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Thursday, 4 December 2014

'Doing Their Bit'

In some earlier blog posts, I've looked at the sacrifices my family made during WW1. While soldiers were away fighting the war, the women and children of Britain 'did their bit' for the war effort, too, and this was true in both world wars. Women took over many jobs traditionally done by men before that date - working on the railways and buses, and in munitions factories and the steelworks.
Boys and girls - Scouts and Guides - helped with war work such as running messages, or harvesting crops. Young lads served in the navy and mercantile marine, and many patriotic underage teenage lads wangled their way onto active service. My book Tracing Your Ancestor's Childhood has lots of info on how to find out about records for your ancestors' wartime service and in youth organizations, and my latest feature for Family Tree looks at the effect of both world wars on children, especially at Christmastime.

Images of women bus and tram conductors, and a mother and child hauling a canal boat along the Regent's Canal, from the Nigel Wilkes Collection: The Times History of the War, Vol. IV, 1915.

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