Non- chronological Report Written by Ellie Woodcock Homes in the 1940s



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Non- Chronological Report Written by Ellie Woodcock

Homes in the 1940s

Many children in the 1940s lived in small houses or flats. In towns, many people lived in small terraced houses. There were blocks of flats too, though not as tall as the 'tower blocks' built after the war. A typical family house had a sitting room and kitchen, with two or three bedrooms upstairs. Not all houses had bathrooms or indoor toilets.

Many houses had windows stuck over with paper tape. In an air raid, the blast-force of a bomb exploding could shatter windows along a street. Tape across the windows stopped the glass shattering into thousands of pieces, and causing injuries.

Baths and Toilets

Not every 1940s home had a bathroom. Many poor families washed in the kitchen, and had baths in front of the fire. The metal bath was filled with hot water from pans and kettles. In bathrooms, hot water often came from a gas heater.

The wartime ration for a bath was 5 inches (12.5 cm) of water once a week. The idea was to save water. In some families, it meant several people used the same bathwater, one after the other!

Not all homes had an inside toilet. You used an outside toilet in the backyard or garden. To avoid a chilly walk in the night, you could use a pot kept under the bed. Baths and Toilets

Not every 1940s home had a bathroom. Many poor families washed in the kitchen, and had baths in front of the fire. The metal bath was filled with hot water from pans and kettles. In bathrooms, hot water often came from a gas heater.

The wartime ration for a bath was 5 inches (12.5 cm) of water once a week. The idea was to save water. In some families, it meant several people used the same bathwater, one after the other.



This is a mangle



Britain in 1939

At school, children learned about the British Empire, now the Commonwealth. But in 1939 few British children had ever travelled outside Britain. If they had a holiday, most went to the seaside or the country. In a typical family, dad worked while mum looked after the home. Most young people left school at 14, and started work.

Not many people had cars. Most people travelled by bus, train or bike, or walked. Television started in 1936, but very few people had a TV set. Instead families listened to the radio or 'wireless'.

How did the war change things?

Many families were split up. Fathers, uncles and brothers left home to join the Forces (army, navy or air force). People travelled more, to do war work and to fight overseas. Mothers and older sisters went to work in factories.



There was rationing of food, clothes and other goods. Air raids made it hard to get a good night's sleep. Bomb damage often meant no gas or electricity. Train and bus journeys took longer. Going to school or work often meant walking over bricks and broken glass in the streets. At night, the blackout made towns and cities dark.

This is a Anderson shelter



Sheltering underground 1940





November 1940, and children sleep in hammocks in the London Underground. The electric track was switched off, for safety, when people sheltered in Tube stations.


November 1940, and children sleep in hammocks in the London Underground. The electric track was switched off, for safety, when people sheltered in Tube stations.
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