Thomas Graham’s Diary – 8th & 9th September 1939

When Neville Chamberlain declared war with Germany on 3rd September 1939, Britain had been preparing for the largest migration of people the county had ever seen. In Scotland, it was estimated that 175,000 people were evacuated in the first month. This included 62,000 unaccompanied children and 99,000 children and their mothers (Titmuss, R.M, Problems of Social Policy, p. 592). The main threat to the country was German bombers.

Unsurprisingly the government had identified that Germany would target the military and industrial centers of the county. This meant that rural areas became crucial in housing millions of evacuees throughout Britain.

For Thomas Graham, the scheme was not going to plan in his area. He states that there were reports of children turning up in the middle of the night and that several evacuees were arriving drunk to houses.

Furthermore, Thomas has heard reports that some families evacuated to the countryside were heading home because they found the countryside ‘so dull’. It seems like the pressures of war are beginning to take their toll on those on the home front.