Asked in World War 2
World War 2

How did evacuation affect family life in World War 2?

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10/31/2011

many children didn't like it or in some cases didn't want to come home many families were killed so the children had nowhere to go and often with nowhere to go they wouldFamily life was affected primarily by the absence of many husbands and fathers, and secondarily by the employment outside the home of many women, often in traditionally male occupations.

A lot of women went to work in defense plants and had to leave their children in the care of others. Often this was a grandparent or other family member, or sometimes the oldest child. There were no daycare centers as we know them, and the arrangements could sometimes be slipshod at best, but usually worked well if the caregivers were relatives or close family friends.

Of course, there was the constant dread of receiving a telegram announcing the injury, missing status or capture, or death of a husband, son, or father--I suspect that, of the three, the second would be the worst to deal with simply because it was so vague. If a soldier was a POW, the family at home would be in a constant state of wondering if he was being mistreated, sick or wounded and not receiving medical care, and if missing it was even worse--you can see how this would cause great stress. In the other two cases things were much clearer--an injury could easily bring him home and death--well, at least that was something concrete.

Too, there were stressors when the soldier came home, often arising from the newly discovered independence of working wives (remember, sex roles were much more rigid in those days); a man expected his wife to be a stay-at-home one who was totally dependent on him to provide for her and the family.

This is merely skimming the surface--I'd suggest you try to talk to people who lived through World War II. Their memories are of more worth than gold.

Source(s):

grew up hearing my mother's and grandmother's stories of life during World War II