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History - World War One

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World War One - GCSE History Coursework All Questions: Question 1: Why Did British Men Enlist in the British Army in 1914? On the outbreak of war in August 1914, it was clear that more soldiers were needed. On 7th August, Lord Kitchener began a recruiting campaign calling for volunteers aged 19-30 to join up. At first this was very successful with an average of 33,000 joining every day. Three weeks later Kitchener raised the recruiting age to 35 and by the middle of September over 500,000 had volunteered. Men signed, for a number of reasons. This included patriotism, guilt, money and even adventure. Many had never been abroad, and used the war as an excuse to travel and have some fun. One reason why the men signed up was because many thought it would be an easy ride, and joined to see the world, and have an adventure. They used mothers and girlfriends to persuade the men to join, by using the White Feather modus operandi and the Mothers Union, even issuing posters stating ''Is your best boy wearing khaki'', the poster stated that if he was not wearing it, he does not want to protect the country or you, that suggested they weren't would not be worthy of their girlfriends, encouraging girlfriends to force their 'best boys' to join the army. This made the men feel guilty, and as a result they signed up to fight. The Mothers Union produced posters to persuade their sons to join. ''On his return, hearts would beat high with thankfulness and pride". The mothers urged their sons to join to also hold a sense of pride that their sons were fighting for Great Britain, instead of staying at home. In August 1914, Admiral Charles Fitzgerald founded the Order of the White Feather. With the support of leading writers, the organisation encouraged women to give out white feathers to young men who had not joined the British Army. ...read more.


They did not have to worry about handling TNT, or working with detonators. Many poorer women went into hard labour jobs like this. There wasn't much change for them. The Land army did every job one could do on a field. They had plant and harvest wheat; they milked cows and delivered the milk by pony and cart to local houses; they picked sprouts; they dug potatoes; they tended flocks of sheep; looked after pigs and poultry; they picked fruit. There were specialists who were trained in rat-catching. On the outbreak of war, the average wage for a male worker was 38 shillings. This was still well below the national average of 80 shillings a week. Thanks to Lady Denman, Land Girls were awarded a minimum wage, but this was even less than their male counterparts would receive. They earned just 28 shillings a week, half of which was typically deducted for board and lodgings. More so, the farm work was very physical, and women had to work long hours. They were expected to work 48 hours a week in winter and 50 hours a week in summer, but most girls worked many more, especially during the harvest. The work was particularly hard on women who came from the cities. They were not accustomed to physical labour, like their country counterparts. In 1909 it was decided to form Voluntary Aid Detachments (VADs) to provide medical assistance to soldiers. By the summer of 1914 there were over 2,500 Voluntary Aid Detachments in Britain. Of the 74,000 VADs in 1914, two-thirds were women and girls. Most of the women stayed in military hospitals and in army barracks. However, a few were given the opportunity to travel to France, assisting wounded soldiers near the front line. Many women VADs worked as assistant nurses, ambulance drivers and cooks. VAD hospitals were opened in most large towns in Britain. ...read more.


The U-Boats sinking ships carrying supplies and the lack of men at home to work led to food shortages no matter how hard the women taking over for the men back at home tried to maintain the agricultural industries. This led to food being rationed; each person would receive a rations booklet from the government. This meant that many remaining rich people could not buy various fine foods. The disadvantages were less food for people, but an advantage was that many people who could not afford to buy much food would receive slightly more than before, this being beneficial for them. Rationing would have put more negative attitudes in people due to the food being less, meaning more people would be calling for the war to have ended promptly. Rumors were rife around the battlefields that the German nurses were torturing several British soldiers by not giving them the water they needed, whereas several Red Cross nurses were caring for German and British troops - this showed that even though in the heat of a war the civilians had nothing against the soldiers and aided them. This affected the public because they wanted their men to do well and if they were injured they would want them healed. This also engaged their opinion towards the Germans as they would dislike them for not giving the British soldiers water. Also it makes British women want to join the Red Cross so that they can help out the British soldiers by enlisting more care so that the German nurses torture the British soldiers anymore. This is evidently how the attitudes of civilians changed throughout the war, with each having their positive and negative views, the conditions of the war contributed negatively to attitudes of many soldiers and the civilians back home had to bear the brunt of the lack of experience in the British Forces, which caused many changes in the attitudes of soldiers - though ultimately with the positive views maintained by soldiers and civilians alike and the war was eventually won by the allied forces. ...read more.

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