The plight of students self-isolating in university halls was entirely foreseeable. Why did the government abandon them?
In September 1939, almost 1.5 million people – including 800,000 schoolchildren – were evacuated from London and other metropolitan areas of Britain over the course of just three days. A year in the planning, the goal of Operation Pied Piper was to remove children from areas at high risk of aerial bombing during the second world war, and send them to live with hosts in rural communities. Decades later, we know that while mass evacuation kept children physically safe from the bombing, many suffered long-term emotional trauma as a result of the separation from their parents and the abuse some faced in their temporary homes.