THE war hit southern England very hard. The ports on the South Coast, from Plymouth on the west to Ramsgate on the east, shared the blows. Their experience was also usually more varied, on occasion more intense and generally more prolonged and with less respite than that of any other part of the area, London not excluded. Most of them have been, at different times, both reception and evacuation areas, and their populations have fluctuated wildly. In some cases, particularly in the more closely threatened east, the record low population figures of 1940–41 were unprecedented. Ramsgate's population fell from 35,000 to 12,000, Dover's from 40,000 to 15,000 and Folkestone's (generally speaking a more readily mobile population) from 46,000 to 12,000.
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