World War One. The Great War. Life before War.
The Great War
Towns were dirtier than they are now because of all the smoke from factory chimneys, and from fires in rich homes. There were cars, but only the rich could afford them, and most people preferred to keep a horse and carriage. Quite a few people walked or cycled or for long journeys went by train.
By 1900, all children went to school, but many working class children would leave school at the age of twelve to work. Bright children could rarely have a chance to carry on their education at a grammar school, most would become pupil teachers, which meant training for five years to become a proper teacher. Middle class children stayed at school longer. Upper class children and upper middle class children often went to boarding school. The number who went to university was much smaller than is now, it was only a very small amount.
A lot of people worked in factories, and a lot of men worked as coal miners. In the countryside, a lot of people worked as farm labourers. large numbers of people worked as servants, who were employed by anyone who could afford them.
World War 1 began on July 28th1914 and lasted until November 11th1918. The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the main cause that started World War One. There were also smaller causes in the run-up to the First World War.
In the 1930s, historians said that there were four smaller long-term causes of the First World War:
Men in World War One were employed as a messengers, running to and fro with notes and instructions when the phone lines were broken. This was a very dangerous mission in the muddle of a battle. (Hitler was a message Runner in WWI. He was awarded the Iron Cross for bravery).
Men also had to Bring food and ammunition from supply lines to the front line trenches. They would dig new trenches or expand and repair them. Men were kept busy to keep their minds off the War, this is almost impossible when you are in a muddy trench.
Women did many jobs, which they wouldn’t usually do, during World War 1 when men were away fighting. They worked as farmers, as nurses, in ammunition factories, in public transport, as police women, in post offices and making weapons. By the end of the war women were also being recruited into the armed forces as cooks, clerks, secretaries, electricians, instructors and code experts so more men could fight.
Many women still did their usual jobs cleaning their homes and looking after the children. after World War One women were never looked at the same way again. Lots of Women didn’t go back to sitting idly around a house all day and went out to work.
The poor are most affected because they are most likely to become soldiers because they can’t support the house so there will be nowhere for them to go. They will risk their lives and the rich often become richer because they are making war materiel and supplying other needs.
Given the enormous loss of life in World War I, the poor would have been affected the most by losing husbands, fathers, and sons. To some extent, this helped lead to more education, training, and jobs for women, who needed to support families or whose chances of marrying were suddenly limited. Or the loss of these men might have plunged families even deeper into poverty.