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The way people in Barking and Dagenham responded to evacuation

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I studied four sources to see how useful they were for showing how well Barking and Dagenham responded to evacuation. Source L was one of these four and it shows Fanshawe School lining up ready to be evacuated. There are many different points to this source that illustrate how useful it is for helping people of today understand what evacuation was like, but on the other hand there are also many points which demonstrate how it isn’t useful.

The reasons for me believing that this source is useful in today’s world are because it shows the children’s faces, so from their expressions you can obtain an idea of how they felt. Another suggestion that shows how useful this source is is that you can a responsible adult standing at the front, meaning that the whole process was ordered and easy, all the children are lined up against the wall so it shows he is in control. When you look at the other side of the argument though you can see how people think this is an un resourceful photograph.

Some of these could be: the children in this source look as if they are posing since they are all looking the same way and if somebody was randomly taking a photo this wouldn’t be the case, because of this it could have been used by a journalist, meaning they wanted to publish this picture to keep the moral of the people up, indicating that it is not a true representative. Another point that has to be brought up is that Fanshawe is not the only school in Barking and Dagenham and the other schools should have been pictured to show the whole community.

Secondly I looked at source M which is another photographic piece of evidence from the war. This again shows some children going to be evacuated and there is also a boat in the background suggesting that they are being taken to their new areas by boat. The information that you get from here that is useful is that the picture does not look like it is been taken so that the children are posed, but then again everything looks like it is very chaotic showing that there is no order to the way they were taken onto the boat.

Other useful things that are pictured in this are there are many mixed emotions that you can see, which give an idea of how different children thought about going on this adventure. Although this can be seen as useful in quite a few ways, there are also many points that show that it isn’t useful. The obvious ones are that there does not seem to be any adults in the picture meaning that this does not seem very organised and also because of this you cannot see any reactions of adults, which would be helpful in understanding how the community as whole reacted to evacuation.

Something else that makes this source not useful is that you don’t know how this picture has been used. Although it looks like it hasn’t been posed, somebody could have got these children to look how they wanted them too and then used it in a newspaper for people to see it. Another reason for this not being useful is it only shows the start of the journey, you don’t know what these children have been told or why they look how they do, they may have had a very bad experience when actually there.

Overall this source is not very useful because it once again only shows children meaning people today can’t see how the adult community felt about evacuation showing that you can’t understand the way the people of Barking and Dagenham responded to evacuation. The next source that I looked at was source N which is a personal account of a child who was evacuated. The useful things about it are that it is actually a personal account meaning that this is the experience that she has gone through and all the feeling that are recorded have been lived through.

She tells the truth about how they were told they were going to be evacuated and in this account their teachers lied to them saying they were going on a school trip. This also gives us an idea of how they were taken away, in here it shows it was quick and efficient shown as they couldn’t speak to their parents because some children may not have wanted to go and created a scene. There are also many points that can be seen that make it not useful. As it was recalled after the war this could mean that the person who has written it could have a selective memory meaning she doesn’t say everything bad that happened.

This was also recalled after the war so if she said anything that was good or bad it didn’t matter because it made no difference to the way people feel. This is just one child’s experience so because she had a good experience it doesn’t mean that every child did, she was one of the lucky ones. Although this is a source that could be considered to be very useful as it is personal it only shows the one child and it has no feelings once again from the adults of the community even if it does tell how they lied to the children.

The last source that I studied to understand the effect that evacuation had on the county was source O, this was an official publication from the Borough of Dagenham and means that who it was written by has effected the way it is seen as both as useful and not. The reasons it can be seen as useful are because it was officially written people could trust what they have said as they were in charge then. It also reflects that evacuation was quick and efficient.

There are not many good points for this and it can be seen as not useful because it was written by the people in charge so that could meant they wanted to make everything seem as if it was good and that they had complete control when what they had recalled was nothing to do with what had happened. Lastly because it was written after the war it doesn’t matter what they say as it has already been won and this could lead them to have a selective memory and once again this is about the children and how they felt. Overall when all the sources are look at together, they can be seen to be not very useful.

They all show some things that are but nothing is shown about the adults or parents who were also in the community meaning we don’t know how Barking and Dagenham responded to evacuation. Many different connections can be made between each of these that I have looked at, some of them are: both source N and O are written and they are both about the children. They both show feelings although one seem more realistic than the other. Sources L and M also have connections they both show children and they are both at the beginnings of a journey, they also show emotions which are in the other two too.

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