In order to keep civilians safe during the Second World War, the Government set up an operation to protect people, especially children, by evacuating them away from the towns and cities which were of high risk from aerial bombing and moving them to areas thought to be less at risk.
Operation Pied Piper, began on 1 September 1939, and officially relocated more than 3.5 million people. There were further waves of official evacuation and re-evacuation from the south and east coasts in June 1940, when a seaborne invasion was expected, and then again from affected towns and cities when the Blitz began in September 1940.
Here in London your children’s minds and bodies are in danger of being injured for life
This heart-felt advert, issued by the Military of Health, appeared in the local newspaper at the height of the Blitz encouraging Mothers to save their children.
YOU’D GIVE YOUR LIFE FOR YOUR CHILDREN – WON’T YOU GIVE THEM THIS CHANCE TO GET AWAY TO GREATER SAFETY AND HEALTH?
Here in London your children’s minds and bodies are in danger of being injured for life. Yet, you can send them out of London at once Within a few days they can be in healthier, safer surroundings, getting regular schooling, living and sleeping as children should.
You can evacuate your children of school age if you live in and of the I.C.C. boroughs (marked * below). They will be taken (in organised parties with teachers) to safer areas within three days of being registered. You can register your children at most schools in London. In any case the teachers or the schoolkeeper at your children’s school will tell you where to go.
Mothers with children of school age or under who live in the L.C.C. Areas (marked * below), or in East ham or West Ham can be evacuated within three days of registering. The Government will provide transport and billets and pay a lodging allowance to the householder (5s a week for the mother, 5s for each school child of 14 or over, 3s for each child under 14). Mothers will be responsible for their own keep. If in need they can apply to the Employment Exchange for assistance.
The place to register or get advice is the nearest open Emergency Rest Centre (ask a policeman or A.R.P. Warden where to find it).
If you have children of school age, and cannot go away with them, let them go under the schoolchildren’s scheme.
Expectant mothers in any of the evacuation areas of Greater London should apply to the nearest antenatal clinic, maternity hospital or local Ton Hall if they wish to be evacuated during the month before they expect their baby.
Government help for private evacuation
Mothers with children of school age or under, expectant mothers and aged, infirm, invalid or blind people who are able to arrange to stay with friends or relatives in a reception or neutral area can get a free travel voucher and a lodgings allowance will be paid to the householder. This help is available in ant of the evacuation areas of Greater London.
As son as arrangements for lodging have been made, apply to the nearest L.C.C. Divisional Office or the local education offices, taking a letter to show that accommodation is waiting.
Bromley & District Times, 8th November 1940, page 8