Even after so many male workers went away to fight, there were still plenty of jobs that men needed to do on the home front if they didn’t or couldn’t enlist to fight. From shovelling coal to patrolling the streets, men had all kinds of jobs during World War One. Some men were too old or too young to go to war. Some failed the medical test and others were in 'reserved occupations'. This meant they did jobs that were vital to the war effort on the home front such as driving trains and buses, working in the coal mines, shipyards and munitions factories. Some men worked as farmers who were needed to grow food for the troops and civilians. Other men guarded the coast in case of an enemy invasion. Come along to Mr Albert Gerry’s theatre where members of the armed forces explain what jobs they did, and what they now do to serve their country during The Great War.
Children could make a list of jobs men took on the home front during wartime.What do they think would have been the worst jobs? Which would they have liked or not liked to do? A shipbuilder in 1914 was paid 37 shillings a week (£1.85 in today's money), but was getting 74 shillings (£3.70) a week by 1918. During the war years, a 'Tommy' serving on the front line was paid 1 shilling (5p in today's money) a day. These wages sound tiny when expressed in today's money, but what could they have bought at the time? Pupils could research online for the prices of groceries and household goods in the early 1900s. Pupils could read some short newspaper extracts from the war years that give details of the blackout that was enforced. Pupils could be challenged to design blackout measures for their classroom, so that not even a chink of light spills out. What dangers might there be from walking about in the blackout? How could people keep themselves safe from traffic?