The_United_Kingdom_in_World_War_I by zzzmarcus


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History of the United Kingdom during World War I

History of the United Kingdom during World War I
This article documents the effect of the war on civilian and military life in the United Kingdom, 1914–18. For information on the engagements in which her armed forces fought, see World War I.
United Kingdom in World War I

1914–1918 British propaganda poster, World War One Preceded by Followed by Monarch Leader(s) Edwardian period Interwar period George V of the United Kingdom Civil H. H. Asquith, Prime Minister (pre-1916) David Lloyd George, Prime Minister (post-1916) Army William Robertson John French Douglas Haig Royal Navy "Jackie" Fisher Henry Jackson John Jellicoe Rosslyn Wemyss Royal Flying Corps David Henderson Frederick Sykes Hugh Trenchard

Timeline of the United Kingdom during World War I 1914 | 1915 |1916 | 1917 | 1918

The United Kingdom during World War I (1914–1918) was one of the Allied Powers ("Allies"), and forced to develop throughout the war in order to further its goal of defeating the Central Powers. For the first time, her civilians were put under real threat of aerial bombardment, food shortages and labour shortfalls. The government responded by passing new legislation (such as the laws collectively known as the Defence of the Realm Act), giving it new powers to control the citizens of the country. In sum, however, its initial policy can be generally characterised as one of "business as usual" (the preservation of the status quo) under H.H. Asquith,[1] before a move to total war (complete state intervention in public affairs) under David Lloyd George.[2] The country’s armed forces were also reorganised—the war marked the creation of the Royal Air Force, for example—and increased in size because of the introduction of forced conscription for the first time in the history of the country;[3] though some men, particularly quakers, did object.[4] The media played a large role in keeping morale high, and newspapers flourished during the period.[5] Large quantities of propaganda were produced by the government under the guidance of such journalists as Masterman and newspaper owners such as Lord Beaverbrook. The war is often credited with bringing women into mainstream employment for the first time, and forcing politicians to give a large number of women the vote in 1918, but this has been challenged by some modern historians.[6] By adapting to the changing demographics of the workforce (or "dilution of labour", as it was termed), the war-related industries grew rapidly, and production increased.[7] It has also been suggested that increased national sentiment from the war helped to fuel the break up of the British Empire, with countries such as Australia and Canada, then parts of the empire, fighting battles under their own direction;[8] geographically, however, the empire after the conclusion of peace negotiations from the


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History of the United Kingdom during World War I
the expiration of Britain’s own ultimatum at 11 p.m. that day.[13] Britain’s reasons for declaring war were complex; the 1839 Treaty of London had committed the United Kingdom to safeguard Belgium’s neutrality in the event of invasion,[14] but the Foreign Office had already concluded that it may not apply. Britain’s ’moral commitment’ to France was another matter; extensive secret talks between the nations had been going on since 1905, but most of Asquith’s cabinet were not privy to them until 1911. This lack of proof that war was unavoidable had led to disagreement within the cabinet as late as 31 July,[13] and the internal divisions within British politics that had plagued the pre-war years continued. By January 1915, 184 members of parliament were serving with the armed forces.[15] At the outbreak of the war, governmental policy in Great Britain, so far as it was formulated in party policies, was strongly adverse to government interference with private industry, in keeping with the Liberals’ historical position as defender of the laissez-faire style of government.[1] However, this policy, characterised by Winston Churchill’s declaration of "business as usual" in November 1914,[16] was by necessity replaced over the course of the war.[1] Asquith’s wartime cabinet was brought down in May 1915, in part due to a shell crisis and the failed Gallipoli Campaign in the Dardenelles, when many thousands of men had been lost for very little perceived gain.[15][17] Reluctant to give into demands for an election, Asquith proceeded to form a new coalition government on 25 May, with the majority of the cabinet coming from his own Liberal party and the Unionist (Conservative) party (then the second largest party) brought in to shore up the government.[15] This coalition government lasted until 1916, when the Unionists became dissatisfied with Asquith and the Liberals’ conduct of affairs, particularly over the Battle of the Somme. The government collapsed as a result of the political manoeuvrings of Andrew Bonar Law (leader of the Conservatives), Sir Edward Carson (leader of the Ulster Unionists), and David Lloyd George (then a minister in the cabinet). Law, without the support of many outside of his party, did not have sufficient support to form a new coalition; The Liberal Lloyd George, on the other hand, did and duly formed a new coalition government,

war was bigger than it had been at any other point in time.[9] During the war, the British Royal Family, under George V, dissolved ties with its German branches and was renamed from the German-sounding House of Saxe-CoburgGotha to the much more British House of Windsor. Plans to rescue the King’s cousins in Russia, including Tsar Nicholas II, were ultimately delayed until 1919, when only parts of the family were saved. It has also been argued that many of the class barriers of Edwardian England were reduced during the period.[10] In total, the civilian death rate exceeded the prewar level by 292,000, which included 109,000 deaths due to food shortages and 183,577 from Spanish Flu which hit the country in 1918;[11] the military death rate was put at a figure exceeding 850,000.[12]


Asquith (c. 1915), prime minister at the start of the war The United Kingdom entered World War I with Herbert Henry Asquith of the Liberal Party as Prime Minister. Asquith declared war on the German Empire on 4 August 1914 in response to the demands for military passage forced upon Belgium by Germany, and


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Labour Party during the 1920s.[10] This became apparent during the 1918 general election, when the share of the vote the Labour party received jumped from 6.4% in 1910 to over 20% and the Liberal vote was split between those for and against the continuation of coalition government.[19]

Further information: George V during World War I

Lloyd George (c. 1920), prime minister at the end of the war with him the Prime Minister, but more Unionists that members of his own party in his cabinet.[15] In the first 235 days of its existence, the War Cabinet met 200 times. This Cabinet, much smaller than under Asquith, was designed to take total responsibility for the war, regardless of its outcome. Its creation marked a shift in government policy towards a state of total war—the idea that every man, woman and child should play his or her part in the war effort. Moreover, it was decided that government should be the ones who controlled it—primarily utilising the power they had been given under the Defence of the Realm Act.[2] For the first time, the government could react quickly, without endless bureaucracy to tie it down, and with up-todate statistics on such matters as the state of the merchant navy and farm production.[2] The success of his government can also be attributed to a lack of desire for an election, and the lack of dissent that this brought.[15] After the war, the Representation of the People Act 1918 opened up voting to a much broader spectrum of the public – all adult males over 21 years old who were resident householders and all married women over 30 years old.[18] This ultimately heralded the collapse of the Liberals and the rise of the

A 1917 Punch cartoon depicting King George V sweeping away his German titles. The British Royal House faced a serious problem during World War I because of its blood ties to the ruling family of Germany, Britain’s prime adversary in the war. Prior to the war, the British royal family was known as the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. King George V became king in 1910 on the death of his father, King Edward VII, and was king throughout the war. He was the first cousin of the German Kaiser Wilhelm II, who for the British public came to symbolise all the horrors of the war. Furthermore, Queen Mary, although British like her mother, was the daughter of the Duke of Teck, a descendant of the German Royal House of Württemberg. Writer H. G. Wells wrote about Britain’s "alien and uninspiring court", and George


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famously replied: "I may be uninspiring, but I’ll be damned if I’m alien."[20] On 17 July 1917, to appease British nationalist feelings, George V issued an Orderin-Council that changed the German-sounding name of the British Royal Family to the House of Windsor. He specifically adopted Windsor as the surname for all descendants of Queen Victoria then living in the United Kingdom, excluding women who married into other families and their descendants.[21] Additionally, he and his various relatives who were British subjects relinquished the use of all German titles and styles, and adopted British-sounding surnames. George compensated several of his male relatives by creating them British peers. Thus, overnight his cousin, Prince Louis of Battenberg, became Louis Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Milford Haven, while his brother-in-law, the Duke of Teck, became Adolphus Cambridge, 1st Marquess of Cambridge. Others, such as Princess Marie Louise of Schleswig-Holstein and Princess Helena Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein, simply stopped using their territorial designations. The system for titling members of the royal family was also simplified.[22] Relatives of the British royal family who fought on the German side were simply cut off; their British peerages were suspended by a 1919 Order-in-Council under the provisions of the Titles Deprivation Act 1917.[23] Developments in Russia posed another set of issues for the monarchy. Tsar Nicholas II of Russia was King George’s first cousin; their mothers were sisters and they looked very much alike.[24] When Nicholas was overthrown in the Russian Revolution of 1917, the British Government offered asylum to the Tsar and his family, but worsening conditions for the British people, and fears that revolution might come to the British Isles, led George V to think that the presence of the Romanovs might seem inappropriate under the circumstances.[25] Records of the King’s private secretary, Lord Stamfordham, suggest that George V opposed the rescue against the advice of Lloyd George.[26] The Tsar and his immediate family thus remained in Russia and were murdered by Bolshevik revolutionaries in 1918. The following year, Nicholas’s mother (George’s aunt) Maria Feodorovna (Dagmar of Denmark) and other members of the extended Russian imperial family were rescued from the Crimea by British ships.[27]

King George V (right) with his first cousin Tsar Nicholas II, Berlin, 1913 When the war broke out, the Prince of Wales, Edward, had reached the minimum age for active service and was keen to participate.[28] He had joined the army in June 1914, serving with the Grenadier Guards, and although Edward was willing to serve on the front lines, the Secretary of State for War, Lord Kitchener, refused to allow it, citing the immense harm that would occur if the heir to the throne were captured.[29] Despite this, Edward witnessed trench warfare first hand and attempted to visit the front line as often as he could, for which he was awarded the Military Cross in 1916. His role in the war, although limited, led to his great popularity among veterans of the conflict.[30] Prince Albert, the Duke of York and future George VI, was commissioned as a midshipman in the Royal Navy on 15 September 1913 and one year later began service in World War I. [31] He saw action as a turret officer aboard HMS Collingwood against the German navy at the Battle of Jutland but did not see further action in the war largely because of ill health.[32] Two months after the end of the war, the King’s youngest son, John, died aged 13 after a short lifetime of ill-health. George was informed of the death by the Queen who wrote,


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Further information: British Army during World War I

King George V and the Prince of Wales visit the Grand fleet 1918, "[John] had been a great anxiety to us for many years... The first break in the family circle is hard to bear but people have been so kind & sympathetic & this has helped us much."[33] August 1914: London army volunteers await their pay at St. Martin-in-the-Fields There were three British Armies during World War I, the ’first’ army was the small volunteer force of 400,000 soldiers, almost half of which were posted overseas to garrison the British Empire. (In August 1914, 74 of the 157 Infantry Battalions and 12 of the 31 Cavalry Regiments were posted overseas[3]) This total included the regular Army and reservists in the Territorial Force.[3] Together they formed the British Expeditionary Force (BEF),[40] for service in France and became known as the Old Contemptibles. The ’second’ army was Kitchener’s Army formed from the volunteers in 1914–1915 destined to go into action at the Battle of the Somme.[3] The ’third’ was formed after the introduction of conscription in January 1916 and by the end of 1918 the army had reached its peak of strength of four million men.[3]

Defence of the Realm Act
The first Defence of the Realm Act (DORA) was passed on 8 August 1914, during the early weeks of the war.[34] It gave the government wide-ranging powers during the war period, such as the power to requisition buildings or land needed for the war effort.[35][36] Some of the things the British public were prohibited from doing included lighting a bonfire, buying binoculars, feeding some wild animals bread, discussing naval and military matters or buying various forms of alcoholic beverage near public transport.[35] The act was, in the next few months, variously amended and added to; alcoholic beverages were now to be watered down and pub opening times were restricted, now only midday to 3 p.m. and 6:30–9:30PM.[35] DORA also saw the introduction of British Summer Time.[35] The act was expanded as the war progressed for example from August 1916, Londoners were no longer able to whistle for a cab.[37] It has been criticised for both its strength and its use of the death penalty as a deterrent.[38] Although the act itself did not refer to the death penalty, it made provision for civilians breaking these rules to be tried in army courts martial, where the maximum penalty was death.[39]

Recruitment and conscription
In the early stages of the war, many men, fueled by promises of glory, decided to "join up" to the armed forces: in August 1914 alone, half a million signed up to fight. Recruitment remained fairly steady through 1914 and early 1915, but fell dramatically during the later years, especially after the Somme campaign, which resulted in 500,000 casualties. As a result, conscription was introduced in January 1916, for single men, and extended in May to all men aged 18–42.[41]

His Majesty’s forces

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Royal Navy
Further information: Naval warfare of World War I

Ships of the 2nd Battle Squadron of the Royal Navy’s Grand Fleet. The Navy at the start of the war was the largest navy in the world due, in the most part, to the The Naval Defence Act 1889 and the two-power standard which called for the Navy to maintain a number of battleships such as their strength was at least equal to the combined strength of the next two largest navies in the world, which at that point were France and Russia.[42] The majority of the Royal Navy’s strength was deployed at home in the Grand Fleet, with the primary aim of drawing the German High Seas Fleet into an engagement. No decisive victory ever came. The Royal Navy and the German Imperial Navy did come into contact notably in the Battle of Heligoland Bight, and the Battle of Jutland.[43] In German terms Jutland was a victory as they had suffered less losses in men and ships.[44] In August 1916, the High Seas Fleet tried another similar operation and was lucky to escape annihilation.[44] The lessons learned by the Royal Navy at Jutland made it a more effective force in the future.[44] In 1914, the navy had also formed the Naval Division from reservists, and this served extensively in the Mediterranean and on the Western Front.[45] Almost half of the Royal Navy casualties during World War I were sustained by this division, fighting on land and not at sea.[43]

Royal Flying Corps World War I Recruiting poster four aeroplane squadrons (RFC No 2 and No 3 Squadrons were the first fixed-wing flying squadrons in the world).[46] These were first used for aerial spotting on 13 September 1914, but only became efficient when they perfected the use of wireless communication at Aubers Ridge on 9 May 1915. Aerial photography was attempted during 1914, but again only became effective the next year. By 1918, photographic images could be taken from 15,000 feet, and interpreted by over 3,000 personnel. Planes did not carry parachutes until 1918, though they had been available since before the war.[47] On 17 August 1917, General Jan Smuts presented a report to the War Council on the future of air power. Because of its potential for the ’devastation of enemy lands and the destruction of industrial and populous centres on a vast scale’, he recommended a new air service be formed that would be on a level with the Army and Royal Navy. The formation of the new service however would make the under utilised men and machines of the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) available for action across the Western Front, as well as ending the inter-service rivalries that at times had adversely affected aircraft procurement. On 1 April 1918, the RFC and the RNAS were amalgamated to form a new

Royal Flying Corps
Further information: Royal Flying Corps At the start of the war the Royal Flying Corps (RFC), commanded by Hugh Trenchard consisted of five squadrons – one observation balloon squadron (RFC No 1 Squadron) and


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town of Great Yarmouth. Little damage was done to the town itself, since shells only landed on the beach once German ships laying mines offshore were interrupted by British destroyers. One British submarine was sunk by a mine as it attempted to leave harbour and attack the German ships, while one German armoured cruiser was sunk after striking two mines outside its own home port.[51]

service, the Royal Air Force (RAF). The RAF was under the control of the new Air Ministry. After starting in 1914 with some 2,073 personnel, by the start of 1919 the RAF had 4,000 combat aircraft and 114,000 personnel.[48]

Conscientious objectors
Further information: Conscientious objectors The Military Service Act of March 1916 specified that men from the ages of 18 to 41 were liable to be called up for service in the army unless they were married (or widowed with children), or else served in one of a number of reserved professions (usually industrial but which also included clergymen and teachers). This legislation did not apply to Ireland, despite its then status as part of the United Kingdom (but see Conscription Crisis of 1918).[4] The legislation also introduced the right to refuse military service, allowing for conscientious objectors to be absolutely exempted, to perform alternative civilian service, or to serve as a non-combatant in the army, according to the extent to which they could convince a Military Service Tribunal of the quality of their objection. Around 16,000 men were recorded as conscientious objectors,[49] with Quakers, traditionally pacifist, playing a large role: 4,500 objectors were sent to work on farms which was deemed ’work of national importance’,[4] 7,000 were ordered non-combatant duties as stretcher bearers, but 6,000 were forced into the army, and when they refused orders, they were sent to prison;[4] thirty-five were formally sentenced to death but immediately reprieved.[4] Of those conscientious objectors sentenced to a term in prison; ten died while in prison and over sixty died afterwards as a result of the way they had been treated.[4] Conscientious objectors who were deemed not to have made any useful contribution were disenfranchised for five years after the war.[50]

British propaganda fuelled by the German raid on Scarborough.

Raid on Scarborough, Hartlepool and Whitby
In December 1914, the German navy carried out attacks on the British coastal towns of Scarborough, Hartlepool and Whitby. The attack resulted in 137 fatalities and 593 casualties,[52] many of which were civilians. The attack resulted in public outrage towards the German navy for an attack against civilians, and against the Royal Navy for its failure to prevent the raid.[53][54]

Naval attacks on the East coast
Raid on Yarmouth
The Raid on Yarmouth, which took place in November 1914, was an attack by the German Navy on the British North Sea port and


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Bombardment of Yarmouth and Lowestoft
The Bombardment of Yarmouth and Lowestoft took place in April 1916. The German fleet sent a battlecruiser squadron with accompanying cruisers and destroyers to bombard the coastal ports of Yarmouth and Lowestoft. Although the ports had some military importance, the main aim of the raid was to entice out defending ships which could then be picked off either by the battlecruiser squadron or by the full High Seas Fleet, which was stationed at sea ready to intervene if an opportunity presented. The result was inconclusive: Nearby British forces were too small to intervene so largely kept clear of the German battlecruisers, and the German ships withdrew before first the British fast response battlecruiser squadron or the Grand Fleet could arrive.[55]

Air raids
Further information: Zeppelins in World War I German zeppelins bombed towns on the east coast, starting on 19 January 1915 with Great Yarmouth.[56] London was also hit later in the same year, on 31 May.[57] Propaganda supporting the British war effort often used these raids to their advantage: one recruitment poster claimed: "It is far better to face the bullets than to be killed at home by a bomb" (see image). The reaction from the public, however, was mixed; whilst 10,000 visited Scarborough to view the damage there, London theatres reported having fewer visitors during periods of "Zeppelin weather" — dark, fine nights.[57] Throughout 1917 Germany began to deploy increasing numbers of fixed-wing bombers, the Gotha G.IV’s first target being Folkestone on 25 May 1917, following this attack the number of airship raids decreased rapidly in favour of raids by fixed wing aircraft.[56] Zeppelin raids were eventually called off in 1917, by which time 77 out of the 115 Zeppelins had been shot down or disabled.[56] Soon after the raid on Folkestone, the bombers began raids on London: one daylight raid on 13 June 1917 by 14 Gothas caused 162 deaths in the East End.[57] In response to this new threat, Major General Edward Bailey Ashmore, a Royal Flying Corps pilot who later commanded an artillery

British propaganda poster from 1915, drawing on the fear of zeppelin attacks to aid recruitment. division in Belgium, was appointed to devise an improved system of detection, communication and control,[58] The system, called the Metropolitan Observation Service, encompassed the London Air Defence Area and would later extend eastwards towards the Kentish and Essex coasts. The Metropolitan Observation Service was fully operational until the late summer of 1918 (the last German bombing raid taking place on 19 May 1918).[59] During the war, the Germans carried out 51 airship raids and 52 fixed-wing bomber raids on the United Kingdom, which together dropped 280 tons of bombs. The casualties amounted to 1,413 killed, and 3,409 wounded.[60] The success of anti-air defence measures was limited; of the 397 aircraft that had taken part in raids, only 24 Gothas were shot down (though 37 more were lost in accidents), despite an estimated rate of 14,540 anti-air rounds per aircraft. Anti-zeppelin defences were more successful, with 17 shot down and 21 lost in accidents.[57]


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was wise that the people at home should have this glimpse of what our soldiers are doing and daring and suffering in Picardy".[62]


Newspapers during the war were subject to the Defence of the Realm Act, which eventually had two regulations restricting what they could publish:[63] Regulation 18, which prohibited the leakage of sensitive military information, troop and shipping movements; and Regulation 27, which made it an offence to "spread false reports", "spread reports that were likely to "prejudice recruiting ", "undermine public confidence in banks or currency" or cause "disaffection to His Majesty".[63] Where the official Press Bureau failed (it had no statutory powers until April 1916), the newspaper editors and owners operated a ruthless self-censorship.[5] Having worked for government, press barons Viscount Rothermere,[64] Baron Beaverbrook (in a sea of controversy),[65] and Viscount Northcliffe[66] all received titles. For these reasons, it has been concluded that censorship, which at its height suppressed only socialist journals (and briefly the right wing The Globe) had less effect on the British press than the reductions in advertising revenues and cost increases which they also faced during the war.[5] One major loophole in the official censorship lay with parliamentary privilege, when anything said in Parliament could be reported freely.[63] The most infamous act of censorship in the early days of the war was the sinking of HMS Audacious in October 1914, when the press was directed not to report on the loss, despite the sinking being observed by passengers on the liner RMS Olympic and quickly reported in the American press.[67] The most popular papers of the period included dailies such as The Times, The Daily Telegraph and The Morning Post; weekly newspapers such as The Graphic and periodicals like John Bull which claimed a weekly circulation of 900,000.[68] The public demand for news of the war was reflected in the increased sales of newspapers. After the German Navy raid on Hartlepool and Scarborough, the Daily Mail devoted three full pages to the raid and the Evening News reported that The Times had sold out by a quarter past nine in the morning, even with inflated prices.[69] The Daily Mail itself increased in

Propaganda poster following the raid on Scarborough. Propaganda and censorship were closely linked during the war.[61] The need to maintain morale and counter German propaganda was recognised early in the war and the War Propaganda Bureau was established under the leadership of Charles Masterman in September 1914.[61] The Bureau enlisted eminent writers which included H G Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle, Rudyard Kipling and newspaper editors.[61] By the summer of 1915, the Bureau had printed over 2.5 million books, speeches, official documents and pamphlets.[61] Masterman also commissioned films about the war such as The Battle of the Somme, which appeared in August 1916, while the battle was still in progress as a morale-booster and in general it met with a favourable reception. The Times reported on August 22 1916 that "Crowded audiences...were interested and thrilled to have the realities of war brought so vividly before them, and if women had sometimes to shut their eyes to escape for a moment from the tragedy of the toll of battle which the film presents, opinion seems to be general that it


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It’s a Long Way to Tipperary as they marched through Boulogne by the Daily Mail correspondent George Curnock, who reported the event in that newspaper on 18 August 1914. The song was then picked up by other units of the British Army. In November 1914 it was recorded by the well-known tenor John McCormack, which helped contribute to its world-wide popularity.[71][72] Another song from 1916 became very popular, as a music hall and marching song, boosting British morale despite the horrors of that war, was Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old KitBag.[73]

circulation from 800,000 a day in 1914 to 1.5 million by 1916.[5]

News magazines

War poets
Further information: War poetry during World War I There was also a notable group of war poets who wrote about their own experiences of war, which caught the public attention, some were killed at the front, most famously Rupert Brooke, Isaac Rosenberg, and Wilfred Owen. Others such as Siegfried Sassoon survived.[74] Themes of the poems included the youth (or naivety) of the soldiers, and the dignified manner in which they fought and died. This is evident in lines such as "They fell with their faces to the foe", from the Ode of Remembrance taken from Laurence Binyon’s "For the Fallen", which was first published in The Times in September 1914. [75] Female poets such as Vera Brittain also wrote from the home front, to lament the losses of brothers and lovers fighting on the front.[76]

The cover of issue of Volume 2 The War Illustrated depicting French Chasseurs Alpins in action The public’s thirst for news and information was in part satisfied by news magazines, which were dedicated to reporting the war. They included amongst others The War Illustrated, The Illustrated War News, and The War Pictorial, and were lavishly filled with photographs and illustrations, regardless of their target audience. Magazines were produced for all classes, and ranged both in price and tone.[70] Many otherwise famous writers contributed towards these publications, of which H.G. Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle and Rudyard Kipling were three examples. Editorial guidelines varied; in cheaper publications especially it was considered more important to create a sense of patriotism than to relay up-to-the-minutes news of developments of the front. Stories of German atrocities were commonplace.[70]


A WWI government leaflet detailing the consequences of breaking the rationing laws. In line with its "business as usual" policy, the government was initially reluctant to try to control the food markets, and indeed fought off efforts to try to introduce minimum prices

On 13 August 1914, the Irish regiment the Connaught Rangers were witnessed singing


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in cereal production, though relenting in the area of controlling of essential imports (sugar, meat and grains). When it did introduce changes, they were only limited in their effect. In 1916, it became illegal to consume more than two courses whilst lunching in a public eating place or more than three for dinner; fines were introduced for members of the public found feeding the pigeons or stray animals.[77] In 1916, Germany started using U-boats (submarines) in order to sink allied—and later neutral—ships bringing food to the country in an attempt to starve Britain into surrender under their unrestricted submarine warfare programme. One response to this threat was to introduce voluntary rationing in February 1917[77] (even the King and Queen were said to have signed up[78]). Bread was subsidised from September that year; prompted by local authorities taking matters into their own hands, compulsory rationing was introduced in stages between December 1917 and February 1918,[77] as Britain’s supply of wheat stores decreased to just six weeks worth.[79] It is said to have in the most part benefited the health of the country,[77] through the ’levelling of consumption of essential foodstuffs’.[80] During the war, average calories intake decreased only 3%, but protein intake 6%.[77]

Belgian refugees put to work forging shell cases. established, and the British government refrained from introducing compulsory labour direction (though 388 men were moved as part of the voluntary National Service Scheme). Belgian refugees became workers, though they were often seen as ’job stealers’. Likewise, the use of Irish workers, because they were exempt from conscription, was another source of resentment.[82] Worried about the impact of the dilution of labour caused by bringing external groups into the main labour pool, workers in some areas turned to Strike action. Voluntary agreements with trade unions in the early stages of the war became official with the advent of the Munitions of War Act in June 1915, which also placed restrictions upon the speed with which workers could move from job to job.[83]

Total British production fell by 10% over the course of the war; there were, however, increases in certain industries such as steel (25%).[7] Although Britain faced a controversial shell shortage, this has been attributed to extraordinary orders placed by the government at the outbreak of war (without concern for the capacity of its industry), rather than inefficient production.[7] In 1915, the Ministry of Munitions was formed to control munitions production and had considerable success. By April 1915, just two million rounds of shells had been sent to France; by the end of the war the figure had reached 187 million,[81] and a year’s worth of pre-war production of light munitions could be completed in just four days by 1918. Aircraft production in 1914 provided employment for 60,000 men and women; by 1918 British firms employed over 347,000.[7] It was only as late as December 1917 that a War Cabinet Committee on Manpower was

Women and the Suffragette movement
Further information: Women’s suffrage in the United Kingdom


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History of the United Kingdom during World War I
other daughter, Sylvia, continued their (at times violent) struggle. Women were also allowed to join the armed forces in a non-combatant role and by the end of World War I, 80,000 women had joined the armed forces in auxiliary roles such as nursing and cooking.[6][85] In 1918, the Representation of the People Act 1918 was signed, giving the vote to women over 30 who met minimum property qualifications. The enfranchisement of this latter group was accepted as recognition of the contribution made by women defence workers,[18] though the actual feelings of MPs at the time is questioned.[6] In the same year the Parliamentary Qualification of Women Act 1918 was also signed which allowed woman over 30 to stand as a member of parliament (MP).[86]

Variously throughout the war, serious shortage of able-bodied men ("manpower") occurred in the country, and women were required to take on many of the traditional male roles, particularly in the area of arms manufacture; though this was only significant in the later years of the war, since unemployed men were often prioritised by employers.[6] Women found work, in the munitions factories (as "munitionettes") despite initial trade union opposition, which directly helped the war effort, but also in the Civil Service, where they took men’s jobs, releasing them for the front. The number of women employed by the service increased from 33,000 in 1911 to over 102,000 by 1921.[84] The overall increase in female employment is estimated at 1.4 million, from 5.9 to 7.3 million,[6] and female trade union membership increased from 357,000 in 1914 to over a million by 1918—an increase of 160%.[84] It has been suggested that most of these were working class women going into work at a younger age than they would otherwise have done, or married women returning to work. This taken together with the fact that only 23% of women in the munitions industry were actually doing men’s jobs, would limit substantially the overall impact of the war on the long-term prospects of the working woman.[6] Targeting of women by the government early in the war focussed on extending their existing roles – helping with Belgian refugees, for example, but also trying to improve recruitment rates both through the so called "Order of the White Feather" and through the promise of home comforts for the men while they were at the front. In February 1916, groups were set up and a campaign started to get women to help in agriculture and in March 1917 the Women’s Land Army was set up, though crucially, its members were paid less than their male counterparts. In 1918, the Board of Trade estimated that there were 148,000 women in agricultural employment, though a figure of nearly 260,000 has also been suggested.[6] The war also caused a split in the British suffragette movement, with the mainstream, represented by Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughter Christabel’s Women’s Social and Political Union, calling a ’ceasefire’ in their campaign for the duration of the war, while more radical suffragettes, represented by the Women’s Suffrage Federation of Emmeline’s

Social change
Following the war, millions of returning soldiers were still not entitled to vote.[18] This posed a dilemma for politicians since they could be seen to be withholding the vote from the very men who had just fought to preserve the British democratic political system. The Representation of the People Act 1918 was an attempt to solve the problem, the act was the first to lead to an inclusion of women in the political system. It now also included all adult males as long as they were over 21 years old and were resident householders, ensuring their voices were heard in Westminster.[18] The new coalition Government of 1918, charged itself with the task of creating a "land fit for heroes", from a speech given in Wolverhampton by David Lloyd George on 23 November 1918, where he stated "What is our task? To make Britain a fit country for heroes to live in." [87] More generally, the war has been charged, both during and after the conflict, with removing some of the social barriers that had pervaded Victorian and Edwardian Britain.[10]

In the post war publication Statistics of the Military Effort of the British Empire During the Great War 1914–1920 (The War Office, March 1922), the official report lists 908,371 ’soldiers’ as being either killed in action, dying of wounds, dying as prisoners of war or


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

History of the United Kingdom during World War I
U-boats. Most of this was replaced in 1918 and all immediately after the war.[92] The military historian Correlli Barnett has argued that "in objective truth the Great War in no way inflicted crippling economic damage on Britain" but that the war only "crippled the British psychologically" (emphasis in original).[93] Less concrete changes include the growing assertiveness of Commonwealth nations. Battles such as Gallipoli for Australia and New Zealand,[94] and Vimy Ridge for Canada led to increased national pride and a greater reluctance to remain subordinate to the United Kingdom.[8] These battles were often decorated in propaganda in these nations as symbolic of their power during the war.[8][94] The war released pent-up indigenous nationalism, as populations saw the precedent set by the introduction of self-determination in eastern Europe. Britain was to face unrest in Ireland (1919–21), India (1919), Egypt (1919–23), Palestine (1920–21) and Iraq (1920) at a time when they were supposed to be demilitarising.[9] Nevertheless, Britain’s only territorial loss came in Ireland,[9] where the delay in finding a resolution to the home rule issue, partly caused by the war, as well as the 1916 Easter Rising and a failed attempt to introduce conscription in Ireland, increased support for separatist radicals, and led indirectly to the outbreak of the Irish War of Independence in 1919.[95] Further change in 1919, came with the Treaty of Versailles, the United Kingdom now found itself now in charge of an additional 1,800,000 square miles (4,662,000 km²) and 13 million new subjects[96] The colonies of Germany and the Ottoman Empire were distributed to the Allied powers as League of Nations mandates, with the United Kingdom at least gaining control of Palestine, Transjordan, Iraq, parts of Cameroon and Togo, and Tanganyika.[97] Indeed, the British Empire reach its territorial peak after the settlement.[9]

missing in action in World War One. (This is broken down into the United Kingdom and former colonies 704,121; Undivided India 64,449; Canada 56,639; Australia 59,330; New Zealand 16,711; South Africa 7,121.)[11] Listed separately were the Royal Navy (including the Royal Naval Air Service until 31/ 3/1918) war dead and missing of 32,287[11] and the Merchant Navy war dead of 14,661.[11] The figures for the Royal Flying Corps and the infant Royal Air Force were not given in the War Office report.[11] A second publication Casualties and Medical Statistics, 1931, the final volume of the Official Medical History of the War, gives British Empire Army losses by cause of death.[12] The total losses in combat from 1914–1918 were 876,084, which included 418,361 killed, 167,172 died of wounds, 113,173 died of disease or injury, 161,046 missing presumed dead and 16,332 died as a prisoner of war.[12] The civilian death rate exceeded the prewar level by 292,000, which included 109,000 deaths due to food shortages and 183,577 from Spanish Flu.[11] The 1922 War Office report detailed the deaths of 1,260 civilians and 310 military personnel due to air and sea bombardment of the United Kingdom.[88] Losses at sea were 908 United Kingdom civilians and 63 fisherman killed by Uboat attacks.[89]

In the United Kingdom, funding the war had a severe economic cost. From being the world’s largest overseas investor, it became one of its biggest debtors with interest payments forming around 40% of all government spending.[90] Inflation more than doubled between 1914 and its peak in 1920, while the value of the Pound Sterling (consumer expenditure) fell by 61.2%.Reparations in the form of free German coal depressed the local industry, precipitating the 1926 General Strike.[90] During the war British private investments abroad were sold, raising £550 million. However, £250 million new investment also took place during the war. The net financial loss was therefore approximately £300 million; less than two years investment compared to the pre-war average rate and more than replaced by 1928.[91] Material loss was "slight": the most significant being 40% of the British merchant fleet sunk by German

[1] ^ Baker, p. 21. [2] ^ Trueman, Chris. "Total war". History Learning Site. total_war.htm. Retrieved on 2009-05-17. [3] ^ Tucker & Roberts, p. 504.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
[4] ^ Simkin, John. "Pacifism". Spartacus Educational. FWWpacifists.htm. Retrieved on 2009-05-15. [5] ^ Beckett, pp. 394–395. [6] ^ Beckett, pp. 455–460. [7] ^ Beckett, pp. 341–343. [8] ^ Pierce, p. 5. [9] ^ Beckett, p. 564. [10] ^ "The war and the changing face of British society". National Archives. pathways/firstworldwar/britain/ war_changing.htm. Retrieved on 2009-05-16. [11] ^ War Office, p. 339. [12] ^ Mitchell, p. 12. [13] ^ Beckett, p. 38. [14] "Treaty of London, 1839: The Complete Text". Digital Survivors. archives/treatyoflondon1839.php. Retrieved on 2000-05-13. [15] ^ Beckett, pp. 499–500. [16] The Oxford Library of Words and Phrases. Oxford University Press. 1981. p. 71. [17] "Britain 1915: The "Shell Scandal" and the formation of a Coalition Government". Blacks Academy. 3135.html. Retrieved on 2009-05-13. [18] ^ Sir Hugh Fraser. "The Representation of the People Act, 1918 with explanatory notes". Internet Archive. representationof00frasrich/ representationof00frasrich_djvu.txt. Retrieved on 2009-05-13. [19] Boothroyd, David. "General Election Results 1885–1979". geresults.html. Retrieved on 2009-05-17. [20] Nicolson, p. 308. [21] "The Royal Family name". Official web site of the British monarchy. ThecurrentRoyalFamily/ TheRoyalFamilyname/Overview.aspx. Retrieved on 2009-05-08. [22] Nicolson, p. 310. [23] "Titles Deprivation Act 1917". office of public sector information.

History of the United Kingdom during World War I

content.aspx?LegType=All+Primary&PageNumber= Retrieved on 2009-05-17. [24] At George’s wedding in 1893, The Times claimed that the crowd may have confused Nicholas with George, because their beards and dress made them look alike (The Times (London) Friday, 7 July 1893, p. 5). [25] Nicolson, p. 301. [26] Rose, p. 210. [27] "The Fate of the Romanovs, The Survivors". Georgia Southwestern State University. ImperialRussian/royalty/russia/ survivor.html. Retrieved on 2009-05-17. [28] Duke of Windsor, A King’s Story, pp. 106–107 and Ziegler, pp. 48–50. [29] Roberts, p. 41 and Duke of Windsor, A King’s Story, p. 109. [30] Ziegler, p. 111 and Duke of Windsor, A King’s Story, p. 140. [31] Current Biography 1942, pp. 293–296 [32] Bradford, pp. 55–76 [33] Pope-Hennessy, p. 511. [34] Beckett, Chronology. [35] ^ Trueman, Chris. "Defence of the Realm Act of 1914". History Learning Site. defence_of_the_realm_act_of_1914.htm. Retrieved on 2009-05-13. [36] Duffy, Michael (12 May, 2002). "Primary Documents: Defence of the Realm Act, 12 August 1914". defenceoftherealm.htm. Retrieved on 2009-05-12. [37] Tucker & Roberts, p. 345. [38] "Treachery Bill". Hansard. commons/1940/may/22/treachery-bill. Retrieved on 2009-05-13. [39] "British Army: Courts Martial: First World War, 1914–1918". National Archives. catalogue/ RdLeaflet.asp?sLeafletID=40&j=1. Retrieved on 2009-05-16. [40] Chandler, p. 211. [41] Professor Hew Strachan. "Britain and World War One, 1901 – 1918". BBC History. british/britain_wwone/ overview_britain_ww1_07.shtml. Retrieved on 2009-05-13. [42] Sondhaus, p. 161.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

History of the United Kingdom during World War I

[43] ^ "The First World War and the Inter[59] Bourne, p. 20. war years 1914–1939". MOD UK, Royal [60] "Air Raids". National Archives. navy. history/historical-periods/1914-1939/. pathways/firstworldwar/spotlights/ Retrieved on 2009-05-14. airraids.htm. Retrieved on 2009-05-17. [44] ^ "Battle of Jutland 1916". Mod UK, [61] ^ "Espionage, propaganda and Royal Navy. censorship". National Archives. battles/battle-of-jutland/. Retrieved on pathways/firstworldwar/britain/ 2009-05-21. espionage.htm. Retrieved on [45] "The First World War and the Inter-war 2009-05-17. years 1914-1939". MOD UK, Royal Navy. [62] ’War’s Realities on the Cinema’, The Times, London, August 22, 1916, page 3. historical-periods/1914-1939/. Retrieved [63] ^ Paddock, p. 22. on 2009-05-21. [64] London Gazette: no. 31427, p. 8221, 1 [46] Simkin, John. "Royal Flying Corps". July 1919. Retrieved on 2008-12-12. Spartacus Educational. [65] McCreery, pp. 26–27. [66] London Gazette: no. 30533, p. 2212, 19 FWWraf.htm. Retrieved on 2009-05-15. February 1918. Retrieved on 2009-05-17. [47] Beckett, p. 254. [67] Paddock, p. 24. [48] Simkin, John. "Military Aviation". [68] Paddock, p. 16. Spartacus Educational. [69] Paddock, p. 34. [70] ^ "British Magazines during the Great FWWRFC.htm. Retrieved on 2009-05-15. War". [49] "The anti-war movement". The National Great_War/NewsMedia/Media.htm. Archives. Retrieved on 2009-05-15. [71] "It’s a long way to Tipperary". Irish pathways/firstworldwar/spotlights/ culture and Customs. antiwar.htm. Retrieved on 2009-05-15. [50] Taylor, p. 116. ACalend/VetsTiperary.html. Retrieved on [51] Massie, pp. 309–311. 2009-05-23. [52] H.M.S.O (1922), pp. 674–677. [72] "The Irish in uniform". eircom. [53] "Damage by German Raids". Hansard. ~tipperaryfame/longway1.htm. Retrieved commons/1915/mar/01/damage-byon 2009-05-23. german[73] Shepherd, p. 390. raids#S5CV0070P0_19150301_HOC_140. [74] "Lives of war poets of the First World Retrieved on 2009-05-13. War". The War Poetry Website. 1996. [54] "German Attacks on Unfortified Towns". Hansard. biogs99.htm. Retrieved on 2009-05-16. [75] The Times on 21 September 1914. commons/1915/jun/24/german-attacks[76] "Vera Brittain to be subject for film". on-unfortifiedDaily Telegraph. 13 February 2009. towns#S5CV0072P0_19150624_HOC_189. Retrieved on 2009-05-13. 4612365/Vera-Brittain-to-be-subject-of[55] "Attack Yarmouth in Cruiser Raid". New film.html. Retrieved on 2009-05-18. York Times. [77] ^ Beckett, pp. 380–382. gst/ [78] Condell & Liddiard, p. 18. abstract.html?res=9902EFDD113FE233A25754C2A9629C946796D6CF. [79] Morrow, p. 202. Retrieved on 2009-05-13. [80] Beckett attributes this quotation (page [56] ^ "The Zeppelin Raids". Learning Curve. 382) to Margaret Barnett, but does not give further details. snapshots/snapshot32/snapshot32.htm. [81] "The war and the changing face of Retrieved on 2009-05-15. British society". The National Archives. [57] ^ Beckett, pp. 258–261. [58] Bourne, p. 10. pathways/firstworldwar/britain/


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war_changing.htm. Retrieved on 2009-05-16. [82] Beckett, p. 366. [83] Beckett, p. 369. [84] ^ Professor Joanna Bourke. "Women on the Home Front in World War One". britain_wwone/ women_employment_01.shtml. Retrieved on 2009-05-13. [85] Professor Joanna Bourke. "Women and the Military during World War One". britain_wwone/ women_combatants_01.shtml. Retrieved on 2009-05-13. [86] Law, p. 115. [87] The Times, 25 November, 1918. [88] Martin, pp. 674–678. [89] Gilbert, p. 78. [90] ^ "Inflation value of the Pound". research/rp99/rp99-020.pdf. Retrieved on 2009-05-16. [91] Taylor, p. 123. [92] Taylor, p. 122. [93] Barnett, pp. 424–426. [94] ^ Beaumont, pp. 125−148. [95] Hennessey, p. 220. [96] Ferguson, p. 315. [97] Olson, p. 658.

History of the United Kingdom during World War I
• Bromley, Ian (2006). Bromley: A Midlands Family History—And the Search for the Leicestershire Origin. Troubador Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1905237952. Available on Google books. • Chandler, David (2003). The Oxford History of the British Army. Oxford paperbacks. ISBN 0192803115. • Condell, Diana; Liddiard, Jean (1987). Working for victory?: images of women in the First World War, 1914–18. Routledge. ISBN 0710209746. Available on Google books. • Duke of Windsor (1998). A Kings Story. Trafalgar Square Publishing. ISBN 1853753033. • Ferguson, Niall (2004). Empire. Basic Books. ISBN 0465023290. • Gilbert, Martin (1994). Atlas of World War I. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195210778. • Hennessey, Thomas (1998). Dividing Ireland, World War I and Partition, The Irish Convention and Conscription. Routledge Press. ISBN 0415174201. • His Majesty’s stationery Office (H.M.S.O.) (1922). Statistics of the Military Effort of the British Empire During the Great War, 1914–1920. • Law, Cheryl (1997). Suffrage and power: the women’s movement, 1918–1928. ISBN 1860642012. Available on Google books. • McCreery, Christopher (2005). The Order of Canada. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0802039405. Available on Google books. • Massie, Robert (2004). Castles of Steel: Britain, Germany, and the Winning of the Great War at Sea. London: Jonathan Cape. ISBN 0224 040928. • Mitchell, T.J. (1931). Casualties and Medical Statistics of the Great War. London: Reprinted by Battery Press (1997). ISBN 0898392632. • Morrow, John Howard (2005). The Great War: An Imperial History. Routledge. ISBN 0415204402. • Morris, Joseph (1925). German air raids on Britain 1914–1918. Naval and Military press. ISBN 9781843421498. • Murie, Alan (1983). Housing inequality and deprivation. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 0435826263. Available on Google books. • Nicolson, Sir Harold (1952). King George the Fifth: His Life and Reign. London: Constable and Co. ISBN 9780094531819.

• Baker, Charles Whiting (1921). Government control and operation of industry in Great Britain and the United States during the World War. governmentcontro00bakeuoft. Retrieved on 2009-05-18. , as available from • Barnett, Correlli (2002). The Collapse of British Power. Pan books. ISBN 0330491814. • Beaumont, Joan (1995). Australia’s War, 1914–1918. St Leonards: Allen and Unwin. ISBN 1863734619. • Beckett, Ian F.W. (2007). The Great war (2 ed.). Longman. ISBN 1405812524. Available on Google books. • Bourne, J M (2001). Who’s who in World War One. Routledge. ISBN 0415141796. • Bradford, Sarah (1989). King George VI. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. ISBN 0-297-79667-4.


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History of the United Kingdom during World War I

• Olson, James (1996). Historical Dictionary • Shepherd, J (2003). Continuum of the British Empire. Greenwood Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the Publishing Group. ISBN 031329366X. World: Media, Industry and Society v.1: • Paddock, Troy R E (2004). A call to arms: Media, Industry and Society Vol 1. propaganda, public opinion, and Continuum International Publishing Group newspapers in the Great War. Greenwood Ltd. ISBN 0826463215. Publishing Group. ISBN 0275973832. • Sondhaus, Lawrence (2001). Naval • Pierce, John (Spring 1992). "Constructing Warfare, 1815–1914. New York: Memory: The Vimy Memorial" (PDF). Routledge. Canadian Military History (Laurier Centre • Taylor, A. J. P. (2001). English History for Military Strategic and Disarmament 1914–1945 (The Oxford History of England). Oxford University Press, USA. Studies) 1 (1–2). ISBN 0192801406. lcmsds/cmh/back%20issues/CMH/ • Tucker, Spencer; Roberts, Priscilla Mary volume%201/issue%201-2/ (2005). World War I: encyclopedia. Pierce%20-%20Constructing%20Memory%20-%20The%20Vimy%20Memorial.pdf. ABCCLIO. ISBN 1851094202. Available on Retrieved on 2009-05-17. Google books. • Pigou, Arthur Cecil; Aslanbeigui, Nahid • The War Office (1922). Statistics of the (2002). The economics of welfare. Military Effort of the British Empire Transaction Publishers. ISBN During the Great War 1914–1920. 0765807394. Available on Google books. Reprinted by Naval & Military Press. ISBN • Pope-Hennessy, James (1959). Queen 1847346820. Mary. London: George Allen and Unwin, • Ziegler, Philip (1991). King Edward VIII: Ltd. ISBN 1842120328. The official biography. Alfred A. Knopf. • Roberts, Andrew (2000). The House of New York. ISBN 394577302. Windsor. Cassell and Co, London. ISBN 304354066. • Rose, Kenneth (1983). King George V. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. ISBN 0297782452.

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