War and the transformation
of British society c1903–28
Key Topic 1: The Liberals, votes for women and social reform
The activities of the women’s societies
and the reaction of the authorities.
Children’s welfare measures, old
Labour Exchanges 1909, the National Insurance
Key Topic 2: The part played by the British on the Western
The BEF and 1914.
to the Western Front 1915–17.
The end of the war.
Key Topic 3: The home front and social change
DORA, censorship and propaganda.
Recruitment and rationing.
The part played by women.
Key Topic 4: Economic and social change 1918–28
The changing role of women 1918–28.
Industrial unrest 1918–27.
The General Strike of 1926.
Rationing and Recruitment
• The government tried to encourage people to save food due to
the food shortages.
• The Women’s Land Army helped to grow food in the countryside.
• Public parks were taken over for the growing of vegetable.
• In 1918 the rationing of foods such as sugar, butter and beef
• People were issued with ration books with coupons in them that
they had to use every time they bought food.
• Patriotism spread across the whole of the country when war
• Many people were tricked into volunteering through government
• In 1914 Britain had a volunteer army and millions signed up
to join the army.
• Volunteers feared the war would be over by Christmas and they
might miss the “action” if they did not volunteer early.
• Those who volunteered with friends could serve with them in
• Those who did not join the army were branded cowards and given
white feathers from women.
• By 1916 over two million men had been recruited into the armed
• By 1916 the government was forced to introduce conscription
as volunteers numbers fell, as conditions in the trenches became well
• The government demanded all able-bodied men between the ages
of 18 and 41 to join the armed forces.
• Those who refused to fight on moral grounds were called conscientious
objectors and they were put in prison or worked as medical stretcher-bearers.