Ancestry and the Royal British Legion remember over 1.5 million home front heroes of World War I
Ancestry and the Royal British Legion are commemorating the centenary of the end of the First World War by offering a different take on the commemorations - remembering the 1.5 million Brits who contributed to the war effort from the home front.
Ancestry has mapped out how the ‘Total War’ looked across the UK after over two thirds of Brits admitted they know little or nothing about how the war was fought on home shores.
World War I on the home front
- By the end of the war, up to 1 million women had become ‘munitionettes’, creating military armaments, with a significant amount being produced in the East Midlands and the North West
- In 1917 the Women’s Land Army held a march through Birmingham to celebrate the 23,000 women working to produce food and farming the land after the majority of male agriculture workers headed to war
- In 1914, nearly 1,300 Scouts took on coast-watching duties in seaside towns such as Saltfleet, Lincolnshire in the absence of coast guards, looking out for enemy vessels
- 22,000 people watched Blyth Spartans Ladies FC win the first Munitionette's Cup – held in Middlesbrough – women’s football boosted morale during the war
- The establishment of the first Women’s Institute in Singleton, Sussex, helped raise Britain's food self-sufficiency by 25% by the end of the war - this was done through the farming of animals, grains and vegetables on British soil which reduced the UK’s reliance on food imports
- The Carlisle experiment in Cumbria saw the state take ownership of 343 pubs to control alcohol consumption during the war due to fears that excess drinking was negatively impacting the productivity of the workforce
- Over 100,000 homing pigeons were used to send important messages to the front line with the National Homing Union in Leeds threatening six months in prison for anyone shooting a pigeon
- 25,000 motorcycles were built in Bristol and then sent to countries where the fighting was taking place
Free access to Ancestry's wartime records
Normally available only to Ancestry members, all UK and Irish wartime records will be free to access from 8th – 12th November 2018 at the Ancestry website.