History All Levels (1)

Home front. 

  • Created by: Maddy
  • Created on: 11-06-11 15:57

Womens Role in Recruitment

  • Some women were allowed to construct planes and some could fly them to where needed. 
  • Some women were allowed to construct planes, some could fly them to where they were needed.
  • Women joind 'active service league'

Job Opportunities

  • Previously jobs for woman were things such as dress making, milliny and jewlery making. But were expected to stop these jobs to help the Government. 
  • The armed forces also employed women but the jobs were mainny of a clerical and domestic nature. 
  • The land army. Men needed strong healthy women to farm as it was manually done. 
  • Women were in great demand for the 'caring' side of employment. They became nurses in the 'First Aid Nursing Yeomary & Voluntry Aid Detachments.' 
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Mens Attitudes

  • Some men still thought as women as inferior. Some also didnt want to go and fight and so did not want more women to come and take up jobs as they would no excuse not to go to war. Men thought the trade union should protect their rights. 
  • The shell shortage crisis in 1915 meant women were needed in the factories in order to become munitions workers. But men came back, women had to leave them jopbs. This was called the 'pre war practises act'. The womens jobs were gvien back to to them men the men returnded, this was the 'Treasury Agreements.' 
  • Many women were paid good wages, especially in the munitions factories, but in most cases they were paid lower rates then men. Improved wages did permit greater independence for some women. 
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After the War

  • Women were expected to give way to men returning from the forces and return to pre war 'women's work'
  • The assumption that a women's place is in the home returned. 
  • The percentage of women at work returned to pre war levels.
  • More women then before worked in offices
  • Shorter skirts and hair became fashionable. 
  • Women went out with men without a chaperone. 
  • Women smoked and wore more make-up in public for the firs time. 
  • In 1919, being female or married was no longer allowed disqualify from someone holding a job in professions or civil service. 
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Effects on Civilians - PROPAGANDA

  • At the beginning of the war, half a million stepped up to join.


  • people thought war would have ended by Christmas. 
  • Propaganda played on peoples emotions by saying 'God Save The King' and people felt that if they did not join others would think of them as cowards. 
  • People were religious, they believed God would be on their side. 

Towards the end of 1915:

  • Production of bullets etc. were very low which meant it was harder to fight. 
  • Men who were injured came back from the war and told their bad stories to others which then put the men off going to war. 
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Men Who Wouldnt Join The Army

Not everyone welcomed conscription, however. Fifty MPs, including leading Liberals, voted against it in Parliament.

  • 1916 - The Military Service Act stated that all men between the ages of 18-41 had to join the army. Men in these age groups who wouldn't go to war were called the CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS.
  • Some people would not join because of Religions.
  • People who were disabled or mentally ill would not join the army. 
  • Pasaphists just believed that fighting was wrong. 
  • Around 16,000 exemption certificates were given. 
  • Large numbers who refused to fight, had to do other war jobs, eg. make shells etc.
  • 'Conchies' had to stand before the TRIBUNAL and prove they had a genuine reason for objecting to war and not just being cowards. 
  • Some were sent to prison, where they were often treated badly. 
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Propagandas Influence On World War One

CENSORSHIP - preventing certain peices of information from getting out to people who should know. (A secret)

PROPAGANDA - a political message to persuade people into a particular mind set. 

Why Were They Essential?

  • Government had to present a positive image about the war. 
  • Government used these two methods to prevent people finding out about the thousands of killed soldiers, so they had to use every way to persuade people and to keep all negative factors a secret.
  • Propaganda played with peoples mind to make them believe joining the army was the right thing to do. 
  • Because mobiles and the internet was not around, people were kept in the dark to believe everything they read. 
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Britain had a relatively small army to begin with. It needed a large one very quickly. The government began a massive recruitment drive, with posters, leaflets, recruitment offices in every town and stirring speeches by government ministers. 

There was already a strong anti-Germans feeling in the country, The press strengthened it further with regular stories on German atrocities - babies butchered in Belgium, nurses murdered and, most famously of all, the German factory where they supposedly made soap out of boiled up corpse. 

The recruitment campaign was highly successful. Half a million signed up in the first month. By 1916 over two million had been enlisted

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In 1916, the government decided to introduce conscription for the first time. All men aged between 18 and 40 had to register for active service. They could be called up at any time to fight.

The government did this for various reasons:

  • the numbers of volunteers was falling. 1915 was worse then 1914.
  • The demand of troops was increasing, the dead and wounded needed replacing. 
  • The voluntary system was ruining Britains agriculture and industry. For example, so many miners joined up that there were reports of their having to be send back to provide essential supplies of coal.
  • The voluntary system was also seen as unfair. Not all parts of society took an equal share of the burden. There was a feeling that some groups avoided war al together. Some of the fittest and most able men were not volunteering at all. 
  • This ended up with conscription. 
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In 1914 the government passed the Defence of the Realm Act which came to be known as the DORA. It gave the government unprecedented and wide-ranging powers to control many aspects of peoples daily lives. It allowed it to seize any land or building it needed, and to take over any industries which were important to the war effort. It allowed the government to control what the public knew about the war through censorship. 

The government immediately took control of the coal industry so that the mines could be run to support the war effort rather than for the private profit of the owners. 

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Under DORA, Lloyd George introduced a range of measures to 'deliver the goods'. One problem was the shortage of skilled workers in key industries. Lloyd Goerge tried to force skilled workered to stay where the government needed them instead of going to where they could get the best pay. 

The trade unions protested. Many of the bosses of the firms supplying the government were making huge profits out of the war, so the unions wondered why workers could not do so as well. 

One other key element of Lloyd George's programme was to bring women into the workforce. Trade unions again resisted this. In 1915, 100,00 women registered for work in industry, yet to start with only 5000 were given jobs. The trade unions were worried about the effect of women workers on their members wages. They argued that women worked for lower pay then men, so they diluted men's wages. They refused to co-operate until the government gave a clear promise that women would be paid the same as men and would not be kept on when the men came back. Lloyd George gave them this undertaking. At the same time he also opened the governments own munitions factories, which employed a large number of women. By the end of 1915 the situation had improved. 

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DORA : Feeding The Country

Food Production In Britain

By 1913, Britain were dependant on foreign food. During the war a clever enemy with sea power would try and starve Britain to death as it is an island. Britain sea power was so strong that it still got food imported from the USA. In the middle of 1916, a shortage encountered. In 1917, the situation got serious as German U-boats were sinking 1 in 4 British ships. By April 1917, only rich people could afford the food and bought more then they needed which meant the poor couldn't afford simple food like bread Shops had to close early as they had run out of food to sell. In order to sort the situation, Lloyd George tackled it in two ways: 


  • Set up a network of local communities whose job was to persuade farmers to turn their pasture land into arable land. 'Women's Land Army'
  • By 1918, an additional 3 million acres of arable land had been cultivated. 
  • As supplies were low, prices were raised. 
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DORA : Feeding The Country


  • Price of break fell, so even the poorest families could by what they needed. This was known as the 'nine penny loaf'. Government made posters saying to eat less break. But it was never rationed and kept its price down.
  • Local food communities organised voluntary rationing
  • Recipes were made for people to use less flour. 


  • Introduced in early 1918, this method was introduced, rations of sugar, butter, meat and beer. 
  • Every person had a book of coupons which had to be handed to the shopkeeper when rationed food was bought. 
  • There were stiff penalties facing anyone who broke rationing rules.
  • Rationing was widely welcomed as a fairer system of sharing out the available food. By the end of the war, the diet and health of many poorer people had actually improved in comparison to pre war days. 
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