This film looks at historical sources relating to the experiences of children evacuated during World War 2. Dr. Sam Caslin from Liverpool University looks at how photos taken by leading Welsh photographer Geoff Charles, can help tell us more about the lives of the children concerned. Caslin shows how decisions about what to photograph, and which prints were selected tells us something about attitudes to the war and evacuation. The film also looks at how the local newspaper used the photographs in articles portraying the evacuees’ experiences in a positive light. She asks if this is evidence of government propaganda pressurising the media to present the evacuation in a positive light.
This shows how historians make use of biased sources. Pupils tend to reject propaganda and similar source material on the grounds of bias, not realising how useful such material can be. Pupils could be asked to write a short response to the following task: ‘All sources are useful to the historian’. Explain why.