TREKKING:  United Kingdom. 1940-1941.  Increasingly in late 1940, extending into 1941, individuals and families in heavily bombed areas such as Southampton started to self-evacuate from their communities in search of safer locales, a phenomenon known as trekking.  Contemporary photographs show families waiting by the side of the road in the hopes that motorists would provide transportation or trekkers walking with the father pushing a bicycle loaded with possessions.  Official policy encouraged families to remain in habitable dwellings; trekking represented a collapse of morale and a lack of confidence in government instructions to stay put.  The government finally recognized trekking in May 1941 at a point when evacuation needs had largely been met.

Sources: Ramsey, Winston G., editor, The Blitz: Then and Now, Volume 2, London, United Kingdom, Battle of Britain Prints International, 1988.

Entry 03103 - posted 9 September 2003