War and the transformation of British society c1903–28
Key Topic 1: The Liberals, votes for women and social reform
Key Topic 2: The part played by the British on the Western Front
The BEF and 1914. Overview
The end of the war. Overview
Key Topic 3: The home front and social change
DORA, censorship and propaganda. Overview
Recruitment and rationing. Overview
The part played by women. Overview
Key Topic 4: Economic and social change 1918–28
The changing role of women 1918–28. Overview
The General Strike of 1926. Overview
The reasons for and the consequences of the introduction of Conscription in 1916
Due to heavy losses on the Western Front the government introduced conscription in 1916. Conscription required selected men to enrol in the armed forces. Whilst many of them were happy to fight for their country, others objected on moral grounds.
Source: From the East Grimstead Observer, March 25th 1916.
John Johnson, a stockman of Belle View Farm, Tilgate, Crawley, shot himself on Friday evening. A gun shot was heard outside John Johnson's home on his birthday and the deceased was found under a yew tree. The poor fellow had placed the barrel of the gun in his mouth, the bullet penetrating the brain and emerging at the top of the skull. It transpired that one of John Johnson's sons had just be killed and another badly wounded in the war. The third son was being called up shortly.
Source: Appeal to the organised workers, 1916.
The armed forces of the nation have been multiplied at least five-fold
since the war began, and recruits are still being enrolled well over
2,000,000 of its breadwinners to the new armies, and Lord Kitchener
and Mr. Asquith have both repeatedly assured the public that the response
to the appeal for recruits have been highly gratifying and has exceeded
all expectations. What the conscriptionists want, however, is not recruits,
but a system of conscription that will bring the whole male working-class
population under the military control of the ruling classes.