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Mass-Observation Archive: Topic Collections

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TC 5: 2 boxes


5/1/A: Crisis Reports, August 1939

Typed reports by Observer WRL, numbered 15-20 and 24 describing the last few days before the outbreak of war. Details on evacuation schemes in Acton, Ealing, Hanwell areas : observations, counts and overheard conversations

5/1/B: Receiving evacuees, September 1939

Reports from volunteer Observers in country areas on the progress of evacuation work : how people are receiving evacuees, opinions on the scheme, descriptions of people's behaviour

5/1/C: Evacuees' departure, September 1939

Observations in railway stations by full-time Observers in London. Observation in Manchester of evacuated children (RS)

Article from Lilliput magazine

5/1/D: Evacuation of schools, September-October 1939

Reports from teachers evacuated with their 5-7 year-old school children from Walthamstow to rural area near St Albans. Details of teaching conditions, billets, relations with children and other teachers, organisation and liaison with local council

Magazine of the Addey and Stanhope school, evacuated to Burwash, Sussex

5/1/E: General comments on success of evacuation scheme, September-December 1939

Typed extracts from diaries, from articles and press cuttings, from letters and reports. Case histories and anecdotes, evacuation in a Hertfordshire town, October 1939

5/1/F: General comments on war problems including evacuation, October 1939

Handwritten notes from volunteer Observer in Manchester (RS)

5/1/G: Effects of evacuation on shops, businesses and accommodation, October-November 1939

Interviews with shopkeepers, a doctor, a dentist, a waitress, in London. Report from a business man on the evacuation of his offices from Moorgate to Reigate

Interviews with landlords in North London. Interview with head porter on arrangements over empty flats

Invalid Children's Aid Association, bulletin on evacuation-related problems. 1939

5/1/H: Romford : a neutral area, October-December 1939.

Handwritten report and notes on the impact of evacuation schemes on Romford by Observer, includes a letter from a young Civil Servant evacuated with her office to Harrogate (NM)

5/1/I: Reactions to arrival of evacuees, October-December 1939

Typed report on reception of mothers and children by billets; observations at station, Windsor (KB)

Typed report from village of Burford where most evacuees are well-to-do (TH)

Notes on Henley (HP)

Handwritten report on evacuees in East Devon (DH)

5/1/J: Children in "Metrop", November 1939

Observations of children still in Putney and Fulham : street behaviour, overheard conversations (CVP)

5/1/K: Miscellaneous notes and correspondence on evacuation, September-December 1939

Personal letters : Tom Harrisson and family. Assorted M-O letters. Copy of M-O Directive to volunteer Observers. Notes (TH)

5/1/L: Printed material on evacuation 1939-41

Evacuation Exhibition (Paul and Marjorie Abbatt), March 1940 : invitation card and notes

Critique of Government Evacuation Scheme by the Association of Architects, Surveyors and Technical Assistants, March 1940. Study of a Rural Reception Area by the AASTA, 1940

Government Evacuation Scheme : School Children, 1939. Report prepared by the Director of Education, City of Nottingham

Quotations from : Report of Committee of Education, (no date)

Official leaflets : Stay Where You Are (MoI), two versions; Evacuation, Why and How ? (Public Information Leaflet, no. 3, 1939); Notes and Suggestions on Clothing (WVS); War-time Play Schemes for Children (WVS); Evacuation (Civil Defence); A Message from the Minister of Health to Parents who have Evacuated their Children, June 1941

Our Wartime Guests, opportunity or menace ?-A psychological approach to Evacuation (Gertrude Wagner, University Press of Liverpool, 1940).

Letters to the Spectator, 22.9.39


Press cuttings September 1939-January 1940

BOX 2 : EVACUATION 1940-44

5/2/A: Interview with Lady Reading, February 1940

Personal experiences and criticisms of Government scheme (2 copies)

5/2/B: Questionnaire on use of evacuation scheme, May 1940.

35 replies from women in Marylebone on their plans for their children

12 replies, Notting Hill Gate

20 replies, Fulham

5/2/C: East coast evacuation, May 1940

13 replies to question asking how people feel about evacuation in Southend

Observation in Southend, 28.5.40, with two interviews

Observations and interviews in Felixstowe, 27.5.40

One page report summary of East coast evacuation

5/2/D: Evacuees leaving Paddington Station, 1940

Observations and overheard conversations, 13.6.40

Observation and 3 interviews, 8.9.40

5/2/E: Evacuation of schools, 1940

Observer reports, East End, on visits to schools to see how the second evacuation scheme was working

Assorted duplicated and printed material produced by schools in connection with evacuation

5/2/F: Evacuation of children overseas 1940

Selected forms and official material

Personal report from Panel member who took daughter to the USA, 1941?

5/2/G: Evacuation from the East End, August-September 1940.

Overheard comments, June and August 1940

Evacuation study 9-10.9.40 : impressions, observations and interviews

5/2/H: Evacuation in London areas, September-October 1940.

Reports on evacuation schemes in Paddington, Notting Hill, and the reception of East End refugees, September 1940

Report : evacuation from Streatham, 20.9.40

Report : morale and evacuation in Chelsea, 11.9.40 and 19.10.40

Interviews and impressions from Kilburn, Cricklewood, Fulham, and Neasden, October 1940

5/2/I-M: Reception of refugees, October 1940

Reports and interviews from various towns on routes away from London


Towns along the Al

  • Hatfield
  • Welwyn
  • Stevenage
  • Baldock
  • Biggleswade
  • Sandy
  • Eaton Socon
  • St. Neots
  • Buckden


A40/A44 routes out of London

  • Beaconsfield (includes anti-semitism)
  • High Wycombe
  • Chipping Norton
  • Woodstock
  • Moreton-in-Marsh
  • Witney
  • Wheatley
  • Stokenchurch
  • Stow-on-the-Wold
  • Evesham
  • Malvern
  • Burford
  • Worcester


Windsor and Reading



  • Andover
  • Hurstbourne Priors
  • Overton
  • Hook
  • Blackwater
  • Basingstoke
  • Hartley Witney
  • Salisbury
  • Bagshot
  • Egham
  • Over Wallop


South : Surrey and Sussex

  • Purley
  • Redhill
  • Burgess Hill
  • Handcross
  • Haywards Heath
  • Hassocks
  • Brighton

5/2/N: Transport out of London at night, October 1940

General notes and interviews on formal and informal schemes

5/2/O: Husbands whose families have been evacuated, October 1940

Interviews with men, Kilburn

5/2/P: Panel on local situation, October 1940

Typed copies of replies from the volunteer Observers to M-O Directive on evacuation; some handwritten reports sent in by the Panel also included

5/2/Q: Evacuation 1940-41

Diary extract on Christmas party for evacuees, December 1941

Extracts from diaries on evacuation accommodation, June 1940

Samples of forms produced by Barnstable for the Government Evacuation Scheme, February 1941

Correspondence and research outline relating to the Inter-University Jewish Federation study of Jewish Evacuation, June 1940

5/2/R: Progress of Government Evacuation Scheme, January 1941

Account of conversation between Ministry of Health and authorities in Crediton about evacuation (from the Telephone Censorship Dept.)

Handwritten report on evacuation north of London : Hatfield, Welwyn, Stevenage, Baldock, Biggleswade, Sandy, Huntingdon, Bedford

Reports from south of London : Brighton, Hassocks, Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath, Redhill, Handcross, Purley

5/2/S: Children 1942-44

Account of ten year-old boy evacuated twice

Assorted printed advertising material (books, clothes, toys)

Observations of children or about children, London 1942-43

Report on non-evacuated children, Kilburn, 1944

Observations of children returning home, Paddington Station, 1944

Extracts from the letters of a nine year-old boy evacuated to USA

"Doodlebug evacuees" in Birmingham. July 1944

Hndwritten personal letter about evacuated children, Maidstone, 1944

5/2/T: Dog Evacuation Scheme, Bolton, August 1940

Notes and correspondence

5/2/U: War Begins At Home 1940

Ts chapter on evacuation, "War in the home". Includes notes by TH

Correspondence with the Editor of Town and Country Planning 1939. Article on "Human effects of Evacuation" by TH

Ts report to the meeting of the Housing Centre, 24.10.39 concerning research on effects of evacuation (TH)

Handwritten notes on billeting, 8.10.40 (JF)

Handwritten notes for a review of Cambridge Evacuation Survey, 8.10.41

Miscellaneous notes

Mass-Observation Studies 1937-55

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