Christmas Countdown: Evacuees Christmas, 1939

The records of Stirling County Council include some details of the children evacuated to rural Stirlingshire in the Second World War. Children evacuated from areas that were considered to be under a high risk of bombardment, such as Glasgow with its factories and shipyards, were sent to towns in Stirlingshire from the September of 1939 onwards. The authorities were keen that children kept away from their families for safety did not return home for Christmas and issued circulars and letters to the local authorities across Scotland to warn about this.

The log book for Strathblane Primary School shows the arrival of evacuees at the School in September 1939.

The government circular and letter includes the advice that local schools should endeavour to provide entertainments and treats for the children and at Strathblane, this was undertaken by the provision of a party at Edmonstone Hall.

It would appear that some parents did ignore the instructions not to bring their Children home for the festive season as the numbers of evacuees at the school have gone down from 105 in September to 54 by the time of the party. This was the period of the ‘phony war’ when there was little bombing and many people chose to take their children back feeling that the threat was not as bad as had previously been thought. Of course the worst of the raids were yet to come and Glasgow was badly damaged by aerial bombardment later in the war.