You are on page 1of 2

The Impact of World War One

Recruitment At the start of the war the army was the BEF (British expeditionary force) a small professional army It needed to recruit volunteers as the German army was much larger This led to a recruitment campaign: 1) Pals battalions for example ‘Glasgow Corporation Tramways’, ‘ The Accrington Pals’—men could join up with their pals and fight alongside them. 2) Kitchener poster was the most famous poster it emphasised duty. Other posters focussed on patriotism and others hating the Germans Half a million men recruited in first 6 weeks. Many desperate to join as they thought it would be over by Christmas. These campaigns were so successful that by the end of 1915 2.5 million men had joined the army. Conscription Many of the soldiers who joined up at the start of the war were soon killed or wounded. By spring 1915 clear that number of men volunteering was not enough. National Registration Act 1915—first step to conscription, all men and women between 15 and 65 were registered. Therefore the government knew who they could call up if conscription introduced. Derby scheme—October 1915—invited men to promise to join up if they were asked to do so—less than half those of military age were prepared to do so. Military service Acts 1916 Two acts brought in conscription for all men of military age 18– 41, the first was for unmarried men the second was for all men of military age.

Propaganda It was important to make sure people supported war effort Propaganda focussed on hating the Germans (stories about invasion of Belgium) and a sense of duty (Kitchener poser and John Bull). Department of information set up later in the war to provide material to shape opinion at home and abroad. Supervised material for cinemas. Gathered political intelligence from abroad and censored and controlled war news released in newspapers. March 1918 became Ministry of information

Women at war Suffragettes and Suffragists abandoned campaign for vote to support war effort. Pressure put on men to join up by the Active Service League, The Mothers Union and the Order of the White Feather. Increased role after conscription was introduced in 1916. Worked in Munitions factories, buses and railways, surface work at coal mines, gasworks, engineering ,agriculture and near the battlefront and at home as nurses and had greater independence. An extra 2.5 million acres of land ploughed to keep Britain fed. This work was done by the Women’s Land Army by 1918 16,000 had joined.

Dora Increase government intervention this was very different from the attitude of laissez faire which the government had followed at the start of the century. Total war. All news had to be approved by the government press office Censor of newspapers —so it could control how the war was reported in newspapers, the government wanted people to believe it was going well. Introduced rationing (see feeding the nation) The government had power to take any property it needed for the war effort (e.g. factories, land) in 1917 the government ordered an extra 2.5 million acres of land to be ploughed for growing food and power to force workers to stay in jobs which were important—1916 munitions crisis. Dora stopped people from talking about military matters in public places, buying binoculars, trespassing on railways and bridges, ringing church bells. Feeding the Nation Shortages of food were caused by German u boats attacking convoys bringing food to Britain, By 1917 food was increasingly in short supply so the government introduced a scheme of voluntary rationing. The Royal family announced it would cut its food consumption by a quarter as an example to others. This did not work. Rationing introduced for sugar by the end of 1917. During 1918 rationing extended to other goods meat, tea and butter. Recipe books with recipes which used less flour. During the war rising wages for many led to them actually having an improved diet.

Bombing Civilian casualties: in 1914 towns like Scarborough and Hartlepool were shelled. 119 killed. Later in the war Germans sent Zeppelins (airships) to bomb towns in the south east.