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Did the War only take place in France?
When you think of World War One you might think of fighting in trenches on the 'Western Front' and elsewhere. What you might not know is that the war also had a huge impact on the people in the villages, towns, and cities on the 'Home Front' in Britain.
What is the Home Front?
People felt they were very much part of the War and living and working back home, during wartime, became known as the 'Home Front'.
Although they were not directly involved in the fighting, many people supported the 'War Effort' by working in munitions factories, treating wounded soldiers in hospital, or sending parcels of warm clothing, food, and sweets to soldiers serving on the frontlines
How did the war affect the Home Front?
The war had a huge impact on the lives of people on the Home Front.
When the war started Britain’s army was very small. More men were needed to win the war and many were recruited into the army. Local buildings were taken over, or ‘requisitioned’, to act as Recruitment Offices. Huge camps, with large numbers of accommodation huts, had to be built to house the new soldiers.
Factories started to produce bullets, bombs and uniforms for the War Effort. Before the war these factories had made everyday items; such as cutlery, clothes and furniture. Women also played a vital role by working in the factories as more men joined the Army.
New Hospitals were also needed to care for injured soldiers and sailors. Large houses, village halls, schools and stately homes were turned into hospitals to treat the wounded.
Your mission is to find out about everyday life on the Home Front during World War One. Take a look at our story cards and see what you discover! The cards can be downloaded and printed out, or viewed online.
Once you have read through the stories you will be ready for active duty. Choose your first mission by clicking the headlines below.
Start a career as a WW1 Journalist
You have just started a career as a newspaper reporter, working for the Anytown Herald. Zeppelins have started dropping bombs across the town and the people are becoming scared. We need you to write a story to make the people believe the Zeppelin raiders can be stopped. This is a very important news article and will make the front page!
You have just landed on a British beach, having been dropped off by U-Boat just off the coast. You are a German Spy and have been sent to investigate activity in the area, keeping a sharp eye out for British military defences. Your task is to identify military activity and write a report about defences on this stretch of coast. Your report will be sent by carrier pigeon to Spy Headquarters in Germany.
Write down your observations so that they can be sent to Spy Headquarters.
Join the Army as a new recruit
'Welcome to the army, Private!' shouts the very strict Drill Sergeant. It's 5:30 in the morning and you can hear a bugle call playing loudly outside.
You have joined the army, answering the recruitment call for the formation of the Anytown Pals.
Just a few weeks ago you were working in a factory, making furniture. Now you are a Private in the army.
You were sent to a newly built camp to learn how to become a soldier and have spent each day drilling, marching and doing exercise. Today you have some spare time to write a letter home to your family.
Take a look at the activities that are going on in the postcard.
Write a quick message to your family to describe what you have been up to while in the camp.
Become a Royal Flying Corps Pilot
You are a pilot in the Royal Flying Corps. Your squadron of Sopwith Camels has been given the task of protecting the skies of Britain against incoming German Gotha bombers.
You and your squadron have been flying missions every day, intercepting any incoming raiders.
The Gotha bombers have now turned their attention to a very important factory. This factory is producing 'Tanks', a strange new weapon quite unlike anything you've seen before. These new Tanks are very important and will help win the war. Therefore it is very important that this factory is protected.
A heavy raid came in this morning and you had to scramble to intercept a formation of Gotha bombers. The raiders dropped bombs near the factory, causing some damage. Now that you have returned from the sortie, you must write a report for your Squadron Commander.