Evacuee at Tredethy House, Wadebridge
Evacuee at Tredethy House, Wadebridge

"Finding A Safe Place to Go"

The evacuation of British cities during the Second World War is now considered to be the largest mass movement of people to have taken place in Britain's history. 3.5 million people, many of them children, were separated from their homes and families for periods of up to two years. This website explores the impact of evacuation in Cornwall through archive sources and video recordings of the evacuee experience. The sources tell many stories, as each evacuee's experience was different. We hope that you enjoy learning more about those experiences.

We also hope that the material will provide a vital and valuable resource for schools and the wider community in Cornwall, today and for future generations.


“The Cornish Audio Visual Archive is very happy to be involved in this exciting programme of activities which will make an important contribution to our understanding of a neglected aspect of Cornwall’s past and present”

Dr Garry Tregidga, Director of CAVA and Deputy Director of the Institute of Cornish Studies at the University of Exeter.

Using the website

The website includes a wealth of primary source material about evacuation in Cornwall.

You will find:

  • Video and audio clips of the experiences of former evacuees
  • Film clips from the Imperial War Museum and Cornwall based film archive, Greenpark Productions
  • Newspaper accounts and photographs from the Cornish Studies Library
  • Letters, excerpts from school log books, council minutes and other documents from Cornwall Record Office
  • Animations created by young people from Redruth Youth Project

The website and the resources can be explored by theme, such as 'school life' and 'health', or by different types of media, for instance, videos or photographs.

Note on copyright: These resources are all subject to copyright, and have been kindly made available by the copyright owners for private study or educational use only. The resources must not be made available to a third party or be published in any format including printed or digitial media, without the copyright holder's prior permission.