The British Home Front

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  • 2017-02-28

The British Home Front

The British Home Front during WW1

1914- War declared on Germany

DORA (Defence of the Realm Act)- gave government power to take any actions
necessary to win the war, like taking over land, industry, ordering workers to stay in
vital jobs and controlling the media.

Suffragettes abandon their campaign and get involved in war effort.
Women??™s Organisations set up (e.g. Police Volunteers, Hospital Corps)

Men rushed to join up- thought war would be over by Christmas.
Lord Kitchner in charge of recruitment. Half a million men enlisted at first.

First bombing of British civilians in Scarborough.

1915- First air raids by German Zeppelins.

Propaganda Campaign needed to keep up enthusiasm. Anti Germans feelings
encouraged, and the idea of a ???Just War??™ emphasised.

Coalition government formed in Britain to handle all aspects of war
-Better organisation of British life helped war.

Munitions crisis- troops faced shell shortages. Lloyd George becomes minister
of munitions to reorganise supply.

Women??™s ???Right to Serve??™ March organised to recruit women in factories.
Upper Class Women felt they had a purpose once they had taken on what was
previously man??™s work and gained independence. ???Canaries??™ worked in munitions-
their skin was turned yellow, many undertook dangerous work.

Trade Unions refuse to employ women- government agree that women would be paid
the same as men and would work until male labour would be available again.

1916- The Military Service Acts- Conscription brought in for men aged 18- 41.
Conscientious Objectors refused to fight. Some accepted other war work but those
who refused to cooperate were imprisoned.

Battle of the Somme (more soldiers killed than ever before)
-Film brought out depicting the heroic soldiers.

Public begin to criticise the way the war was being organised.

Lloyd George becomes Prime Minister in place of Herbert Asquith. Sets up
Ministry of Labour to deal with work and Ministry of Food to deal with food supply.

1917- German submarine attacks sink British ships carrying food supplies. Food shortages.

DORA takes over land to grow food, and sets up Land Army so women can work in
agriculture.

Rationing introduced (sugar, meat, tea and butter)

Representation of the People Act- women over 30 who were householders or married
to householders could now vote. But the young, unmarried women who had been
involved in war work still could not vote until 10 years later. It was felt they might have
extreme ideas.

1919- British wanted harsh revenge on Germany, others did not want future German resent.

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