Although it was the men who went off to fight the war, the people left behind at home also had a part to play in the war. The Home Front is the name given to the effect of the war on people's everyday lives.
When the war began, the government realised that the cities would come under attack from German aircraft, so they set up an evacuation program., which was completely voluntary.
Every man, woman and child was given a ration book for food and had to register with a grocery store. The grocery store was only given enough food for the people on their list. When someone bought rationed food, the grocer stuck a sticker in his or her ration book to show that that week's ration had been purchased. At first only butter, sugar and bacon was rationed. By the middle of 1940 all meat, eggs, cheese, jam, tea and milk was also rationed. Clothes were rationed from June 1941 due to a shortage of raw materials and also to allow the factories and workers to concentrate on producing weapons, aircraft and ammunition for the war.
One Person's Weekly Food Allowance 4oz (113g)lard or butter12oz (340g) sugar 4oz (113g) bacon 2eggs 6oz (170g) meat2oz (57g)tea
Vegetables were not rationed but were often in short supply. People who had gardens were encouraged to plant vegetables instead of flowers. The government called this 'Digging for Victory' and produced posters to persuade people that they were helping to win the war by planting vegetables.
The only fruit that was available was that grown in Britain e.g. apples, pears, and strawberries. Bananas, oranges, peaches and other imported fruit were not available at all.
Dried egg powder was available and was used to make scrambled eggs.
As more and more men were 'called up' to serve in the forces, women were called upon to take over the jobs traditionally done by men.
Women worked in the factories producing aircraft, ammunition, weapons and other goods needed for the war effort. They worked long hours and could earn as much as 40 shillings (£2.00) a week. This was quite a good wage in the 1940s but was less than the men had been paid for doing the same job. The women who worked in the fields and on farms were known as Land Girls. They were given a uniform and had to live on the farms where they were sent to work. They worked long hours and the work was hard. Land Girls were paid 32 shillings (£1.60) per week.The Home Guard or Local Defence Volunteers (LDV) was formed in 1940 when there was a real risk that Hitler might invade Britain. The men that served in the Home Guard were all volunteers and were mostly those that were too old (over the age of 40) or too young (under the age of 18) to serve in the forces. They became known as 'Dad's Army'.