With the outbreak of World War II, the demand for tin grew.
As more men were conscripted, shortages of skilled miners hit production. In 1941, the Government introduced the Essential Work Order to stop men leaving the mining industry. In 1943, Ernest Bevin, the Minister of Labour and National Service, introduced the compulsory recruitment of labour into mines. These men became known as Bevin Boys. One in ten men had to work in the mines instead of the armed forces. This was resented by the miners who wanted to join the war effort. Bevin boys had a hard time in the mines. After the war, many felt that their contribution was forgotten.
By the end of 1943 over seventy men had been ‘directed’ into work at Geevor as an alternative to military service. Ivan Moss recalled his time as a Bevin Boy at Geevor: he chose Geevor rather than the coalmines of the north or Wales, where many of them went, because he had visited Cornwall on holiday.