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Homefront
By April 1916 Britain was said to have only enough wheat left to last how long? Find out in this quiz.

Homefront

This ‘Homefront’ quiz looks at what went on in Britain.

The First World War had a huge impact on British society. Millions of men left their ordinary lives to fight for king and country. But life changed too for those they left behind. A shortage of manpower meant that women had to replace the absent men. Many parts of British life were put on hold for the duration of the war and others were gone forever. British society after the war had changed forever.

1.
In 1915, the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, David Lloyd George, said that Britain was fighting against "Germans, Austrians and..." what?
Idleness
Selfishness
Drink
Greed
He went on to say that "...as far as I can see the greatest of these foes is Drink." The shortage of workers at home meant that wages had gone up, resulting in a higher proportion of men drinking alcohol. This affected productivity and the government campaigned to stop people from drinking. King George V supported the government and promised that the Royal Household would be free from alcohol until the war was over
2.
Notwithstanding the protests of many, professional football continued despite the onset of war. On 26th November 1914, every member of the top club in Scotland at the time signed up for the British Army. Which team did they play for?
Heart of Midlothian
Glasgow Rangers
Dundee United
Glasgow Celtic
Many protested that footballers did not sign up but, as they had signed professional contracts, they could not leave their clubs unless their contracts were cancelled. In the second half of the season attendances had shrunk because of the war effort. The 1915-16 season did not take place and the players were now free to go to war. Football resumed after the war, but many of the stars who played in 1914 would never play again; either killed or injured by their time in battle
3.
The shortage of recruits to replace those killed or injured in the war was addressed by compulsory conscription, which began in January 1916. Men between what ages were called up?
21 and 35 years old
18 and 35 years old
21 and 41 years old
18 and 41 years old
Married men were at first exempt, but this changed four months later so that only men who were widowed but had children, or men in reserved occupations, were exempt. In the last year of the war the upper age limit was raised to 51 years old
4.
Men who refused to fight on compassionate grounds were called 'conscientious objectors'. These men had to convince a panel that their pacifist beliefs were real. If they were successful they were given non-fighting roles, such as stretcher bearers, and a fortunate few stayed at home to work the land. What became of those who were ordered to fight by the panel but refused?
They were sent on the most dangerous of missions
They were imprisoned
They were exiled to Germany
They were executed
Some objectors were sentenced to death but had their sentences cut to imprisonment. Their time there was harsh and around 80 are said to have died from the treatment they received
5.
The First World War saw the beginning of air raids. German airships dropped bombs on British cities, though they were sometimes way off target. An attempt to bomb London mistakenly dropped its cargo on which city?
Leicester
Canterbury
Hull
Norwich
Zeppelin aircraft made around 50 raids on Britain during the war. 557 civilians were killed and 1,358 were injured by the attacks. The public's hatred of the attacks on civilians earned Zeppelins the nickname 'Baby Killers'
6.
In response to the German air raids, Britain introduced the first black outs. People were banned from emitting any light from their windows. Who was allocated the task of enforcing this rule?
The police
Air Raid wardens
The Army
Home Guards
This act did not always go down well. One letter in a local newspaper of 1916 says, "Two special constables have called from door to door demanding that the night lights in the cottages shall not be allowed to illumine the streets even if they were powerful enough to do so. As a consequence, quite a number of dear old ladies (some, mothers of real men, not specials) are living in constant dread of mythical Zeppelins. Accidents, collisions, and other deeds of darkness are more serious than any probable depredations by the Germany enemy." However, for all of the accidents and discomforts caused by the black outs, they probably saved many lives
7.
In 1916 which resource was rationed because it was in short supply?
Food
Coal
Clothing
Petrol
In October of that year it was ruled that coal was to be distributed according to the number of rooms in each house. This seems rather unfair to modern standards as a family of eight people, living in a one-roomed tenement, were entitled to less coal than a single man who lived in a four-bedroomed house
8.
German U-Boat attacks on convoys supplying Britain resulted in a shortage of food. By April 1916 Britain was said to have only enough wheat left to last how long?
Six days
Six weeks
Six months
Six years
The shortage of food caused the prices to rise considerably. Despite this food was not rationed until the last year of the war. Cheese, meat and margarine were amongst the foods to be rationed. Sugar and butter were still being rationed two years after the war
9.
Due to the shortage of food, the government brought in powers to claim any land they wished to use for farming. How much land was converted in this way?
1 million acres
1.5 million acres
2 million acres
2.5 million acres
In addition many gardens were used to grow vegetables or to keep chickens. In total there was an extra 3 million acres of farmland in Britain at the end of the war than there was prior to its outbreak
10.
Because experienced soldiers were needed on the front line, the training of new recruits in Britain was undertaken by who?
The police
Newly qualified recruits
Retired soldiers
Inexperienced soldiers
The men were often elderly. One retired officer had a heart attack whilst he was on parade and died as a result. Another was reported to have given his instruction from his seat in his bath-chair

 

Author:  Graeme Haw

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