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Digital Subscriptions > Family Tree > Family Tree December 2018 > 10 rules to live by in WORLD WAR I

10 rules to live by in WORLD WAR I

As our ancestors celebrated the Armistice 100 years ago, they would have looked forward to the lifting of many restrictions they had endured in wartime Britain. From letter censoring to buying a round of drinks, Ruth A Symes reveals 10 rules that controlled everyday life on the Home Front



This 11 November will be the centenary of the Armistice of World War I – an occasion when our ordinary ancestors took the day off work to celebrate the end of a four-year-long conflict that had irrevocably changed millions of lives. For those members of our families who had remained on the Home Front, the war years would be remembered as a period of darkness, quietude and sobriety, an anxious time in which people kept a watchful eye on the doings of their neighbours to ensure that no-one stepped out of line.

For our ancestors who hadn’t been allowed even the simple pleasure of buying their friends or work colleagues a round of drinks without facing a fine for nearly four years, the Armistice, when it finally came, must have been an immense relief not only because it saw the cessation of hostilities with Germany, but also because it marked the end of a large number of restrictions that had greatly affected the normal workings of domestic life.

Did you know?

Almost a million arrests were made for breaches of DORA during the war years. Our ancestors lived with the anxiety of knowing that punishments ranged from fines and imprisonment to execution

Regulations published in the Defence of the Realm Manual (5th edition), February 1918. Download the manual to read from the Internet Archive at
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