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How did WWII Affect peoples everyday lives?

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Claude Walton

on 20 June 2014

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Transcript of How did WWII Affect peoples everyday lives?

Women at work (This photo is Australian)
Women took jobs that they didn't usually have. Men did these jobs before the war. Women started to do the bread and milk deliveries. They drove Taxis. Some women even became aircraft mechanics as part of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAAF) formed just for WWII.

John Curtain
Australia joined the war because they were still part of the British Empire and were obliged to England. At this point Australia itself was not threatened. At the beginning of the war all of our involvement was based around Europe and North Africa.
When the Japanese invaded Singapore Australia's position significantly changed. Now Australia was under direct threat.
Why Australia joined the war
Children of the 40's
How did WWII Affect peoples everyday lives?
By Claude Walton
These men chose not to go to war.
Not all men chose to fight. These men might not have been allowed to enlist due to age restrictions, essential civilian service or poor health. These people would have signed up for courses on how to prepare an air raid shelter or how to spot an enemy plane. These men also acted as wardens ensuring blackout regulations were kept.
Many men did voluntary work such as cooking and serving in military canteens or barracks.
During the war, American troops came to Australia and had a great time. They took girls out to dance halls and introduced a new style of music and dancing called the Jitterbug.
Men at Home
Why is 1940's life different from now?
Children of the 40's playing outside.
When the war ended many women returned to their household duties. Some women did not and the number of women in the workforce has increased continually since then.
People these days are thought to be more lazy, than others were back in the 40's. This applies mainly to children. Children in the 40's didn't have Ipods, Ipads, etc... They had to make do with what they had. Most children now play on their consoles instead of going out, socialising and being active.
Men lining up to enlist
The majority of men joined the war effort. For most men this meant that they enlisted. The population at the time was about 7 million, about 990,000 (just over 14% of the population) people had enlisted and around 560,000 of these served overseas. Over 27,000 Australian servicemen died during WWII.
This commitment of Australian men to the war effort led to significant shortages in the workforce. This was at a time when demand increased, due to the need of supplies for the War.
By 1943, 2000 women had joined the women's land army. These women were known as "soldiers in overalls". Although they were known as an army, the women's land army provided help to farmers boosting the production of food on their farms.
Unfortunately most of Australia's troops were deployed around the other side of the world. Because of this John Curtain
(Australia's Prime Minister of the time) had to introduce conscription.
People dancing to the jitterbug.
Children in the 40's helped their families A LOT more than kids do now. Children are more spoilt than they were back then and have more material items such as Ipods, computers and playstations. Children in the 1940's played more social games then, namely, marbles, pick up sticks, snakes and ladders and cards.

Although Children weren't as affected by the war as adults, the war still had a massive impact on children's lives. The biggest of which was the stress of knowing their father or brother was fighting in the war. Children had to learn the quickest ways to evacuate a building and how to put a gas mask on properly. They were required to do many more chores around the house including milking cows (by hand) and washing clothes (without a washing machine).

Decades of Change - Australia in the 1940's by Itiel Bereson

Information and Images from 1940's Day
Children had to do lettering and
handwriting lessons with a
special nib.
How the War affected families
Life during the war was very tough and it is hard to compare to our life today as we are very lucky living in a safe and prosperous country.
During the war some foods such as meat, butter, sugar and tea were rationed so that supplies could be sent to the troops. People were given coupons to buy these items and once used you were not allowed any more until the next week. Each person was given coupons for 45gm(1.5 ounces) of tea, 450gm (1 pound) of sugar, 170gm(1/3 pound) of butter and 900gm (2Pounds) of meat.
Items which we eat a lot today such as fish and chicken were not rationed during the war and people ate more of these.
Interestingly, due to the change in diet there was actually a decline in diet related diseases during the war.
Refrigerators were very rare in the 1940s and most people still had ice chests and a man had to deliver large blocks of ice each day to keep food cold.
Clothing was also rationed during the war as manufacturers had to produce military uniforms. Large factories in China producing cheap clothing did not exist like today. A similar system to coupons to food was used.
Many sports were cancelled during the war, for example Test cricket was not played until 1946 from the beginning of the war. Both the 1940 and 1944 Olympic games were cancelled during the war.

My Grandmothers Experience
My Grandmother with her Aunt in Gundagai
My Grandma Christine was born on the 10th of October 1941 during the war.
My grandmother Christine McInerney was born in Sydney on the 10th of October 1941. She was sent to her grandmother's house in Gundagai NSW, in the
My Grandmother
fear of a Japanese invasion. This would be hard for us to imagine as we live in a wonderful country which is very peaceful.

This photo was taken in Gundagai. It features her with her Aunt.
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