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The war meant that many things were limited. Posters were created stressing the need to stop waste and unnecessary consumption, for the recycling of scarce materials, and for boosting food production from gardens and allotments.
• Tins and Metal - For aircraft and tanks, weapons etc.
• Boiled Bones - To make glue for aircraft and glycerine for explosives.
• Kitchen Waste - For feeding pigs, goats and chickens.
• Paper - for munitions.
• Rubber - for tyres.
The posters and slogans give us a valuable insight the lives of people living at the time of the Second World War.
Why should people be careful about what they said? Who might hear?
'Careless talk costs lives' was the slogan of a nationwide campaign to prevent people from gossiping and letting useful information get into the hands of the enemy. It was launched on February 6, 1940.
In a war, not only military secrets are of potential use to an enemy. Casual talk coming to the attention of enemy agents could result in military and civilian casualties by focusing action on specific targets.
"Keep it under your hat" means "Keep it a secret".
Dig for Victory was a response to a wartime problem of food shortages
Throughout history one of the main reasons wars were loss was lack of food. Before the Second World War Britain imported approximately 55 million tonnes, or 3/4 of the country's food by
ship each year. When the Second World War started in September 1939 shipping was attacked by enemy
submarines and warships. Cargo ships were also used for war materials rather than food transportation.
This resulted in food shortages.
In October 1939 the Government launched 'The Dig for Victory' campaign. People were urged to use gardens and every spare piece of land, such as parks, golf clubs and tennis courts, to grow vegetables. Even the moat at the Tower of London was used to grow vegetables.
|"We want not only the big man with the plough but the little man with the spade to get busy this autumn. Let 'Dig for Victory' be the motto of everyone with a garden,"
Rob Hudson, Minister for Agriculture, in October 1939.
Songs were introduced such as the one promoting the Dig for Victory slogan.
Dig! Dig! Dig! And your muscles will grow big
Keep on pushing the spade
Don’t mind the worms
Just ignore their squirms
And when your back aches laugh with glee
And keep on diggin’
Till we give our foes a Wiggin’
Dig! Dig! Dig! to Victory"
Dig for Victory was very successful. From 815,000 allotments in 1939 the number rose
to 1,400,000 by 1943.
The BBC launched a "V for Victory" campaign in July 1941. Listeners were asked to demonstrate their support for the Allies by chalking up the letter V wherever and whenever they could. People all over occupied Europe were urged to display the letter V and beat out the V sound in Morse Code (three dots and a dash).
It was soon realised that the three short notes and one long at the start of Beethoven's Fifth echoed the Morse code for "victory". The V sound on drums immediately became the call sign of all the BBC's European services.
The Ministry of Food encouraged people to eat healthy things. Potatoes and carrots were easy to get hold of. A campaign was launched with the introduction of characters called Potato Pete and Dr Carrot.
With the country at war and all able-bodied men needed to fight, there was a shortage of labour to work on farms and in other jobs on the land. The government wanted to increase the amount of food grown within Britain. In order to grow more food, more help was needed on the farms and so the government started the Women's Land Army.
On the 1st September 1939, two days before the outbreak of war, Britain was blacked out. Under blackout rules, everyone had to cover up their windows at night with black material. This was to make it difficult for german bombers to find their target in the dark.
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Clothes and materials were in short supply, so people had to wear the same clothes for a long time. When the clothes wore out, people were asked to make them into something else.
Hitler was the leader of the German army. Naturally, the enemy wouldn't have sent a warning that they were going to drop bombs of gas, so people always had to be prepared. Gas masks were issued to every citizen. Fortunately, their use was never required.
It was important for people to stay healthy.
As supplies were short it was important that nothing was wasted. People in some areas collected leftovers to use as food for animals
Evacuation was introduced in September 1939. People feared bombing and invasion and this fear resulted
from the horror that had been experienced during World War I.