Presentation on theme: "People had ration books instead of money. Food rationing began in 1940. This meant each person could buy only a fixed amount of certain foods each week."— Presentation transcript:
People had ration books instead of money. Food rationing began in 1940. This meant each person could buy only a fixed amount of certain foods each week. Much of Britain's food came from other countries in ships. Enemy submarines sank so many ships that there was a shortage of some foods. Rationing made sure everyone got a fair share. You had to hand over coupons from your ration book, as well as money, when you went shopping. When you had used up your ration of one food (say, cheese or meat), you could not buy any more that week. Vegetarians could swap meat coupons for other foods. People had to register with local shops to use their ration books. Often long queues formed as soon as people heard that shops had more supplies. The first foods rationed were bacon, sugar, tea, butter and meat. Lots more foods were rationed later, including sweets! One egg a week was the ration in 1941. There were no bananas, so younger children did not see their first banana until the war ended. Clothes were rationed too, so clothing factories could switch to war work. Paper, petrol and other things, such as soap (one bar a month) and washing powder, were also rationed.
An evacuation journey often began with a walk to school. Then it was off in buses to the station, where special trains were waiting. It was quite exciting, but most children felt sad as they waved goodbye to their mothers and the steam train puffed away. Every evacuee had a gas mask, food for the journey (such as sandwiches, apples, chocolate) and a small bag for washing things and clothes. Pinned to the children's coats were labels. On the label were each child's name, home address, school and where he or she was going. Often the journey took several hours. Children were sent from cities to places where there was less risk of air raids. Many London children went to Devon, Cornwall and Wales. Other children moved to villages in the North, East Anglia and Scotland. Evacuees went to live with host families. Their new homes were called 'billets'. 'Billeting officers' arranged for people to look after the children. Things did not always go to plan. Some children ended up in the wrong places. Sometimes evacuees just stood in a line, and local people picked which children to take. A smaller number of children (perhaps 10,000) went to other countries such as Canada, Australia and the United States.
Not every home had a phone (and there were no mobile phones). Pay-phones in red 'telephone boxes' did not always work after air raids, because of bombs. To keep in touch, people wrote letters. Evacuees wrote postcards and letters home. Men and women in the Forces wrote home too. The sight of a messenger hurrying to a door with a telegram made people feel anxious. Telegrams often brought sad news - that someone had been killed in an air raid or in a battle. Almost every home had a radio or 'wireless'. Most radios came in a case made of Bakelite, a kind of plastic. In Britain, all the programmes came from the BBC. People listened to the radio news, and read newspapers, to find out what was happening in the war. The BBC also broadcast war news in foreign languages. People in France and other occupied countries listened in secret, because the Nazis punished anyone caught listening to the BBC. Radio was not all news. There were comedy shows, talks and plays, and sports broadcasts. Lively music on the radio helped weary factory workers keep working!
Air raids on London began in September 1940. This was the start of the Blitz. Lots of other places were bombed, including industrial cities and ports such as Birmingham, Coventry, Southampton, Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool, Hull and Glasgow. There were air raids on seaside towns, such as Eastbourne, and on cathedral cities such as Canterbury. In 1944, Britain faced attacks from new weapons. First came the V-1, a robot 'flying bomb'. Then there was the V-2, a rocket which flew so fast no-one could see or hear it coming. London was the main target for V-1 and V-2 attacks.
The black out was were everyone would put up black curtains because it was so dark it looked like the houses didn’t exist so the Germans didn’t know were to bomb. Families would have to be escorted across the road as you could see nothing at all. The person who escorted people across the road would carry a light.
World War 2 was fought between two groups of countries. On one side were the Axis Powers, including Germany, Italy and Japan. On the other side were the Allies. They included Britain, France, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, India, the Soviet Union, China and the United States of America. Germany was ruled by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Hitler wanted Germany to control Europe. Japan wanted to control Asia and the Pacific. In 1937 Japan attacked China. In 1939 Germany invaded Poland. This is how World War 2 began. Some countries did not join the war, but stayed neutral (on neither side). Spain, Sweden and Switzerland were neutral countries. So was Ireland, though many Irish people helped the Allies.
Not every 1940s home had a bathroom. Many poor families washed in the kitchen, and had baths in front of the fire. The metal bath was filled with hot water from pans and kettles. In bathrooms, hot water often came from a gas heater. The wartime ration for a bath was 5 inches (12.5 cm) of water once a week. The idea was to save water. In some families, it meant several people used the same bathwater, one after the other! Not all homes had an inside toilet. You used an outside toilet in the backyard or garden. To avoid a chilly walk in the night, you could use a pot kept under the bed.
At home, children listened to the radio. For many, their favourite programme was the teatime 'Children's Hour'. Children listened to music and comedy shows too, though perhaps not to the 'Radio Doctor' telling people how to stay healthy. People played records on a gramophone. Records in those days were black shiny discs, easily broken. At the cinema ('the pictures') you usually saw two films, plus a cartoon and a news film. There were Saturday morning film clubs for children.
Because many toy factories were now making guns or plane parts or other war equipment, there was a shortage of new toys. Children swapped old toys at 'toy-exchanges'. Many wartime toys were made of paper or card, because rubber, plastics, wood and metal were needed for the war. Lots of toys had a war theme. There were toy planes, toy tanks and toy battleships to float in the bath, There were books such as the 'ABC of Aeroplane Spotting', card games with pictures of soldiers and sailors, and a darts game with a picture of Hitler as the bulls eye to throw at!
Clothes were rationed too, so clothing factories could switch to war work. Paper, petrol and other things, such as soap (one bar a month) and washing powder, were also rationed.