Images from
World War II

Make-do and Mend
Due to shortages in supplies, the government created posters to encourage people to mend and reuse anything that could be extended for further use.  It was during this time period that the phrase 'make do and mend' became popular in Britain.  Emphasis was placed on mending clothes, since clothes rationing was introduced in 1941 and people were rationed to a fixed number of clothing coupons per year.

Lewis, Brenda Ralph.  Women at War: The Women of World War II - at Home, at Work, on the Front Line.  New York: The Reader's Digest Association, Inc., 2002.
p. 45

Mothers Demonstration Pressing for Nurseries
During World War II, women with children of school age or younger were exempted from conscription to do war work.  But they were still under pressure to volunteer for work.  The mothers in this photo are holding a demonstration to press for more nurseries so their children would be taken care of while the mothers work.

Summerfield, Penny.  Women Workers in the Second World War.  London: Croom Helm, 1984.
p. 78

Mother Working on the Household Accounts
Learning from World War I, the government implemented a systematic rationing program during World War II.  In order to receive rations, mothers had to do a considerable amount of paper work.  This photograph is of a mother of a large family working on the household accounts.

Summerfield, Penny.  Women Workers in the Second World War.  London: Croom Helm, 1984.
p. 106

Children Awaiting Evacuation to the Countryside
Here is a photo of children waiting to be evacuated to the countryside, taken in 1940.  Even prior to the start of World War II, there were already plans for evacuation from areas thought to be likely targets of the enemy.  People who evacuated included primary schoolchildren, their teachers, and mothers with toddlers under five years old.

Londoners Sleeping in Subway Station
The people in this photo are sleeping in a subway station in London.  Because of more advanced military technology, civilians in the U.K. were constantly exposed to air raids.  Some took shelter in subway stations, while others went to private shelters built at street level.

                                                        Home                 World War I