Child's "World War II evacuee" costume

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58 Responses to “Child's "World War II evacuee" costume”

  1. bumblebeeeeeee says:

    role play is a great learning tool.

  2. You’ve got it wrong. They study WWII in year 3. They do an assembly in which they all dress as WWII evacuees. The parents are scrabbling around at the last minute trying to find something suitable. That’s also why there are Greek costumes, Roman costumes and Victorian costumes. It’s not about dress-up. It’s about ‘education’.

    • saidas says:

      Of course and what better way for them to learn about the holocaust than to wear striped pajamas and a number stenciled on their forearms!

      • PhasmaFelis says:

        The American internet has “discovered” this thing about once a year for as long as it’s been on Amazon, and every time there’s a bunch of folks who don’t realize that “evacuee” is not pronounced “Holocaust victim”.

        Remember at the beginning of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, when the Pevensie kids were shipped off to the countryside to escape the Blitz? That’s what this costume is. Concentration camp prisoners were not issued little shoulder bags and snappy patent-leather shoes.

    • allium says:

      There’s a sort-of-parallel in California, where fourth graders have to build a model of one of the missions built by the Franciscan Order up and down the coast in the late 18th/early 19th centuries. Any arts & crafts store worth its salt will have a section full of little plastic adobe walls, donkeys, friars, Indian converts, etc.

      I missed having to do that (although I did have to build a model of Angel Island in 7th grade for my distinctly above-average history teacher).

  3. Looks like the Amazon reviews tend towards school plays and class projects. Cory, I don’t think anyone’s treating this costume like anything fun.

  4. paul_leader says:

    At least it’s not by Disney, then it would be “Evacuaction Princess”

  5. Rob says:

    Are you my mummy?

  6. Shouldn’t she have a cardboard box for luggage?  And that looks more like a purse than a gas mask bag.

  7. Ben Cumming says:

    Too soon?

  8. fuzzyfuzzyfungus says:

    Eh, once Hasbro releases an Easy Bake Crematorium this will all seem so much more innocuous by comparison.

  9. Jack Daniel says:

    Kids: If this is the costume your parents pick out for you, it’s going to be a long Halloween. 

  10. Sekino says:

    What, no sexy fish-netted version yet?

  11. SomeGuyNamedMark says:

    Tragedy + time = comedy

  12. nixiebunny says:

    The sizing is by age. Implied is that the body type is always “emaciated”.

  13. TrollyMcTrollington says:

    Isn’t that coat supposed to be red?

  14. MTDutch101 says:

    Seems as though all the reviews have to do with education or school events, which would lead me to believe that these are for the UK market. Doesn’t seem terribly strange to me that they’d try to educate their children about a period which is without question pivotal in their history, and to maybe try to give them a bit of a feeling for the sacrifices of the British populace. Strikes me as a weird and culturally self-absorbed post for Boing Boing.

    • Nash Rambler says:

      “Strikes me as a weird and culturally self-absorbed post for Boing Boing.”  Thou dost dare treat the posted material with forethought and respect?!?!  Smite this person, oh internet gods, smite them for their lack of snark and pettiness!

    • Sekino says:

      Fair enough if it has an educational purpose. I think it’s the fashion ‘tude pose that makes it a bit jarring.

  15. Wreckrob8 says:

    Is she being evacuated to France?

  16. Nash Rambler says:

    I think this is kind of cool, but the pose that kid is striking seems more “back to school” than “stark terror.”

  17. arboreal says:

    Both of my parents were evacuated from Coventry during the war and speak fondly of their time as evacuees. My father particularly enjoyed being in the countryside, something he had had very little experience of living in the centre of an industrial city. He kept in touch with the family he was billeted with until they passed away.

    • Symbiote says:

      My grandma (eldest), great aunt and great uncle (youngest) didn’t have such a great time.

      They somehow got separated on the train, and were all placed with different families.  They were in the same small town, but didn’t know — it took almost a year for my grandma to happen to spot her sister while shopping.

      Unfortunately, my grandma was with an upper class family, and my great aunt with a working class family, so the adults weren’t comfortable visiting/seeing each other.

      (I suspect there’s a lot more to the story, but my grandma’s never been one for talking.)

      • Wreckrob8 says:

        Most evacuees were working class, many of whom would not have travelled far from home for more than a few days. My father and his brother and sister were all separated. He was sent from London to somewhere near Newcastle. He never spoke about it. I do not even know if his brother and sister were in the same town. My middle class mother’s family had their dining room converted to a bomb shelter which they were satisfied provided adequate protection during the Blitz. No slumming it in Anderson shelters or down the tube and no disrupted education. Building materials were rationed and were not easily available to build even temporary accommodation for those who had been bombed out.
        The Blitz spirit!

  18. peregrinus says:

    The routing tag makes it.  Imagine being a kid with one – where you gonna end up??  Siblings were often split, as volunteers could only house / feed a certain number of kids, etc.  Weirdly, many kids were sent to the south coast, including my father, where the German fighters would strafe random public places – “Baidekker runs”.

    The costume would really work if it was properly itchy.

    • Wreckrob8 says:

      If I remember right kids were even put on the wrong train and would end up in Northumberland instead of Cornwall with no-one having any idea where they came from.

  19. Ian Simmons says:

    Go to the link for the boy version above, then hover over the far right sizing option. The image is, erm, interesting.

  20. TheOven says:

    The new version comes with temporary tattoo numbers.

  21. tw1515tw says:

    The American version will come out in about three years time (like in world wars 1 and 2) ;)

  22. You all have the wrong attitude; this is the costume from the beginning of “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.”  I wonder if there’s a Japanese version; my mother-in-law was evacuated to the country from Yokohama.

  23. alfanovember says:

    No visible branding?  Harmonious use of color?  Cotton worn close to the skin and wool on the outside?  Shoes suitable for walking further than the parking lot?  That’s not a costume, that’s how I want my child to dress every day.

  24. sqyntz says:

     war romanticized

  25. We read “Goodnight Mister Tom” and learnt about evacuees at school (UK). I don’t remember being at all traumatised by discussing and acting out leaving parents during the blitz. It was an opportunity to think about different lifestyles (city kids having to adapt to life on the farm), growing independence and responsibility, and being thankful that our modern day kids lives were so much easier. 

    The worst thing about this costume is that it’s so damn unnecessary. Tights, dress, coat, gas mask bag from a cereal box and luggage tag the same. Could so easily be made rather than purchased! 

  26. gfish says:

    I’m surprised I never did this as a kid in the US in the 80s. The literature I had access to at the time made it very clear that if you wanted amazing adventures, you had to either go to boarding school or get evacuated during the Blitz. The message was clear — get away from your parents for life to start.

    • Jonathan Badger says:

      “Empire of the Sun” implied kids in the International Settlement of Shanghai had it best. As a bonus, you get to grow up to be a famous SF writer.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Having your parents drown in the Brandywine was also a good launch platform for a life of adventure.

  27. Gemma says:

    Several commenters seems to be making holocaust references (e.g. red coat, crematorium) which doesn’t apply to evacuees. They were sent away in an attempt to keep them safe from the bombs falling on British cities.

    I was taught that the poor physical condition of some of the inner-city kids on their arrival in the countryside shocked the rural populace and helped drive social/welfare/housing reforms after the war.

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