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The Government ordered plans to evacuate children (and others) from London and other cities on 1st September 1939. They estimated that 3,500,000 people would be evacuated in this period alone. In fact in the first four days of September 1939 1,500,000 people took up the offer to evacuate to safer areas away from the major towns. Many people preferred to stay at home and take their chances rather than saying goodbye to their loved ones. The Government always stressed that evacuation was purely voluntary and in no way would families be spilt if they didn't want to. In some ways it may have been easier if evacuation was mandatory as the decision to send off your children weighed heavy as most families had never been apart from each other and this must have been a heart wrenching decision to make. Read more