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Effects of World War II on the lives of the civilian population

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Sam Stalbow 11Y History Coursework - Aoi/ii Knowledge. Effects of World War II on the lives of the civilian population At 11:15 a.m. on the 3rd September 1939, Neville Chamberlain, the British Prime Minister announced over radio 6 words, 'Britain is at war with Germany'. The Second World War had begun. This was not just a soldier's war. It was a total war where men, women and children all played an important role in the war effort on the home front. Due to the extensive bombing of the British cities, families realised the situation was becoming too dangerous for children to remain at home. Many families decided to send their children by train to parts of the countryside to be looked after by people living there. An evacuee was sent by train carrying a gas mask with first aid, sandwiches, apples, emergency sandwiches, spare socks, a mackintosh and chocolate. Also they had labels displaying their school, destination and home address. After France fell in June 1940. Britain was threatened with a German invasion. Places like Canada and USA offered to take in British children. The British Government set up a scheme to send children overseas. To stop complaints, a quota was imposed that three quarters of the children had to come from publicly funded schools. ...read more.


At the outbreak of WWII in 1939, the British government ordered that cinemas, theatres and dance halls were to close after 6:00pm. Football matches were totally stopped. This ban forced people to remain at home in the evenings. Because they could not go out at night, the British peoples morale began to fade. The government quickly realised this and that people needed entertainment to take their minds of the hardships of the war. The government lifted the ban in early 1940. Once the ban was lifted, people started to go out more and their morale rose again. Going to the cinema was a regular treat for many British people. A large number went to the cinema twice a week. Most cinemas' showed patriotic films and real life documentaries, their aim was to create faith in the British people and the raise their country spirit. The most popular films showed in cinemas' though were from the USA. Love stories, comedies and gangster stories. The reasons for these being more popular are that they took the British peoples minds of the war and forget about the bombings for the evening. Unfortunately, the rationing of petrol and the blackout made travelling to the cinema difficult for people who did not live in the towns. ...read more.


and helped to direct anti-aircraft gunfire. The Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) worked as mechanics on aircraft and operated barrage balloons. The Women's Royal Naval Service (The Wrens) served onboard ship and on shore as radio operators and ambulance drivers. Even after the war ended in 1945 the effects continued on the British people. Rationing continued as the British supplies and goods had not yet been totally replenished. Once Britain's supplies were functioning properly and being shipped in rationing stopped. Also, most towns and cities were left with the destruction and damage that had to be reconstructed. Families came to towns to find their houses or streets that now no longer existed. Children came back without parents, parents came home without children, soldiers returned without family, wives were missing husbands. Britain was in mourning as well as celebrating. Soldiers that returned home found themselves facing problems. Some soldiers had mental illness from the horror they had been through, some had physical disabilities and even personality changes. This changed their way of life totally. Also, soldiers returning home may not be used to their wives new found independency. This could sometimes cause tension and even marriage break-ups in some cases. On July 5th, 1945, a general election was held in Britain. Winston Churchill stood against Clement Attlee. Attlee won. The reason for this was that Attlee promised to set up the Welfare State to reduce the terrible poverty in Britain. Sam Stalbow 11Y ...read more.

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