• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what ways and to what extent did the lives of the British people change during WW2

Extracts from this document...


To what ways and to what extent did the lives of the British people change during the Second World War? The war brought changes to everyone living in Britain during and after the Second World War. It didn't only bring massive changes but also smaller changes to people's everyday life. Some people saw these changes as beneficial but to most people these changes only brought more suffering and pain to the already distraught Britain. Different types of people in Britain suffered different types of changes depending on their gender, age and social background. Firstly, men were considered to having been affected the most by the war. From early on in 1939 men were conscripted to fight in the war. All fit men between the ages of 18 to 41 had to sign up. This meant they had to leave their families and go face what might even be death. A source from www.ppu.org.uk shows how "60,000 objectors were sent to prison" demonstrating the huge amount of people who didn't want to fight. Many men were also part of the RAF, fighting constantly with no time to rest as shown in source D3. ...read more.


Not only did rationing affect women greatly but many women were also forced to work. This meant long hours for little pay. This included working in factories and agricultural work. The cartoon in source B5 shows how it affected all women especially upper class women who weren't used to doing any work. To some other women these changes were seen as a good thing. Work gave them the opportunity to earn money and become independent. Kathleen Teal-Jones is a prime example of this. She describes in an interview, in the documentary 'Bombs at Bedtime', how much she enjoyed work and how it gave her the freedom and independence to turn her life around. We know this was reliable because it was personal experience and it was present in a very well researched documentary. Not only this but in the speech by Clement Atlee (top of source B3) is says that these women were doing "precision engineering jobs which a few years ago would have made a skilled turner's hair stand on end". This source isn't as reliable though because it was said by a Deputy Prime Minister suggesting it was part of a propaganda speech but a report from an independent source shows how in "December 1942 8.5 million women aged 19 to 46 had registered. ...read more.


These were produced by the government however suggesting that they were used as propaganda therefore not being very reliable. There is however a quote from a modern historian that states "for others, it was the best time of their lives and they enjoyed the fresh country air, good country food and lots of new things to do". This is reliable because it gives evidence that both sides were looked at before making this statement. As you can see there were many changes that affected different people. Most of the changes were very dramatic and for the worse but luckily they were all in the relatively short term. Most people suffered from the Blitz, rationing, conscription, work etc but there is evidence that not everyone suffered. Unemployed men, poor families and children and some of the younger women without children found them selves better off during the war. Not only this but after the war there was a great sense of union. This was discovered through the Beveridge Report in 1942 which wanted to remove ignorance, squalor and poverty. Even though many people suffered from the war a character from the 1941 film 'Dawn Guard' said, "We found out in this war how we were all neighbours, and we weren't going to forget it when it was all over". ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Britain 1905-1951 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Britain 1905-1951 essays

  1. To what extent was appeasement justified?

    Nevertheless, the continuous stream of appeasement encouraged Hitler to be more aggressive. It allowed Hitler to think that he could do anything he wanted, and in this view, it actually aided the cause of the Second World War. It was obvious that with each gamble or risk that Hitler was

  2. World War 2

    It was the Russians that captured Berlin at the end of the war. The influence of both these countries proves to us that Britain was not the only country that was heavily involved in the war, and that the contributions of the countries were of different types.

  1. Explain the differencing reactions /feelings of people in Britain to the policy of evacuating ...

    The government had put the scheme in place, during this they made propaganda films such as 'keeping the wheels turning: women and children at war 1939-45' and 'westward ho' these were to advertise the positive points of evacuation and what happens and how 'amazing it

  2. Was Britain well prepared for WW2?

    west suggesting that they were not prepared to be attacked from anywhere else and if they were to be attacked, they may have lost.

  1. What was the extent of change in the role of the UK government in ...

    A contradiction typical of the coalition government. Much of Britain's military force was comprised of volunteers. Local defence volunteers were usually men between 17 and 65 and often old hands from world war one. They set about defending the country in multiple ways against German invasion. Whether or not their role in the war was necessary it

  2. History Revision for year 11. The Liberal Reforms, the Beveridge Reforms and the ...

    Old Age Pensions were only paid at the age of 70, when average life expectancy was about forty-nine. This meant that the great majority of British people would never live long enough to draw their pensions. Only the lowest paid workers were covered by National Insurance, and it only included men.

  1. British Censorship and Propaganda During WW2

    Many posters were made but were not released because they did not reach a censored standard set by the MOI. One of the most famous poster campaigns was ?Your Country Needs You? featuring a poster of Lord Kitchener. This poster was used as a recruitment tool and was very effective

  2. Analysis of sources describing the changes brought about by evacuating children in WW2.

    On the other hand, Source A6 was from an autobiography, which means the events were taken from memory; this might taint the reliability of the source as some memories are more likely to cement more than others, therefore his stay in Buckinghamshire might not be as foreign as noted in the source.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work