This guide aims to to mark a selection of vital primary resources appropriate to the British endure of WWI.
The politics of WarToggle DropdownThe Realities that WarfareToggle DropdownThe residence FrontToggle DropdownCultural Output during WWIToggle Dropdown

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The Economist historic Archive (1843-2010), obtainable via SOLO,provides a valuable resource for researcher examining changing WWI employed patterns, their impact on the brother economy, and vice-versa. The delivers a complete searchable copy that every problem from 1843 come 2010, with images, multiple search indexes, and also the basic to browse included.

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The war Emergency Workers" nationwide Committee was a joint work organisation developed at the start of the first World War. Originally made up as a peace committee, it soon developed into something more like a representative that the working classes during wartime. It pressurised ministers on key issues consisting of rent controls, food prices and benefits for servicemen and their families, additionally contesting problem such together employment, wages and conditions that service. The Bodleian holds a range of literature created by the Committee (searchable via SOLO), consisting of the pamphlet The workers and the war: a programme for work (1914), which outlines vital objectives and also a determination to "formulate a connected Labour programme and also policy of together a character as will certainly more completely arrest present distress, and prevent as far as possible further distress and also unemployment in the future." Also obtainable is The war Emergency: proposal for work members on local committees (1914), which encourages local authorities to do all they can to prevent wartime unemployment.

Of added interest space the diaries, correspondence and also official papers of Christopher Addison, organized within one-of-a-kind Collections. As soon as Lloyd George collection up the set of ammunition in 1915, Addison was appointed houses of parliament Secretary, chiefly in fee of supply. He made use of new methods the organisation known as ’War Socialism’ to bring out boosted production. Exclusive enterprise was lugged under manage of the Government, which put up its own factories, and an excellent care was taken to enhance the welfare of the munition workers. In July 1917 Addison left the ministry of munitions to come to be Minister the Reconstruction, where he set about illustration up a brand-new plan for post-war Britain, including plenty of social reforms. Evidence can be discovered that much of his work touched on improving the resides of men and women who functioned in wartime industries, including their employed staff prospects following the conflict.


As highlighted previously in the guide, the battle initiated large changes in work and employment. These changes impacted on everyone, both in the short and long term, and also were necessary to keeping both the military and also the home Front moving throughout the conflict. Together Britain's males headed abroad to fight, ladies took their place en masse in factories, shops and offices, and also on the land. Munitions factories became a mainstay, and much more than a million ladies took the chance to serve throughout the economic climate - from tram drivers and also train cleaners, come postal workers and police patrols.

This excerpt, drawn from digitised product on the IWM Collections and also Research website, is dubbed 'Women to win the War', and also depicts work in a liven munitions factory. Ladies (and often boys) to be integral come the success of these factories. They operated on capstan lathes and huge vertical drilling machines, performing demanding tasks in conditions that were often poor and arduous. Producitivity to be at a premium throughout the war; in bespeak to store pace with need from the prior line, 12 hour shifts were typical – and also some women worked 13 days without a break.

Topical budget plan Newsreel, 'Women to win the war' (IWM)


The Women’s Library is a crucial resource for historians analyzing changes in woman employment throughout WWI. It contains multiple scrapbooks documenting women"s initiatives to fill the void left by a generation that fighting men, including a an option of albums concentrated on certain employment sectors; because that example, medical (ambulance service, nurses, hospitals), Women’s military Auxiliary Corps (WAAC), Women’s royal Air Force, munitions industry, soil Girls and Public Services. The albums consists a range of push cuttings, native both nationwide and local newspapers.

In addition, the library has the files of Dorothea Barton, a prominent feminist campaigner pertained to with ensuring that females in the workforce were treated fairly. Her documents consist of historic and modern-day notes, statistics, push cuttings and also articles and reviews top top women and their welfare, and papers, reports and typescripts of write-ups on your wages and working conditions.


As noted elsewhere, the brothers Library the Political and Economic science (LSE) consists of the personal and company papers of william Beveridge. This contains material relating come his job-related with the to adjust of ammunition (1915-1916), such together correspondence and also reports on manpower problems, and also memoranda concerning the background and activities of the Ministry. There are additionally papers indigenous the Manpower circulation Board (1916), providing additional insight to main approaches come wartime employment.

In addition, researchers can accessibility minutes and papers the the set of Reconstruction. The ministry was collection up in July 1917, and also covered a wide variety of economic, social and political issues, from administrative reform and advancement of commercial relations, to the place of females in society and the avoidance of post-war unemployment. It was separation into several sub-committees, consisting of the repair Committee and also the Civil battle Workers Committee, material from i beg your pardon is accessible to consult. Beveridge acquired records collated through the Women"s employed Sub-Committee and its market Group worrying the varieties and problems of employment of women, and also details the schemes to instead of them with men; together with correspondence, memoranda, minutes and the last report the the Civil battle Workers Committee worrying the demobilisation that females employed during WWI.


During WWI a good many refugees fled come Britain. The German invasion and also occupation of Belgium in 1914, for example, caused Belgian civilians to move to neighbouring countries on a massive scale. At its peak, part 250,000 take it refuge in Britain. In turn, part of the German media offered the case of Belgian refugee employees for propagandist purposes, arguing that they were exploited by the war economy. A booklet held at the british Library (selections of which have been digitised) looks for to refute the assertions that the newspaper Kölnische Zeitung the the ‘condition of the Belgian workmen who have taken refuge in England is not far removed from slavery’. Instead, it argues that Belgian workmen in brother factories to be employed under the same terms and conditions together British workers, and also were paid the very same wages. The booklet looks for to dispel anxieties roughly migrant refugee workers being exploited or supplied to drive down wages. In fact, the Belgian migrants in britain who functioned in ammunition contributed substantially to the battle effort.

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With a huge part of the male working populace either volunteering or being conscripted to go off to war, plenty of families found themselves in a place where they shed a proportion or in some cases all of their family income. The brothers Library provides accessibility to documentation worrying the Separation Allowance, introduced in bespeak to minimize some of these problems. The Allowance had a section of a soldier’s pay, i m sorry was normally matched through the government, come ensure the the soldier’s dependents were not left destitute.