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Home Front World War One


Home Front World War One Recruitment At the beginning of the war the British Army was a small army unlike the German, French and Russian Army. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Home Front World War One

Home Front World War One
  • At the beginning of the war the British Army was
    a small army unlike the German, French and
    Russian Army.
  • At first the Age was limited to 19 30 year olds
    but later the age was lifted to 35.
  • Recruits were encouraged to sign up with their
    pals (friends form their town and workplace)
  • By the middle of September 1914 over 500,000 men
    had volunteered their services.

  • Women played an important role in persuading men
    to join the army. In August 1914,
  • Admiral Charles Fitzgerald founded the Order of
    the White Feather. This organization encouraged
    women to give out white feathers to young men who
    had not joined the army.

  • The British Army began publishing posters urging
    men to become soldiers. Some of these posters
    were aimed at women.
  • One poster said "Is your Best Boy wearing
    khaki? If not, don't you think he should be?"
    Another poster read "If you cannot persuade him
    to answer his country's call and protect you now,
    discharge him as unfit."

Defense of the Realm Act (DORA)
  • On 8th August 1914, the House of Commons passed
    the Defense of the Realm Act (DORA) without
  • The legislation gave the government executive
    powers to suppress published criticism, imprison
    without trial and to commandeer economic
    resources for the war effort.

  • During the war publishing information that was
    calculated to be indirectly or directly of use to
    the enemy became an offence and accordingly
    punishable in a court of law.
  • This included any description of war and any news
    that was likely to cause any conflict between the
    public and military authorities.
  • Letters written by members of the armed forces to
    their friends and families were also read and
    censored by the military authorities.

Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol Consumption
  • The government initially was more concerned about
    the amount of consumption of alcohol, not by the
    men, but by the women munitions workers.

  • In October 1915 the British government announced
    several measures they believed would reduce
    alcohol consumption.
  • A No Treating Order laid down that people could
    not buy alcoholic drinks for other people.
  • Public House opening times were also reduced to
    12.00 noon to 2.30 pm and 6.30 to 9.30 pm. Before
    the law was changed, public houses could open
    from 5 am in the morning to 12.30 pm at night.

Food Rationing
  • Soon after the outbreak of the First World War
    the German Navy attempted to halt the flow of
    imports to Britain by introducing unrestricted
    submarine warfare.
  • By the end of 1916, U-German boats were on
    average destroying about 300,000 tons of shipping
    a month.

  • In February 1917, the German Navy sank 230 ships
    bringing food and other supplies to Britain.
  • The following month a record 507,001 tons of
    shipping was lost as a result of the U-boat
  • However, Britain was successful at increasing
    food production and the wheat harvest of 1917 was
    the best in our history.

  • Potatoes were often in short-supply and sugar was
    often difficult to get. Whereas the weekly
    consumption of sugar was 1.49 lb in 1914, it fell
    to 0.93 lb in 1918.
  • The consumption of butchers' meat also dropped
    from an average of 2.36 to 1.53 lb a week during
    this period.
  • At the end of 1917 people began to fear that the
    country was running out of food.

  • Panic buying led to shortages and so in January
    1918, the Ministry of Food decided to introduce
    rationing. Sugar was the first to be rationed and
    this was later followed by butchers' meat.
  • The idea of rationing food was to guarantee
    supplies, not to reduce consumption.
  • This was successful and official figures show
    that the intake of calories almost kept up to the
    pre-war level.

One Person's Weekly Food Allowance
4oz (113g) lard or butter
12oz (340g) Sugar
4oz (113g) Bacon
2 eggs
6oz (170g) Meat
2oz (57g) Tea
Women's Role
  • World War One was to give women the opportunity
    to show a male-dominated society that women could
    do more than simply bring up children and tend a
  • In World War One, women played a vital role in
    keeping soldiers equipped with ammunition and in
    many senses they kept the nation moving through
    their help in manning the transport system.

  • With so many young men volunteering to join the
    army, and with so many casualties in Europe, a
    gap was created in employment and women were
    called on to fill these gaps.
  • World War One was to prove a turning point for
    women. At the start in August 1914, those in
    political power had been left angered by the
    activities of the Suffragettes and women had no
    political power whatsoever.

  • By the end of the war, in November 1918, women
    had proved that they were just as important to
    the war effort as men had been and in 1918 women
    were given some form of political representation.

  • Women found employment in transport (the rail
    lines and driving buses and trams), nursing,
    factories making ammunition, the Women's Royal
    Air Force where they worked on planes as
    mechanics, on farms in the Women's Land Army, in
    shipyards etc.
  • Before 1914, these jobs had been for men only
    (with the exception of nursing).

  • When the war began in September 1939 the
    government knew that large cities would be the
    target for German bombs and that casualties would
    be high.
  • Evacuation was introduced to move school
    children, teachers, mothers with children under
    the age of five and disabled people out of the
    cities to the countryside where there was little
    risk of bombing raids.

  • Evacuation was voluntary and the government
    expected more than 3 million people to take
    advantage of the scheme. However, by the end of
    September 1939 only 1.5 million people had been
    evacuated and most of those returned to their
    homes when there were no bombing raids. When the
    Battle of Britain and the Blitz began in 1940,
    evacuation was re-introduced.

  • The children to be evacuated assembled in the
    school playground. They all wore name tags and
    had to carry their gas mask as well as their
  • After saying goodbye to their parents they
    traveled by train or by coach to their
    destination where they met the people who were to
    house them.
  • Most of those evacuated had no idea what their
    life as an evacuee would be like nor when they
    would see their parents again.

Spanish Influenza
  • At the start 1919 soldiers on the western front
    were becoming sick. The soldiers complained of a
    sore throat, headaches and a loss of appetite
  • By the summer of 1918 it had spread to he German
  • The virus created serious problems for the German
    military leadership as they found it impossible
    to replace their sick and dying soldiers. The
    infection had already reached Germany and over
    400,000 civilians died of the disease in 1918.

  • It has been estimated that throughout the world
    over 70 million people died of the influenza
  • In India alone, more people died of influenza
    than were killed all over the world during the
    entire First World War.

  • http//www.historylearningsite.co.uk/women_in_worl
  • http//www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/Wwps.htm
  • http//www.historyonthenet.com/WW2/home_front.htm
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