The Home Front

The Home Front - World War II

General Overview

  • The concept of a ‘Home Front’ emerged in World War II, describing the impact of the war on people’s everyday lives in Britain.
  • Daily life during the war was characterised by rationing, blackouts, and air raids.
  • The civilian population contributed to the war effort through volunteering and conscription into war services.

Daily Life

  • Rationing was introduced in 1940 and included key commodities like petrol, food, and clothes to ensure fair distribution of scarce resources.
  • The “Dig for Victory” campaign encouraged people to grow their own food to supplement rations.
  • Many children were evacuated from cities to the countryside to avoid bombings during the “Blitz”.

War Services

  • Many civilians were involved in war work, such as in factories producing weapons and vehicles.
  • Women’s roles expanded significantly, with them working in factories, farms, and in auxiliary roles in the Armed Services.
  • The Home Guard was formed with volunteer citizens to defend against possible invasion.

Air Raids & The Blitz

  • The Blitz involved heavy and frequent bombing raids on London and other British cities from 1940-1941 by Nazi Germany.
  • “Blackouts” were introduced to make it harder for enemy planes to identify targets.
  • People used “Anderson Shelters” and public shelters to protect themselves during bombings.

Impact of War

  • The shared experience of war and the Blitz spirit instilled a sense of community and national identity.
  • The war led to significant changes in the class system and paved the way for the welfare state.
  • The war had long-term impacts on British economy and society, leading to the end of the British Empire and an increased focus on human rights and social welfare.