Evacuating Wartime Children In Glasgow

I decided to do some background research into the evacuation which occurred in Glasgow during World War II, before gathering information from my Gran about her experience. In our History class at school we often went into a lot of detail about World War I but rarely were we given any insight in to World War II. So my knowledge is limited.

On the 3rd September 1939 at 11.15am, Prime Minister  Neville Chamberlain announces on UK Radio that “This country is at war with Germany”:

In particular, I researched The Clydebank Blitz:

  • On the nights of 13th and 14th March 1941, German Bombers attacked the munitions factories and shipyards of the Clydeside.
  • There were 260 bombers on the first night- waves of high explosive bombs, incendiary bombs and land-mines were dropped over a nine-hour period. Streets were devastated, fires rages, and people were trapped in collapsed buildings.
  • On 14th March, with rescue work continuing, 200 bombers returned. Their bombing raid lasted over seven and a half hours.
  • Over the two days 528 civilians were killed, over 617 seriously injured and several housing schemes were completely wiped out
  • 48,000 civilians lost their homes, many of them shipyard workers and their families.


Evacuation of children during World War II:

  • The first evacuation of children took place in the first few weeks of World War II in 1939 because of the fears of immediate Luftwaffe air raids. 120, 000 were taken out of Glasgow and placed with families and pensioners with spare rooms in Perthshire, Kintyre and Rothesay. When the air raids didn’t materialise , most of them returned home
  • The second evacuation took place weeks after the Clydebank Blitz in April 1941, when tragically a number of children who had returned home from the first evacuation were killed.


Glasgow Children Evacuation: Photo taken from the Herald Scotland Picture Archives (April 1941)


Smith, K. (2016). (Online). Herald Picture Archive: Leaving home to escape the bombers. The Herald Scotland. Available at: http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/14760001.display/

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