
First-aid helpers
General helpers

Land army
Nursing auxiliaries
Social workers

On December 31, 1940, the total enrollment of members for all
services was 843,806, allocated by type of service as follows:
Clerical staff_____ _______
Hospital supplies------------Work parties:
Refuge for homeless.
Housewives’ service.
A. R. P______________
Transport-----------------Nursing auxiliaries—
Hospital workers----Total enrollment—
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106, 452
_ 37,889
6, 698
83, 343
127, 674
38, 768
17, 847
843, 806

2 .4

4 .5

5 .9
9 .9
15 .1
4 .6
8 .5




Technical Department.

The Technical Department is concerned with A. R. P., including
Housewives’ Service and First Aid. Its work consists of the prep­
aration of draft lectures and planning for courses on such subjects
as the general organization of civil defense and local organization,
incendiary-bomb control, elementary protection against high-explo­
sive bombs, war gases and personal protection against gases, and
the elements of first aid. Mimeographed material for lectures on
these subjects is distributed by the department.
Housewives’ Service.

The Housewives’ Service was established to inaugurate a service
for partially trained women in each warden’s sector to assist in allay­
ing panic, giving help to neighbors, and affording the street warden
all possible cooperation. The Housewives’ Service comes under the
local A. R. P. controller and is undertaken only with the full sup­
port of local authorities. The types of service understaken by the
housewives are the following:
1. Provision of hot drinks and hot water in Case of need.
2. Shelter for casualties pending arrival of the services.
3. Placing of buckets outside the door following air-raid warnings
for the use of wardens in fire fighting.
4. Knowledge of the “ raid movements” of neighbors.
5. Shelter for children playing in the road.
6. Assisting in operating baby-protective helmets.
7. Care of invalid and elderly persons during raids.
8. Assisting in public shelters.

Other types o f work are undertaken depending on local needs.
A course o f training for housewives in accident aid, simple nursing
in the home, and A. R. P. is provided, and advanced training may be
given on what to do in air raids and on fire fighting in the home. Each
member o f the Housewives’ Service is supplied with a distinctive
armlet, and a signboard may be placed in the window or on the front
gate of each house when the housewife is at home.
Card indexes are kept, listing all members o f the Housewives’
Service, indicating whether or not they have taken training courses.
Certain members of the Housewives’ Service are members of the
W. Y. S .; a large proportion are not. ‘
First-Aid Section.

The First-Aid Section has given most o f its time to the distribution
of the first-aid packet, which contains simple materials that might
be used by untrained persons in giving first aid.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



Information Department.

The Information Department has two sections : 1. Personnel ; 2. In­
formation Bureau.

This department interviews applicants for volunteer service, enrolls
them, and advises them of suitable vacancies. The applicant fills
out an enrollment card giving various information and signs a state­
ment saying that she is willing to serve as volunteer in the Women’s
Voluntary Services, to take any necessary instruction and training,
and to serve under the direction o f the officers of the services con­
cerned. A card file is kept showing the work carried out by each
enrolled member from the time o f enrollment. Those volunteers
who do not find work immediately are called up by the Information
Department when a vacancy occurs. The Information Department
keeps a complete tickler file of all requests for volunteers made by
any o f the Government services or by other volunteer organizations.
When a volunteer applies for work the Information Department is
able to discuss with her all types of vacancies that exist at the time.
The greatest influx of volunteers at headquarters office occurred
at the outbreak of the war and at the time of the Dutch and Belgian
invasions. A t the present time there is a dearth of volunteers in
London owing to evacuation and to a great increase in the demand
for women, both in volunteer work and in paid employment.
Advice is a]so given by the Information Department to women ap­
plying for paid employment. These applicants are directed to the
Women’s Services (A. T. S., W. R. N. S,, W. A. A. F .), the Ministry
o f Labour (munitions w ork), the Land Army, and so forth.
Information Bureau.

Information is collected from Government circulars, the Hansard,
newspapers, broadcasts, and so forth, and is filed and indexed. From
these files information is given out in answer to personal, telephone,
and written inquiries from members of the W. V. S.
Inquiries include all kinds of matters relating to wartime condi­
tions, with special reference to the women’s services.
Publicity Department.

The Publicity Department handles all matters concerned with the
press, radio, films, and so forth. The department gets out a monthly
bulletin for the information of members and others. This bulletin
gives reports on the activities of the various departments and other
news o f interest.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



Hospital Department.

The W. V. S. serves as a recruiting agency for candidates for train­
ing as nursing auxiliaries. The training for the nursing auxiliaries
is given by the British Red Cross Society, the St. John Ambulance
Association, and local organizations giving comparable courses. The
courses are given in many different parts of the country. The nursing
auxiliaries serve under the Civil Nursing Reserve, which is respon­
sible to the Ministry of Health and has headquarters in London.
The Civil Nursing Reserve enrolls:
a. Trained nurses (trained in a recognized training school or on a
State register).
&. Assistant nurses (partially trained).
c. Nursing auxiliaries (given short course of instruction in first iad
and home nursing, which must reach the standard recognized by the
St. John Ambulance Association, the British Red Cross Society, and
certain other organizations).

Experience has shown that part-time work by nursing auxiliaries
has been found o f very little value. There is great demand for nurs­
ing auxiliaries who enroll for full-tim e work.
Evacuation Department.

One o f the first tasks taken up by the W. V. S. was rendering
assistance in the evacuation o f mothers and children. The Evacua­
tion Department is one of the largest and strongest departments
of the W. V. S. Volunteer members have aided in every phase of
the whole evacuation scheme—as assistants in the organization of
evacuation parties, at the entraining and detraining centers as escorts
in transit, and as assistants in the distribution, supervision, and care
of children in the reception areas. Every W. V. S. region, county, and
district has an evacuation program. W. V. S. volunteers in many o f the
regions have held positions of great responsibility in the planning
and carrying out of reception schemes. In some counties or boroughs
W. V. S. volunteers have been appointed as the responsible billeting
officers. Probably 90 percent o f the assistant billeting officers are
W. V. S. volunteers. At first about 35 percent of the assistant billet­
ing officers were W. V. S. members, serving in a volunteer capacity.
Now a large proportion o f the follow-up work done and the friendly
visiting of children in foster homes is carried out by W. V. S.
W. V. S. workers have aided in, and in many places have been re­
sponsible for, the establishment and staffing of hostels, community
service centers, communal-feeding centers, residential nurseries, and
in providing clerical assistance in the offices of the local authorities.
In some cases W. V. S. workers have provided all the clerical service
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



needed for keeping records of evacuated children and mothers for
the local authorities. The Evacuation Department at headquarters
has given much assistance in developing good schemes of office man­
agement and in preparing forms for records and filing systems. The
department has also helped to develop procedures and standards for
care and has prepared a number o f leaflets for distribution to foster
parents, dealing with such matters as feeding and care of children,
bed-wetting, and so forth. The department also renders a great
service to local members engaged in the evacuation program and even
to local authorities by abstracting and putting in simple language
all official circulars and memoranda issued by the Ministry of Health
or the Board of Education.
In many communities the W. V. S. workers are looked to as the
responsible agency in the evacuation scheme. The contribution made
by the W. V. S. to evacuation has been very great. The head of the
W. Y. S. Evacuation Department served on the Government com­
mittee under the chairmanship of Mr. Geoffrey Shakespeare, M. P..
appointed in November 1940 to inquire into the welfare o f evacuated
homeless persons in reception areas, and participated in preparing
the report [175] and making recommendations.
Two pamphlets issued by the W. V. S., “Memorandum for Guidance
of the Members of the Staff” [775] and “Notes for the Guidance of
Women’s Voluntary Services Evacuation Assistants” [777], give in
fairly detailed outline the plans for various types of services.
In March 1940 the Ministry o f Health requested the W. V. S. to
undertake the work of investigating and dealing with applications
for the evacuation of children under 5 years of age without their
mothers. A panel was appointed by the Ministry o f Health composed
of representatives from the W. V. S., the London County Council’s
staff of care-committee organizers, an officer of the London County
Council Public Assistance Department, and a representative of the
Standing Joint Committee of Metropolitan Borough Councils. Chil­
dren investigated by this panel are assigned to nursery parties which
come under the jurisdiction of the London County Council, a daynursery committee, or a nursery sponsored by the Church of England
Waifs and Strays Society, or are placed through Invalid Children’s
Aid Society or the Children’s Country Holidays Fund. This panel
meets at least weekly, sometimes oftener, to review many hundreds of
applications for the placement o f young children.
Food Department.

The W. V. S. has given great assistance in solving the problem of
feeding evacuated homeless families and children through its canteen
work and through its contribution to the development of communal-
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


1 /5

feeding centers. As in all other phases o f its work, the W. V. S.
gives assistance to schemes for which the responsibility rests with the
appropriate authority such as the local authorities responsible for
A. R P., education and reception authorities responsible for evac­
uated children and other evacuated persons, public-assistance author­
ities responsible for relief of those in distress in case of certain emer­
In March 1940 the W. V. S. issued a bulletin published by H. M.
Stationery Office called “ Communal Feeding in War Time” [ i l ] .
This bulletin outlines alternative methods of communal feeding in
(a) communal kitchens (communal-feeding centers), (b) cook houses,
(<?) canteens, and (d) mobile canteens. The bulletin gives details
with regard to many aspects of the organization of these programs
and also suggestions for menus and recipes.
Special bulletins are gotten out for the use o f local W . Y. S. centers
giving practical suggestions as to how to develop the canteen and
communal feeding schemes. Inform ation is also provided on train­
ing canteen workers and a training scheme has been outlined.
Inform ation is provided on the organization o f a mobile-canteen
unit, on the construction o f canteens o f various types, from the simple
canteen box attached to the rear o f a passenger car to the standard
mobile-canteen van and trailer.
Salvage Department.
The Salvage Department has concerned itself with the collection
o f metals such as aluminum for the Ministry o f A ircraft, bones, cork,
leather, timber, cartridge cases, and electric-light bulbs. Members
o f the W . Y . S. have paid many millions o f visits to housewives in
connection with the salvage program. W hen the Ministry o f Sup­
ply issued compulsory directions concerning salvage, 75 percent o f
the honorary canvass secretaries were W . Y . S. members. Ten mil­
lion visits were paid to housewives within 4 months at this time.
Overseas Department.

The Overseas Department was formed to aid in the sorting and
distribution of gifts from overseas because of the close contact between
W . Y . S. and the local authorities and the work it was already doing
for evacuees and refugees. The machinery for distributing clothing
and comforts existed at the time when, in 1940, large gifts from over­
seas began arriving for the W . Y . S. It was necessary to set up
storage places in each region and county and to plan for distribution
of clothing to local centers. During the last 6 months of 1940 cloth­
ing to the value of more than £1,500,000 was received and distributed
by W . Y . S. In addition, W . V . S. distributed food sent by the
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



American Red Cross. Large quantities o f clothing from the American
Red Cross, both new and second-hand, have been distributed. W. V. S.
work parties mend second-hand clothing, and many are knitting
garments from wool given by the American Red Cross.
Refugee Department.

The Refugee Department was opened early in May 1940 to meet
the need for a central information bureau for the war refugees com­
ing from Holland, Belgium, and France. W. Y. S. gave aid in
the meeting and transporting of these refugees and their care at
various reception centers. As a result W. Y. S. headquarters were
overwhelmed with inquiries for information about lost and separated
relatives. The need for a simple index of refugees was urgent. An
information center was therefore established by the W. Y. S. in
its Refugee Department, lists of refugees being received through
the Ministry o f Health, embassies, legations, High Commissioners,
and other sources. The card index in the Refugee Department in­
cludes 19,000 of the 24,000 war refugees known to the Aliens Depart­
ment of the Home Office.
London Department.

The London Department carries out work in many of the above
fields. It also has given special attention to assistance in the infor­
mation or administrative centers to which bombed-out families go
for aid. W. Y. S. workers aid in staffing these administrative centers,
providing workers to interview homeless persons, fill out forms re­
ferring, under the supervision of a trained welfare worker, the per­
sons to the proper local authorities whose representatives are present
in the administrative centers. In these administrative centers W. Y. S.
also is responsible for the distribution of clothing to bombed-out
The W. Y. S. undertakes many other types of work to meet requests
as they arise; for instance, it assists with welfare work, canteens, and
libraries for H. M. Forces.

To W hat Is Success of the W . V. S. Due?
The success of the W. Y. S. may be ascribed in general to the
follow ing:
1. The existence of a “ cause” : Serving Government in its civildefense effort.
2. Brilliant and dynamic leadership and a great sense o f individual
responsibility for service among volunteers in each locality.
3. Organization at a strategic time when women were ready to give
service and when service was needed.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



4. Great flexibility and diversity o f services offered to local au­
thorities and the development of a variety of types of work so that
one or more were available to all women who had some time to give
regardless o f their economic situation.
5. Centralization o f essentially all women’s voluntary effort in
one organization ( “ under one umbrella” ).
6. Derivation of authority from Government agencies—national
and local but with freedom o f action and ability to initiate and carry
out programs within policies established in consultation with
a. Regional and local organization of lines of authority in areas
coinciding with regional commissioners’ jurisdictions and regions des­
ignated by various Ministries.
Physical separation of headquarters office from the Home Office
(responsible for civil defense), with resulting freedom to serve all
c. Close coordination of work of local volunteers with that of local

d. Strengthening voluntary effort by a framework of paid workers
trained in administrative procedure and assigned from civil service.
e. Financial security through aid in kind from the Home Office and
local authorities and through funds for expenses of workers.

7. Organization of service as a specific contribution of women to
the war effort.
The clear-cut identification of the organization with women’s effort
was in Lady Reading’s opinion fundamental to its effectiveness. Both
Government and the public realized that (a) certain jobs needing to be
done in civil defense were par excellence women’s jobs and (6) others
commonly undertaken by men could be done by women to relieve men
for military or industrial duty. This was true of both voluntary and
paid jobs. It was felt that it was highly important that women should
be made conscious of their part in the total war effort and that women
who had time to give should contribute in an organized way. To develop
the desirable esprit de corps it was important to organize the work as
a women’s service.
The use of symbols which indicated that an individual was included
in the group effort and was making a contribution in service was of
great effect in developing and maintaining this esprit de corps. The
identifying insignia are a “standard dress” for everyone regardless
of position held, two types of badges (one with a crown and letters,
one a monogram of letters), arm bands and sleeve insignia, and special
badge insignia for administrators and organizers. The use of the in­
signia on letterheads which identified the Women’s Voluntary Services
with the civil-defense effort was another useful device for building up
Though the identification of the Services as a women’s effort was a
conscious one, it was in no sense done in a spirit of competition with men.
Rather there was felt a very real sense of coordination of women’s serv­
ices with men s services. The close tie-up with local authorities helped
to insure this.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1. Board of Education: Air Raid Precautions
January 3, 1938.
2. Board of Education: Air Raid
April 27, 1939.

in Schools.

Precautions in


Circular 1461.
Circular 1467.

3. Board of Education: Air Raid Precautions in Schools and Other Problems
Arising out of the W ar. Circular 1535. December 18, 1940.
4. Board of Education: Education in Evacuation Areas. Circular 1483.
November 11, 1939.
5. Board of Education: Reopening
23, 1939.







Ministry of Home Security, Air Raid Precautions Department: Use of
School Buildings for Civil Defence Purposes. Circular 304. November
11, 1939.

7. P E P (Political and Economic Planning) ; London Under Bombing—
Planning No. 169. February 17, 1941.


Ministry of H ealth: Problem of the Air-Raid Shelter (Notes for Doctors
Attending Shelters), by P. G. Stock. December 1940-January 1941.
9. Ministry of H ealth: Circular 1900. October 1939.
10. National Council of Social Service: Citizens’ Advice Bureaux Handbook.
11. Women’s Voluntary Services for Civil Defence: Communal Feeding in W ar
Time. March 1940.
12. Women’s Voluntary Services for Civil Defence: Notes on Organisation
of Community Kitchens.
13. Women’s Voluntary Services for Civil Defence: Organisation of a Mobile
Canteen Unit.
14. London County Council: Londoners’ Meals Service.
15. London County Council, Supplies Department: Hints on Catering for
Civil Defence Service Canteens (third edition). January 1941.
16. Ministry of Food: Our Food Today— How To Eat W isely in Wartime.
17. Ministry of F ood: Our Food Today— W ise Housekeeping in War-Time.
18. Board of Education: Canteen Meals for School Children. Schools in
Wartime Memorandum No. 3. October 1939.
19. Minister of Labour and National Service: Additional Meals at Factory
Canteens— Breaks During Long Spells of Work. January 1941.
20. Ministry of H ea lth : Civil Nursing Reserve— Conditions and Terms of
Service. C. N. R. Memo. 1. June 1940.
21. Ministry of H ea lth : Mimeographed data on Civil Nursing Reserve [received
from Principal Matron for Emergency Nursing Services, Ministry of
Health, February 27, 1941] dated March 1939 and December 31, 1940.
22. Cheesman, J. E . : Growth of Evacuated Children. Lancet 2 : 575.
23. Ministry of Health (a regional office) : Notes on Infections in Nurseries.
January 1941.
23a. Lockhart, Robert: Deterioration in Health of the Elementary School Chil­
dren in an Area of Gloucestershire in Relation to W ar Conditions.
Medical Officer, 65 : 97-98 (March 22, 1941).

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



24. Mental Health Emergency Committee: Announcement. London, June 1940.
25. Fox, E velyn : Emergency Hostels for Difficult Children. Mental Health,
1 : 97-102 (October 1940).
26. Emotional Problems of the Evacuation; discussion.

New Era, 2 1 : 53-82

(March 1940).
27. New Education Fellowship: Children in W ar time.
(New Education Fel­
lowship, 29 Tavistock Square, W . C. 1, and A . Brown & Sons, Ltd., Savile
St., H ull.)
(Includes a short bibliography of current literature on the
28. Henshaw, E. M .: Some Psychological Difficulties of Evacuation.


Health , 1 : 50-10 (January 1940).
29. Burt, C yril: Incidence of Neurotic Symptoms Among Evacuated School
Children.__British Journal of Educational Psychology, 1 0 : 8 -15 (Feb­
ruary 1940).
30. University of Liverpool, Department of Social Science: Our Wartime
Guests— Opportunity or Menace? A psychological approach to evacua­
tion. (University Press of Liverpool; Hodder & Stoughton, Ltd.,
London.) 1940.
31. Straker, A., and R. H. Thouless: Preliminary Results of Cambridge Survey
of Evacuated Children. British Journal of Educational Psychology,
10 : 97-113 (June 1940).
32. Cambridge Research Committee: Cambridge Evacuation Survey— Memo­
randum on Practical Recommendations. March 21, 1940.
32a. Home Office and Board of Education: Juvenile Offences. Joint Circular:
Home Office 807624, Board of Education 1554. June 1941.
33. Chicago Tribune Press Service: Press Report from London. March 19,
34. Board of Education: Service of Youth.





35. Board of Education: Challenge of Youth. Circular 1516. June 27, 1940.
36. London
Youth Committee, Youth Recreation Centres Sub-Committee:
Functions and Methods of Organization of Youth Recreation Centres
in London.
37 London
Youth Committee, Youth Recreation Centres Sub-Committee:
Suggested Activities for Youth Recreation Centres. January 1941.
38. National Council of Girls’ Clubs: Training in Club Leadership.
(H am il­
ton House, Bidborough St., London, W . C. 1.) January 1940.
39. National Council of Girls’ Clubs: Service Cadets; a scheme put forward
by the National Council of Girls’ Clubs for the consideration of local
education authorities, and so forth. February 1941.
40. Padley, Richard, and Margaret Cole: Evacuation Survey; a report to the
Fabian Society.
(George Routledge & Sons, Ltd., London.) 1940.
40a. Committee (o f Parliament) on Evacuation: Report presented by the
Secretary of State for the Home Department to Parliament, July 1938.
Cmd. 5837. (H . M. Stationery Office.) 1938.
41. Ministry
of H ealth : Government Evacuation Scheme.

Circular 1759.

January 5, 1939.
42. Ministry
of H ealth:

Circular 1800.


Evacuation Scheme.

May 1, 1939.
43. Ministry of H ealth: Government Evacuation Scheme.
44. Ministry

of H ealth:

July 28, 1939.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


Memo. Ev. 4.

Evacuation Scheme.


Circular 1841.



45. Ministry of Health : Government Tvacuation Scheme. Memo. Ev. 5 (En­
closure to Circular 1841). July 1939.
46. Ministry of H ealth: Billeting Regulations. Circular 1857. August 27,
47 Ministry of Health : Billeting Regulations ; billeting of persons engaged in
civil defence, etc. Circular 1857A. August 27, 1939.
48. Defense Regulations 1939: Regulation 22— Billeting. August 1939.
49. London County Council, Education Officer's Department: Government’s
Evacuation Scheme. Letter of March 30, 1939.
50. London County Council, Education Officer’s Department: Government’s
Evacuation Scheme. Letter of June 30, 1939.
51. London County Council, Education Officer’s Department : Government’s
Evacuation Scheme— Special Parties. Letter of June 27, 1939.
51a. General Register Office: National Registration— Government Evacuation
Scheme; memorandum from Registrar General. N. R. 40 (with post­
card). June 1939.
52. Ministry of Health : Government Evacuation Scheme— Memorandum for
Guidance of Local Authorities in Conduct of Survey of Housing Accommo­
dation. Memo. Ev. 1 (Enclosure to Circular 1759). January 1939.
53. Ministry of Health : Government Evacuation Scheme— Suggestions for Au­
thorised Visitors. Memo Ev. 2. January 1939.
54. Ministry of Health : Government Evacuation Scheme— Alternative Sugges­
tions for Points Which Might Be Made in a Preliminary Letter to House­
holders. Memo. Ev. 3. J nuary 1939.
55. Ministry of Health : Transfer of Population in Time of W ar— W hat the
Householder Is Asked To Do. Form Ev. 1 (Enclosure to Circular 1759).
January 1939.
56. Ministry of H ealth: Visitor’s Record Form. Form Ev. 2 (Enclosure to Cir­
cular 1759). January 1939.
57. Ministry of Health : Local Authorities’ Register of Accommodation. Form
Ev. 3 (Enclosure to Circular 1759). January 1939.
58. Ministry of Health : Summary of Accommodation
Form Ev. 4 (Enclosure
to Circular 1759). January 1939.
59. Ministry of Health : Visitor’s Authorisation Card. Form Ev. 5 (Enclosure
to Circular 1759). January 1939.
60. Civil Defence Act, July 13, 1939, Part V III, Paragraph 5 6 : Evacuation of
Civil Population.
61. Defence Regulations, 1939 : Regulation 51— Taking Possession of Land.
62. Public Health Act, 1936, Chapter 49, Part V II, Sections 20 6-219: Child
Life Protection.
63. Ministry of Health : Billeting Officer’s W arrant Card.
64. Ministry of Health : Billeting Form B— Adults and Accompanied Children.
65. Ministry of Health : Billeting Form C— Helpers, Nurses, etc.
66. Ministry of Health : Billeting Form E— Compulsory Billeting of School
67. Defence Regulations, 1939 and 1940: Regulation 32— Hospitals and Am ­
68. Ministry of Health : Recovery of Cost of Billeting School Children. Circu­
lar 1877. October 4, 1939.
69. Ministry of Health : Recovery of Cost of .Billeting School Children. Circu­
lar 1877A. October 4, 1939.
70. Ministry of H ealth: Recovery of Cost of Billeting School Children. (Let­
ters to parents— Forms for computing payments.) Circular 1886. Octo­
ber 9, 1939.
432652°— 42------13
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



71. Ministry o f H ea lth : Recovery of Cost of Billeting School Children. Memo­
randum Rec. 1. Circular 1887. October 12, 1939.
72. Ministry of H ea lth : Recovery of Cost of Billeting School Children. Memo­
randum Rec. 2. Circular 1891. October 16, 1939.
73. Ministry of H ea lth : Recovery of Cost of Billeting School Children. Memo­
randum Rec. 3. Circular 1898. October 24, 1939.
74. Board of Tducation: Education of Evacuated School Children in Time of
Circular 1469. May 19, 1939.
75. Board of Education: Schooling in an Emergency— Suggestions for the
Education of Children Transferred to the Reception Areas. Circular
1474. August 29, 1939.
76. London County Council, Evacuation Committee: Evacuation Scheme and the
Educational Problems Arising Therefrom— Report by the Education Officer.
Ev. No. 1. October 17, 1939.
77. Women’s Voluntary Services for Civil Defence: Information on Evacuation
for Householders Taking Unaccompanied Children.
78. Women’s Voluntary Services for Civil Defence: Information on Bed-Wetting
for Householders Taking Unaccompanied Children. December 1939.
79. Women’s Voluntary Services for Civil Defence: Information on the Cleansing
and Care of Children’s Heads for Householders Taking Unaccompanied
Children. May 1940.
80. Women’s Voluntary Services for Civil Defence: Care of Children in W ar­
time. Broadcast by Mrs. Creswick Atkinson, R. R. C., Technical Adviser.
81. Women’s Voluntary Services for Civil Defence: Notes and Suggestions on
Clothing for Those Caring for Unaccompanied Children in the Reception
82. Women’s Voluntary Services for Civil Defence: Give and Take.


83. Women’s Voluntary Services for Civil Defence: A Healthy Child Is a
Happy Child.
84. Women’s Voluntary Services for Civil Defence: W a r Time Play Schemes for
Children. December 1939.
85. Borough of Bedford, Government Evacuation Scheme: Help and Advice
for Hostess and Guest.
86. Huntingdonshire County Council: Handbook of Services Available for
Evacuees in the County. January 1941.
87. Ministry of H ealth : Memorandum on the Louse and How To Deal W ith It.


. January 1940.
Ministry of H ealth: When You Visit Your Child in the Country.
Ministry of H ealth : To Parents— Children Are Safer and Healthier Away
From London. December 1940.
Ministry of H ealth : A Message From the Minister of Health. July 1940.
Ministry of H ealth : Government Evacuation Scheme. November 1940.
Ministry of H ealth : Government Evacuation Scheme. Circular 1871. Sep­
tember 12, 1939.
Ministry of H ealth : Government Evacuation Scheme— Requisitioning. Cir­
cular 1857B. September 16, 1939.
Ministry of H ealth : Government Evacuation Scheme. Circular 1879. Sep­
tember 29, 1939.
Ministry of H ealth : Government Evacuation Scheme. Circular 1876. Sep­
tember 21, 1939.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



96. Ministry of Health : Government Evacuation Scheme— Public Health Services
in the Receiving Areas. Circular 1882. October 2, 1939.
97. Board of Education: School Children in Evacuation Areas. Circular 1479.
September 29, 1939.
98. Board of Education : School Dental Service in War-time. Circular 1485.
November 24, 1989.
99. Board of Education: School Health Services in War-time. Circular 1490.
December 14, 1939.
100. Board of Education : School Medical and Dental Services in War-time.
Circular 1523. August 21, 1940.
101. Ministry of Health : Government Evacuation Scheme. Circular 1913. No­
vember 17, 1939.
102. Ministry of Health : Government Evacuation Scheme— Redistribution of
Evacuated Persons. Memo. Ev. 6. November 1939.
103. Ministry of Health and Board of Education: Nursery Centres for Children
in Reception Areas
Joint Circular: Ministry of Health 1936, Board of
Education 1495. January 9, 1940.
104. Ministry of Health : Government Evacuation Scheme. Circular 1965. Feb­
ruary 15, 1940.
105. Ministry of Health : Government Evacuation Scheme. Memo. Ev. 8 (Enclo­
sure to Circular 1965). February 1940.
106. London County Council, Education Officer’s Department: Government’s
Evacuation Scheme, Plan IV. March 19, 1940.
107. London County Council, Education Officer’s Department: Government’s
Evacuation Scheme, Plan IV — Evacuation Signals. March 30, 1940.
108. Ministry of Health : Government Evacuation Scheme. Circular 2017. May
13, 1940.
109. Board of Education : Hostels for Evacuated School Children.

Circular 1508.

May 14, 1940.
110. Ministry of H ealth: Government Evacuation Scheme.

Memo. Ev. 9.


111. Ministry of H ealth: Government Evacuation Scheme.

Circular 2032.


24, 1940.
112. Ministry of H ealth: Maternity and Child W elfare— Evacuation.


1998. April 19, 1940.
113. Ministry of Health and Board of Education : Government Evacuation
Scheme— Arrangements for Medical Examination. Joint Circular: Min­
istry of Health 1979, Board of Education 1504. March 12, 1940.
114. London County Council, Public Health Department : Government Evacuation
Scheme, Plan IV — Arrangements for Final Medical Examination. May
10, 1940.
115. London County Council: Government Evacuation Scheme (Metropolitan
Evacuation Area) [Evacuation card.] G.P.H. 5. February 1940.
116. London County Council: Government Evacuation Scheme, Plan IV— Notes
for Guidance of Medical Officers Conducting the Final Examination.
117. London County Council: Government Evacuation Scheme, Plan IV — Label­
ling of Children. G.P.H. 5a. April 1940.
118. London County Council, Education Officer’s Department : Medical Treatment
and the Government Evacuation Scheme. Evacuation Scheme Bulletin
No. 48. April 18, 1940.
119. London County Council, Public Health Department : Return [by physicians]
o f Schools, etc., Visited and Time Given for Week Ending [form]. P.H.S.
205. May 1938.
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120. London County Council : Government Evacuation Scheme, Plan IV — Confer­
ence of School Medical Officers From the Reception Areas and the ExtraMetropolitan Evacuating Areas and Representatives of the Ministry of
Health, the Board of Education, and the London County Council, held at
County Hall, S.E. 1. May 23, 1940.
121. London County Council, Education Officer’s Department : Government’s
Evacuation Scheme, Plan IV — Unregistered Children. Reference Paper
to Dispersals Officers. May 11, 1940.
122. London County Council : Memorandum From the Education Officer to Heads
of All Schools in London, Except Technical Institutions Attended by
Senior Pupils Only. May 13, 1940.
123. London County Council, Education Officer’s Department: Evacuation
Scheme— Bulletin No. 51. May 20, 1940.
124 London County Council, Education Officer’s Department : Government’s Evac­
uation Scheme— Evacuation of Tastern Counties. May 27, 1940.
125. London County Council, Education Officer’s Department : Government’s Evac­
uation Scheme, Plan IV — Date of operation. June 8, 1940.
126. London County Council, Education Officer’s Department: Government Evac­
uation Scheme, Plan IV— Expectant Mothers. April 26, 1940.
127. London County Council : Government Evacuation Scheme, Plan IV— Expect­
ant Mothers. May 1940.
128. London County Council, Education Officer’s Department : Government Evac­
uation Scheme, Plan IV— Expectant Mothers. May 15, 1940.
129. Ministry of Health : Government Evacuation Scheme— Evacuated Nursery
Parties. March 1, 1940.
130. Personal communication from the Director of Maternity and Child Welfare
Division, Ministry of Health, April 2, 1941.
131. Women’s Voluntary Services for Civil Defence : Application form for evacu­
ation of children under 5 years. January 1941.
132. London County Council, Education Officer’s Department : Government’s
Evacuation Scheme— Metropolitan Evacuating Area, Plan VI. July 27,1940.
133. Ministry of Health : Government Evacuation Scheme. Circular 2140. Sep­
tember 16, 1940.
134. Ministry of Health : Government Evacuation Scheme. Circular 2155. Sep­
tember 23, 1940.
135. London County Council, Education Officer’s Department : Government Evac­
uation Scheme— Metropolitan Evacuating Area. Letters of October 11,
1940, and January 9, 1941.
136. London County Council, Education Officer’s Department: Government Evac­
uation Scheme— Information for Mothers of Families Registered for
Evacuation. October 1940.
137. Ministry of Health : oMthers and Children Under Five. Memo. Ev. 10,
138. Ministry of Health : Private Arrangements. Circular 2170. October 9,
139 Ministry of Health : Procedure for Dealing W ith Applications. Memo. Ev.
7 (Enclosure to Circular 1923). November 30, 1939.
140. Ministry of Health : Problems of Evacuation of Mothers and Children. Cir­
cular 2178. October 18, 1940.
141. Ministry of H ealth: Evacuation of Civil Population— Health Services.
Circular 2204. November 16, 1940.
142. London County Council, Education Officer’s Department : Government
Evacuation Scheme— Expectant Mothers. December 23, 1940.
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143. London County Council: Government Evacuation Scheme, Metropolitan
Evacuating Area— Expectant Mothers. December 1940.
144. Ministry of H ealth : Evacuation— Compulsory Medical Examination. Circu­
lar 2261. January 8, 1941.
145. Ministry of H ealth: Emergency Powers (D efence)— -Removal of Sick Chil­
dren. Statutory Rules and Orders, 1941, No. 17, January 6, 1941.
146. London County Council: Government Evacuation Scheme— Compulsory
Evacuation of Certain Children. Memorandum from the Education Offi­
cer— C. E. 5.
147. Ministry of H ealth: Government Evacuation Scheme— Arrangements for
Expectant Mothers— Appointment of Medical Staff. G. E. S. 36. Sep­
tember 20, 1939.
148. Ministry of H ealth: Evacuation of Expectant Mothers'; a schedule for in­
formation from evacuation areas.
149. Ministry of H ealth : Evacuation of Expectant M others; a schedule for in­
formation from receiving areas.
150. Ministry of H ealth: Improvised Maternity H om es; a schedule for use in
selecting premises for maternity homes. 1939.
151. Board of Education: Use of the Government Camps as Secondary, Senior,
or Selective Central Schools for Evacuated Children. Circular 1496.
January 17, 1940.
152. Ministry of H ealth : Diphtheria Prophylaxis. Circular 2230. December 7,
1940. (W ith Board of Education Circular 1536, December 24, 1940.)
152a. National Council for Maternity and Child W elfare: Child Care Reserve.
August 1, 1940.
153. Report on the Social W elfare of Evacuees in Cambridge, by Hester A.
Adrian, W . V. S. Reception Assistant (also magistrate in Children’s
Court). January 16, 1941.
154. Board of Education: Communal Feeding in Reception Areas. Circular
1484. November 21, 1939.
155. Board of Education: Food— How the Teachers Can Help the Nation.
Schools in Wartime Memorandum 15. April 1940.
156. Board of Education: Food. Schools in Wartime Memorandum 19. May
157. Board of Education: Salads and Vegetables; attractive methods of using
home-produced foods. Food Education Memorandum 1. July 1940.
158. Board of Education: Milk— W ays of Using Nature’s Best Food. Food
Education Memorandum 2. August 1940.
159. Board of Education: Good Fare in War-time. Food Education Memo­
randum 3. February 1941.
160. London County Council: Government’s Evacuation Scheme— Special Par­
ties— Feeding of Handicapped Nursery School and Day Nursery Children.
August 1939.
161. Boar dof Education: Provision of Meals and Milk for School Children in
War-time. Circular 1520
July 22, 1940.
162. Board of Education: Provision of Meals for Children Attending Public
Elementary Schools. Circular 1443. December 16, 1935.
163. Board of Education: School Meals. Administrative Memorandum 267 and
Form 212M. December 27, 1940.
164. Board of Education: Provision of Meals for Pupils in Grant-Aided Sec­
ondary and Other Schools. Circular 1531. December 3, 1940.
165. Board of Education: Special Allowances of Foods for School Canteens.
Administrative Memorandum 262. December 4, 1940.
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166. Board of Education: Allowance of Meat for School Canteens.
tive Memorandum 274. February 6, 1941.


167. Board of Education: Cooperation by Local Education Authorities in Com­
munity Feeding. Circular 1539. February 17, 1941.
168. Ministry of Health and Board of Education : Village Halls and Club Prem­
ises. Joint Circular: Ministry of Health 1917, Board of Education 1488.
November 28, 1939.
169. Board of Education: Nursery Centres for Children Between the Ages
of 2 and 5 in Reception Areas— Application for approval of scheme.
Form 800M. January 1940.
170. Board of Education: Evacuation of School Children. Memorandum ( re­
ceived from Board of Education under note dated February 25, 1941).
171. Board of Education: School Holidays. Circular 1482. November 10, 1939.
172. Board of Education: Evacuation of School Children— Miscellaneous Pro­
visions. Circular 1475. August 31, 1939.
173. Board of Education: Incidence of Expenditure on Evacuated Children.
Circular 1481. November 8, 1939.
174. Board of Education: Report of a Committee Representative of the Local
Education Authorities of England and W ales Appointed To Consider the
Problems of Adjusting Between Authorities the Expenditure Incurred
by Them in Respect of Evacuated School Children. January 31, 1940.
175. Ministry of H ealth: Report on Conditions in Reception Areas, by a Com­
mittee Under the Chairmanship of Mr. Geoffrey Shakespeare, M. P.
January 2, 1941.
176. Women’s Voluntary Services for Civil Defence: Memorandum for the Guid­
ance of the Members of the Staff. April 1939.
177. Women’s Voluntary Services for Civil Defence: Notes for the Guidance
of Women’s Voluntary Services Evacuation Assistants.
(Second issue 1
July 1939.

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