Goodnight Mr. Tom – WWII and some…

Michelle Magorian’s well known book Goodnight Mr Tom is set in Britain during WWII. Young Willie is evacuated from London to the countryside where he ends up with a grumpy old man, Mr. Tom. Something which will change both their lives.

Many people were evacuated during the war, most of them children. At BBC history you can read that ”Throughout World War Two, in a massively complex and dramatic operation, approximately three million people were evacuated from towns and cities that were in danger of being bombed by enemy aircraft. ”

The Civilian Evacuation Scheme in Britain, 1940 HU55936

Photo: The Civilian Evacuation Scheme in Britain, 1940, This is photograph HU 55936 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A group of children arrive at Brent station near Kingsbridge, Devon, after being evacuated from Bristol in 1940. D2592

Photo: By Ministry of Information Photo Division Photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Another well known book about evacuated children is C.S Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which has also been filmed. At the beginning of this story four children are evacuated from London out into the country.

These are stories. Good stories, good books which have been filmed and are well known all over the world. But the historical backdrop to these stories is WWII. If you want to learn more – BBC history is a good place to start. Here you can read about Germany bombs London, explore the Battle of Britain and check how much you know with the SOE Quiz: Destination D-Day or try out the The Battle of the Atlantic Game.


This post is a collection of digital material which can be used for learning and teaching.

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