“Holly Housewife” didn’t just abandon her housework though, she took on extra work in order to keep the country fed, clothed and protected..
Poppy was just one of over 250,000 women who worked as farm labourers during WW1. With all able men joining up to fight, the women played a very important role, working on the land to ensure that Britain had a food supply. 20,000 women also joined the “Land Army” The Land Army on Wikipedia
The first “Sweetheart” was in WW1, Lady Angela Forbes was the Forces Sweetheart at camp and a wartime catering organiser for the British army from November 1914. The British Soldiers’ Buffets, commonly known as Angelinas, met every train of wounded as it arrived and were often open 24 hours a day, and food never ran out. (Extract from Wikipedia) as above..
The nurses of course played a massive role during the wars, initially unwelcome on the front-line, they went anyway.. in their thousands, to heal, comfort and protect in any way they could. One nurse I would like to pay particular tribute to is Edith Cavell. Extracts taken from her website:
She was weeding her mother’s garden when she heard the news of the German invasion of Belgium. She would not be persuaded to stay in England. “At a time like this”, she said, “I am more needed than ever”.
Edith not only nursed on the front-line but helped “wanted” men to escape, she paid for this with her life. On the 12th October 1915 she was executed by a 16 strong firing squad. Her last words were:
”I realise that patriotism is not enough, I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone”.
During World War II, rationing was introduced very early, One of the few foods not rationed were fish and chips. Restaurants were exempt from rationing, which led to resentment, as the rich could supplement their food allowance by eating out frequently and extravagantly..
Before rationing lace and frills were popular on knickers but these were soon banned so material could be saved. From March to May 1942 austerity measures were introduced which restricted the number of buttons, pockets and pleats (among other things) on clothes.
So the British had to adapt, using whatever resources they had. The avatar above depicts a woman drawing a line up her leg to give the impression she was wearing stockings..