Before the Last All Clear (Evans)

Discussion Questions
1. Discuss the differences between life in 1939 and how we live today. How are things easier for us today than they were back then?

2. How do you think you would feel or react to being told that your hometown was a major bombing target? Was evacuation voluntary or compulsory?

3. Imagine you are a parent – intellectually you know and understand you must allow your children to be evacuated, yet you have no idea of their destination, who they will be housed with or when they will be allowed to return. What do you think might go through your mind as you watch your children leave?

4. Describe Ray’s reaction to the selection process he goes through at the “evacuee Distribution Center” on arrival in Wales

5. Discuss the relationship between Ray and his various ‘foster parents’ at the different billets.

6. How do you think children in that time differ from children today? They certainly seem more naïve, but then so do the adults. Are we better off now or has society in general lost more than it’s gained?

7. Describe how Ray is made to feel when he has to ask for another billet, food or clothing.

8. What would you have the most trouble or difficulty with in Ray’s situation - living with strangers, going hungry or the separation from family and friends?

9. Was Ray’s a typical evacuation experience or more likely the exception? How many children were evacuated under Operation Pied Piper? Where did they get sent to?

10. How did Mrs. Williams and her family make Ray’s final years of evacuation a positive experience in the end?

11. How do you think Ray’s experiences as an evacuee shaped his personality in later life? Do you feel they helped or hurt him and if so, how?

12. What did you learn about wartime life in England and about yourself from reading this book

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