November 11th is remembrance day. It marks the end of the first world war and is also used as a date to remember soldiers lost in later conflicts.
In Britain, the world wars led to rationing on the ‘home front’ (aka for those who weren’t away fighting), conscription of young men and mass evacuations from cities.
To help your family learn more about the world wars we’ve created a historical quiz. Test your knowledge and learn more about one of the most pivotal periods in British history.
Test your knowledge:
1. How long did rationing last after the Second World War?
2. What happened on 6th June 1944?
3. What were the first foods to be rationed in Britain in World War Two
4. What did shoppers need to bring with them to do their weekly shop during World War Two?
5. Why is the poppy a symbol of remembrance day?
6. Why did World War One start?
7. How many people were evacuated during the Blitz in World War Two Britain?
8. What happened on the battlefield during Christmas day of 1914?
9. What was conscription and who did it affect?
10. How did the first world war change the role of women in society?
Were you right?:
1. How long did rationing last after the second world war? In the USA the final parts of rationing ended in 1947, however, in Britain it didn’t end until July 1954!
2. What happened on 6th June 1944? ‘D-Day’. This was the allied invasion of Normandy (France) by the British empire and American troops.
3. What were the first foods to be rationed in Britain in world war two? Butter, Sugar, Bacon and Ham. These items were rationed from January 1940.
4. What did shoppers need to bring with them to do their weekly shop during World War Two? Everyone in Britain was given a ration book, they had to register to buy their food from a chosen shop.
5. Why is the poppy a symbol of remembrance day? Poppies symbolise remembrance day because they grew on the battlefields of World War One.
They are especially well known due to this poem, ‘In Flanders Fields’ by John McCrae.
‘In Flanders fields, the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.’
Today people buy poppies to raise money for charities that support servicemen and women.
6. Why did world war one start? There were lots of countries in Europe poised at the brink of war. Then, in 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated. Austria-Hungary (who at the time were one country) then declared war on Serbia which led to countries like Britain, France and Germany joining in.
7. How many people were evacuated during the Blitz in world war two Britain? Over 3.5 million people were evacuated. Most were children being moved away from cities where there were dangerous bombing raids and towards the countryside. However, some people were evacuated as far away as America, Canada or Australia.
8. What happened on the battlefield during Christmas day of 1914? The German and British soldiers stopped fighting and played football together!
9. What was conscription? Conscription was first introduced during world war one in 1916. It was a rule that meant all healthy men aged 18-41 had to sign up to fight. For the Second World War, conscription was introduced in 1939.
10. How did the first world war change the role of women in society? As the men were fighting in the war, women were included in the workforce en masse for the first time in Britain. Following the First World War, British women made big steps towards equality under the law, such as gaining the right to vote (for some women) in 1918.
Fun fact: Queen Elizabeth II (the current queen of England) worked fixing car engines in the second world war.
You can learn more about the wartime period with Clementine, Your 1940s Girl.
Click here for Clementine's secret diary.