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Britain: British Society 1890-1918 - Women And Civilians In The Great War

Students of GCSE History will focus on British society in different periods as one part of the course. One era that will be covered is from 1890-1918, and one topic they will look at is women and civilians during the Great War.

The lives of British women and civilians were utterly changed during the Great War. No one could pretend that the war did not affect him or her. Taxes went up, conscription was introduced, and every British citizen seemed to be in direct danger of attack.

Find out more about the lives of women and civilians during the Great War by playing this quiz.

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  1. Men were expected to join up in the forces: either voluntarily or by conscription. Some men, however, were not allowed to leave their jobs, which were considered vital to the war effort. Examples would be coal-miners and train drivers. What general name was given to such employment?
    Many such men wanted to join up but were refused permission to do so
  2. British propaganda made much of atrocities committed by the Germans against civilians in the early weeks of the war. Which country was said to have suffered especially badly from this?
    These accounts of mistreatment were reinforced by the stories related by refugees
  3. Women tried to shame male civilians into joining up. How precisely did they do this?
    Many men felt humiliated by such treatment
  4. DORA was an Act of Parliament passed in August 1914, that curbed the rights of citizens under wartime conditions. What does DORA stand for?
    Civilians had to accept that their everyday movements and actions could now be curbed by law
  5. Women workers were especially appreciated in the munitions industry, and many thousands served there. How many women were employed in this way at the peak?
    The main task was filling shells, which was dangerous work. However the work was well paid, and sometimes women went on strike for better conditions
  6. In January 1918 the government placed limits on civilians' consumption of certain foodstuffs, following an escalation of the Germans' submarine campaign against merchant shipping. What was this measure called?
    The Germans very nearly succeeded in starving Britain out of the war by reserving the right to sink any ship on the high seas. So the government was forced to introduce curbs on the purchase of certain foodstuffs
  7. Many women served near the front line as nurses. One such nursing unit were the FANY's, founded by Kitchener in 1907, What does FANY stand for?
    Nurses were of course badly needed at the front, but women did not get involved directly in combat
  8. The government reduced pub opening hours in order to get better service from the civilian workforce. What were the new opening times in the evening?
    The government was keen to stamp out drunkenness and to get the highest possible productivity out of the work force
  9. What happened to both Scarborough and Hartlepool in December 1914?
    After these incidents few British civilians felt safe from the savage "Hun"
  10. London received air raids in 1915 from German airships. By what name were these craft known?
    Such raids terrified civilians, who felt that they were now fighting in the front line as well as enlisted troops

Author: Edward Towne

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