Council archives in the Lothians hold records about how the Second World War affected local people on the ‘Home Front’. Council minutes and school letter and log books describe the planning, preparation and impact of war on a local level. From the evacuation of children from Edinburgh to the organisation of casualty parties in West Lothian, Council archive records describe how the events of the Second World War affected communities throughout the Lothians.
The Second World War brought chaos and destruction to people across the U.K. The sacrifices and impact of war were felt by those at home and abroad. While military forces battled on various fronts, civilians faced aerial bombing raids and rationing. Despite the chaos brought by war, careful planning on the part of national and local government tried to limit damage and the loss of life and children were a special concern.
In the summer of 1939, evacuation schemes were organised to move children from areas under threat of bombing raids. Key areas of evacuation were Edinburgh, Rosyth, Glasgow, Clydebank, Dundee, Inverkeithing, Queensferry, Greenock, Port Glasgow and Dumbarton. The children evacuated from these areas were billeted with families in various parts of Scotland outside of port areas and city centres.
Edinburgh City Archives hold a South Bridge School Log book dating from 1935 to 1948 which describes how the local school co-ordinated the evacuation of 647 local children to Fife in the summer of 1939. The record gives some idea of the sheer effort of organising, transporting and then re-housing such a large number of children very quickly. To read more about the evacuation of Edinburgh school children, view the gallery below.