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Impact of WW1 on UK after wars end

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Impact of WW1 on UK after wars end

Old 9th Nov 2014, 21:40
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Impact of WW1 on UK after wars end

Looking at impact on UK population at home of WW1 post conflict.

The impact of Armed forces returning (or not home) is well understood. The impact on how country was run is what looking at.

In years following WW1 the numbers that were previous "in service" to middle and upper classes, circa 1.5 million in 1914 pretty much evaporated as the employment ceased here.............. either through total loss of wealth or all male members dead.

Alcohol laws.............when you could have a drink had changed during war as a result of dud shells and tighter licensing laws which only changed in 1990's.

Many more women were now able to vote........ many MPs who supported this said it was because of impact Women at home had made on war effort but still wasn't full universal suufrage.

The numbers of Women who had either had a husband or loved one killed who did not marry because of the heartbreak of the death.

Wiping out of the aristocracy classes.

Birth of aviation from a folly to something that was useful.

Other examples ?
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Old 9th Nov 2014, 21:42
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Paul Brannen: The story of Toc H and the pursuit of peace across Europe - - The Journal
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Old 10th Nov 2014, 02:34
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The premature death of my dads dad, I have a picture of him in his brand new army uniform prior to going off to The War, where he was gassed and returned to die 5 years later, my dad was 9.
Us lads that followed all have some of his handsome features, eerily !!!
So sad, and what a waste.

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Old 10th Nov 2014, 03:42
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Serious question....what was the connection between alcohol laws and dud shells?
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Old 10th Nov 2014, 04:06
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In Australia, (and I can only assume it was more or less the same in the UK), it gave us a whole generation of maiden aunts, young women who lost their intended in the war and decided not to "take second best" and so remained unmarried.

While on that "second best" line, few would disagree that all nations involved could almost certainly be said to have lost the best ("the flower"?) of that generation in the trenches - and this, especially when coupled with the double blow British society suffered when the best of the next generation were so thoroughly culled by the losses suffered in Bomber Command - can be seen in the sorry standard of (not just) political leadership we enjoy (!) today.

Getting back to Australia, a man who wrote the history book we used for high school Modern History back in the 1960s said that WW1 set the very newly established Commonwealth of Australia back 100 years, because the nation suffered not only one of the highest casualty rates of any nation involved (something many find hard to accept), but that particular generation was quite possibly unique. Many were not native-born, but UK-born and the type of young man who had the get up and go to move halfway around the world to what was still in many ways, a frontier life. There is no way the loss of all those young men can ever be calculated nor what they (or the sons and daughters so many of them never had) might have achieved.

I think the same could be said of France, the UK and Germany (and every other nation involved). Imagine if all those many hundreds of thousands of young men lost in both world wars were populating Europe today instead of the immigrants from the Third World who are, not to put too fine a point to it, turning too much of Europe into clones of the societies they 'escaped'?
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Old 10th Nov 2014, 04:13
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Originally Posted by Andu
....because the nation suffered not only one of the highest casualty rates of any nation involved (something many find hard to accept),

I suppose it depends on how one defines casualty rates.
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Old 10th Nov 2014, 04:33
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John, your mob are said to have suffered a slightly higher casualty rate. The Australians, Canadians and Kiwis used British logistics support to a large degree, allowing them to have a considerably higher proportion of their total troops numbers posted to front line units.

But an explanation as simple as that would not fit your "narrative" of re-writing every damn thing debated here to fit your own unique view of this world.
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Old 10th Nov 2014, 04:43
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Andu, Australia did suffer high casualties compared to other countries of the Commonwealth but as you claim " one of the highest casualty rates of any nation involved" I do indeed find that hard to accept.
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Old 10th Nov 2014, 05:05
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Originally Posted by Andu
In Australia, (and I can only assume it was more or less the same in the UK), it gave us a whole generation of maiden aunts, young women who lost their intended in the war and decided not to "take second best" and so remained unmarried.
It wasn't a matter of not accepting "second best", at a time when the total population of the UK was about 40 million, there were, quite simply, two million more women of marrying age (say 20 to 30) than there were men to marry them. While many women ended up with very damaged husbands, there weren't even "second best" men for two million women.

I highly recommend the book "Singled out" by Virginia Nicholson for a comprehensive discussion of the situation and its consequences.

I gave my father the book to read and he pointed out to me that my grandmother emigrated to New Zealand immediately after the end of the war and married within 6 weeks of arriving, a strategy discussed in the book. The situation was so bad in the UK that single women emigrated to "the colonies", Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, to seek husbands. Maybe the gender ratio was no better, but perhaps like modern backpackers they benefited from the novelty of being foreign (insofar as Britain was foreign at the time).

Here's another link for it.
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Old 10th Nov 2014, 06:08
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I'll accept you make a very valid point, nonsense. But the fact is, it was a face-saving conceit (at least among the few old maiden aunts in my family when I was a boy in the 1950s), to explain their single status. "They had lost their one true love in the Great War." (Which is the way they referred to it.)

The other sad fact is that so many of the men who came home were such a mess psychologically after what they'd been through, they were not good husband material, which made the disparity in gender numbers even more extreme. I can still remember one of my (it seemed to me, always crotchety) bachelor grand uncles who had a constant, terrible, racking cough, which my Grandmother explained with a throwaway line "he was gassed in the war". I had no idea what that meant until years later. There was a cardboard box in a cupboard with all sorts of military paraphernalia, (rising sun badges, campaign medals, pennies fashioned into slouch hats, even a balaclava, which I, growing up in the tropics, could not believe men actually wore over their heads).

The real wonder is that so many of them managed to get their act together enough to lead halfway normal lives after they came home. I'd hate to see the stats. showing how many of them didn't - I suspect the suicide figures would be sobering if not staggering.
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Old 10th Nov 2014, 06:21
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was just watching TV the other day and a story about when the Saudis were just starting out they came asking for a loan of £100000 (£10000000 in today's money) in exchange for all there oil rights.... the foreign minister turned them down saying they didn't have much and what they had wasn't worth much!! how things could have been different.
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Old 10th Nov 2014, 07:50
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Serious question....what was the connection between alcohol laws and dud shells?
Because pubs could open all day and late into the night, it was not uncommon for workers to come into work in the morning the worse for wear after a long night in the pub. There was a risk that munitions (and other war effort) workers who were under the influence posed a safety risk and adversely impacted quality and productivity.

To counter this, licensing laws were introduced as a part of the Defence of the Realm Act 1914 that restricted pub opening hours and caused beer to be watered down.

We retained those same restrictive laws (in England and Wales) until the 1990s.
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Old 10th Nov 2014, 08:10
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Thanks very much.
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Old 10th Nov 2014, 08:12
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Re post-WWI shortage of husband prospects....

When I was a young chap my girlfriend persuaded me to take her on a six hour drive to visit her aunt. She was an old lady living alone in a big homestead on a sizeable patch of lush NZ pasture land. She had never married and had pictures of here lost soldier fiancée around the best rooms in the old house.

We were there for a couple of days and the lady made somewhat of a point explaining how difficult it was to get a reliable farm manager etc etc. I was obviously too slow to realise what I could so easily have been set up for!!
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Old 10th Nov 2014, 08:14
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Oh yes. Porter, (more or less stout as we'd know it today), the preferred drink of the working man, was said to be a quite strong brew.
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Old 10th Nov 2014, 08:41
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Probably not, every farmer I have ever known (and I come from a large family of mostly farmers) has always bent me ears about how times are so tough for them. The girl was very nice though.
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Old 10th Nov 2014, 08:56
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It is often not appreciated that we declared war because of a 40 year old treaty we had signed. Debates in parliament about whether we should honour this old treaty resulted in only a thin majority to do so.

It is worth conjecture had we not entered the war, yes France would have been overrun by the Germans and their history of occupation is not a good one. Germany would never have tried to occupy the UK.

However the end result today would have been very different and one can wonder of the millions killed during both wars would have been avoided.

It's quite an interesting exercise to work out what may have happened had we not entered the conflict. Few people realise that our decision was based on a treaty and not a desire to stop the German progress across Europe and how close we came to not entering the affray.
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Old 10th Nov 2014, 09:00
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Yes funfly it did seem that everyone had a treaty with everyone else!
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Old 10th Nov 2014, 09:50
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racedo,

Summing up you question, it would probably be accurate to say that WW1 was when the elastic that was still holding the modern, industrialised to the medieval agricultural world finally snapped. With this came full modern democracy and (eventually) increases in wealth production that enabled wealth to be spread more among the population.

The UK was already leading the way in much of this (industrialisation and the development of democracy, etc.) and advanced quite well after the war had ended. The rest of the developed world followed reasonably shorty afterwards (way off in the future, WW2 will clearly be seen as the final stages of WW1 and almost that final break everywhere with those medieval pasts; the USA had a slight head-start over much of Europe through their 'remoteness' and the advantage of democracy and industrialisation that had had its foundations with their British cousins; the USSR still had a little longer to go to rid itself of its links with its Russian medieval past and one of those last gasps of the medieval world, that class-based philosophy of Marxism, this possibly making the fall of the Berlin Wall and its consequences as being the true ending of WW1). The UK in the 21st Century is very different from the UK of the 19th Century, and that was primarily due to the upheavals of WW1. It was traumatic for the UK, but it happened elsewhere and none of the fighting or revolutions that came from it ran through the streets of the UK, enabling a more measured readjustment to the modern world than in many other places.

WW1 was just one of that long line of situations over the past 300 years where Britain has had to help Europe to save itself from itself with Britain seeking no territorial gains for their efforts. Hopefully Britain won't be called on to do that again, but watching the way the EU is going, there is still a risk...
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Old 10th Nov 2014, 10:26
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To counter this, licensing laws were introduced as a part of the Defence of the Realm Act 1914 that restricted pub opening hours and caused beer to be watered down.
There was also the nationalisation of a brewery in/near Carlisle!

When it was sold off, Theakston's bought it.

Dunno if it has survived the various take overs.
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