Weary March to Victory
By the beginning of 1917 men and women were tired: of the appalling numbers dying in the "Great War”, of working very long hours and of no end in sight.
German U-boat action was successful in sinking ships destined for Britain to supply food. Shortages in potatoes, sugar, beer and butter became matters of public concern. Sugar and fish prices had doubled until Government controls brought some stability after 1917.
Coal, the mainstay of heat, power and light in Britain had jumped up in price and rents were also significantly higher. Families kept their heads above water through overtime. The government finally reacted to public pressure and introduced limited rationing in 1917 (ration book for a soldier or sailor pictured). More allotments than ever were pressed into use and farmers successfully increased food production.
There was relief and joy at the declaration of the end of fighting in November 1918. However with 750,000 British war dead most families would have lost a cousin, uncle, in-law, father or son. It would have been impossible to forget those victims of the war.