5.1 A Home Front
The war had a huge impact on those who remained in Britain and did not go to fight on the Western Front. Women in particular joined the war effort, many of whom had never worked before. The films on this page show various efforts of the Home Front in support of the war.
WOMEN'S LAND ARMY GOING TO FARMS
1 MIN 47 SECS, SILENT, B/W, 1914-1918
This film shows members of the Women's Land Army in a camp. They emerge from their tents, get themselves ready, and have breakfast before heading off in the back of a truck to various farms for the day. The women work in a field, gathering flax and weighing bundles of sheared wool.
WOMEN FACTORY WORKERS
1 MIN 2 SECS, SILENT, B/W, 1914-1918
Female employees work alongside male ones in a factory constructing and assembling parts for aeroplanes during the First World War.
NAVVIES IN SKIRTS
1 MIN 11 SECS, SILENT, B/W, 1916
This film, Navvies in Skirts, dates from 1916 and details women taking jobs as 'navvies' (building labourers) during the First World War. It shows these female workers shovelling and taking rocks in wheelbarrows for dumping into open cellars.
WOMEN'S WARTIME FIRE BRIGADE
1 MIN 14 SECS, SILENT, B/W, 1915
Here we see drills conducted by a women's fire brigade during the First World War. The brigade practises lowering victims from windows, using the pumps and fire hoses, and catching jumpers. The film ends with a lovely shot of the brigade smiling and waving for the camera.
THE COAL FAMINE
0 MINS 36 SECS, SILENT, B/W, 1917
In Bermondsey, London, we get a glimpse of coal rationing during the 'Coal Famine' of the First World War Home Front. The film shows a distribution site where supplies are given free to the poor. The film dates from 1917.