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The following two pages offer the basic facts you need to know about the Home Topic. Use your notes to make spider diagrams on each box. Add extra information to these basic facts so you have a deeper knowledge of the topic. A simple guide to the Home Front Why did Men join the Army? When War broke out on 4 August 1914 the British government did not have to worry about getting soldiers. In September 1914 500,000 men volunteered for the army. Why? The Great War •August 1914-1918. Fought in trenches – mainly in France and Belgium. •1 million British men died. Machine guns, gas and barbed wire were used in the bitter trench fighting. •Battle of the Somme 1916 – bloody battle – no one really won. 20,000 men killed on first day. •At home the people faced bombing from planes and zeppelins (airships). •Britain’s coast was blockaded by submarines – u-boats. This led to shortages. •The German navy bombarded Hartlepool and Scarborough. Key Events August 1914: War declared. Defence of the Realm Act (DORA) passed. Autumn 1914: Women become police officers. December 1914: Scarborough and Hartlepool shelled by German Navy. They wanted to join the war before it was all over They wanted excitement They wanted to defend the country They believed it was their duty They wanted escape boring lives and poorly paid jobs They wanted to be with friends They were bullied or intimidated by friends and relatives How did the Government Try to Encourage Soldiers to Volunteer? The Government launched a huge recruiting campaign to get men to join up. They used a number of techniques: mPosters showing brave men fighting in the army mPosters mocking men who did not join up mPosters encouraging women to make men join up mNews stories about how evil the Germans were so that men would want to fight them mSongs and poems mNewsreel stories were used to encourage men to join up January 1915: First Zeppelin raids. July 1916: Battle of the Somme. Lloyd George becomes Minister of Munitions after the army nearly runs out of weapons because of poor production in factories. These techniques did work for a while and recruitment went up in early 1915. However, by later 1915 it was obvious that the war was not going to be over quickly. Equally the horrors of the war were discouraging men from joining up. January 1916: Conscription introduced. The government was now faced with a major problem. If they could not get soldiers the war would be impossible to fight. The Government asked Parliament to introduce conscription – forced men to join the army. December 1916: Lloyd George becomes Prime Minister. February 1917: Women’s Land Army formed – to get women to work on farms. Conscription April 1917: Food shortages. November 1917: Voluntary rationing introduced. February 1918: Compulsory food rationing. November 1918: End of War. In January 1916 the British Government introduced Conscription for single men between 18 and 41. Three months later this was extended to married men. However, some people said that no one should be forced to fight and that it was very “un-British” to make people fight. Conscientious Objectors Food Production and Rationing Some men refused to fight because of their beliefs or religion. These men were known as conscientious objectors or “conchies”. These men were often given other jobs such as ambulance driving or working in essential industries. However some even refused to do this and they were put into prison. Conscientious Objectors had little sympathy in Britain. Britain found it hard to feed the British people. German U-Boats (submarines) were blockading Britain so food was in short supply. Also the soldiers were taking up lots of food. Again the government needed to take action. Defence of the Realm Act 1914 DORA was passed by Parliament in 1914 and it gave the government wideranging powers. The Government could: Control what was shown in newspaper and films. Take over land and factories and land for war production Control what was produced in factories Direct where people worked Control pub opening hours Plus many other powers… More land was put under cultivation and women were employed on the farms. Government campaigns encouraged people not to eat as much. However, food was in short supply and prices were very high. Early in 1918 the Government introduced compulsory rationing of meat, butter, sugar, cheese and beer. This was seen as fair by many people because it kept prices down so all people could have a fair share. People who broke the rationing rules were heavily punished. Production and Industry Enemy bombing In 1915 there was a major crisis in the war when the British army almost ran out of ammunition. There was an outcry in Parliament and Lloyd George was made Minister of Munitions. He took control of industrial production and reorganised it. He negotiated deals with factory owners and Trade Unions. He paid the workers well and brought women into the factories. The Government took control of most aspects of industrial production. The Germans did launch some attacks on Britain. In December 1914, German ships killed 119 people when they shelled Scarborough, Whitby and Hartlepool. After 1915 German Zeppelin Airships and Gotha bombers attacked British cities killing over 1000 people and injuring over 4000. This led many people to fear that the Germans would try and invade Britain. However, most people were safe from these attacks. Propaganda and Censorship Under DORA the government could control the information the people were allowed to see. This was a valuable way of keeping people behind the War. There were lots of ways of using these powers, Controlling the News: The government controlled what the newspapers told the people about the war. Bad stories were kept out of the news and good ones given more emphasis. In many cases the newspaper owners simply agreed not to print bad news. Controlling Film: Film was becoming very popular and again the government controlled what was shown at the cinema. They censored pictures from the war and made their own films that gave a one-sided view of what the war was like. The most famous of these films was the 1916 film “The Battle of the Somme”. Propaganda: The government produced large amounts of propaganda to win support for the war. Posters, postcards and cartoons were all used. These methods were also used to encourage men to join the army, recruit women into the factories, spread ideas about cutting food usage and raise money for the war. Children: Many toys and games for children were based around the war and helped encourage young people that the war was worth fighting and that the Germans were bad. There were also schoolbooks and songs for children to encourage their support for the war. Did the Propaganda work? People did generally support the war, but we do not know whether this was because of the propaganda. What we do know is that people did buy the newspapers, postcards and other products and films such as the Battle of The Somme were very popular. Women at war: When the war broke out women were encouraged to be good wives and mothers – keep traditional roles. By 1915 the war was going badly and they had to look for more soldiers and workers. This meant women were brought into the factories and onto the farms. Men were not always happy with this: they disliked working with women as it changed the atmosphere. Men feared women would take their jobs for lower pay. Women worked in munitions factories making weapons – this work was dangerous and some were killed or poisoned by the chemicals. Women also worked on farms, as police women, bus drivers and bank clerks. After the war women lost their jobs and went back to traditional roles.