Wartime lifestyles


Government information for parents of evacuees and about gas masks


The Government and London City Council issued the guidance below for the parents of children who were going to be evacuated.


Government and LCC Evacuation Scheme

In the event of evacuation, parents are asked to note the following suggestions:

Girl - One vest or combinations, one pair knickers, one bodice, one petticoat, two pairs stockings, handkerchiefs, slip and blouse, cardigan;

Boy - One vest, one shirt with a collar, one pair pants, one pullover or jersey, one pair knickers, handkerchiefs, two pairs socks or stockings.

Additional for all - Night attire, comb, plimsolls, towel, soap, facecloth/ toothbrush, boots or shoes. Blankets need not be taken.

Food - Sufficient for the day of evacuation such as sandwiches (egg or cheese), packets of nuts and seedless raisins, dry biscuits (with little packets of cheese), barley sugar (rather than chocolate), apple, orange.  Liquids have been deliberately omitted -bottles should not be carried by children.

The most satisfactory luggage carrier is a rucksack. All should have gas masks.


The government issued the following information about the importance of gas masks and how to take care of them.





It is possible that in war your life might depend on your gas mask and the condition in which it is kept.

The official gas mask or respirator consists of a metal container filled with material which absorbs the gas, and a rubber face piece with a non-inflammable transparent window. Some people seem to think that this mask does not look as if it would offer very good protection. Actually it has been most carefully designed and fully tested, and will give you adequate protection against breathing any of the known war gases. But remember it will not protect you from the ordinary gas that you burn in a gas cooker or gas fire.




Your mask should be kept carefully. Never hang it up by the straps  which fasten on or over the head.  This will pull the rubber face piece out of shape so that it no longer fits you properly.  It should be kept in the special box provided, where this has been issued, but any box  which is air tight, or nearly so, will do.


When placed in the box the metal container should lie flat with the rubber face-piece uppermost, the transparent window lying evenly on top at full length.  Great care should be taken not to bend or fold the window, or to let it get scratched, cracked or dented.


Keep the box in a cool place away from strong light.  Exposure to heat or prolonged exposure to strong light will spoil the material of the mask and it may cease to give complete protection.  It should never be held close to a fire or hot water pipes, or left lying out in the sun.




It is important to know how to put on your mask quickly and properly.  You might need to do this in a hurry.  To put it on hold the mask by each of the side straps with the thumbs underneath and the inside of the window facing you.  Then lift the mask to your face, push your chin forwards into it and draw the straps over the top of your head as far as they will go.  See that the straps are properly adjusted and leave them so.

To remove the mask, insert the thumb under the buckle at the back of your head and then pull it forward over the top of your head so that the mask is lowered downwards from the face.