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World War 1
History of Australia

What was it like for Australian children during World War 1?

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May 22, 2009 5:03AM

For almost six years from 1939 to 1945 Britain fought the toughest war it had ever experienced. World War II was total war - every person, every business, every service was involved. Britain did not fight alone, the war also involved many countries. World War II involved 61 countries. One side called the Axis and one side called the Allies. Fifty million people lost their lives and hundreds of millions people were injured. World War II brought a lot of suffering and hardship to thousands of children all over in Australia. There were heaps of dangers at this time especially when German bombers made terrifying night raids. Families were broken up when men went to fight in the war. Some children's dads also never came back home. There were air raid shelters in every school in case there was a bombing. Some people also had air raid shelters in their gardens. All windows and lights were blacked out so it would make it harder for the enemy plane to spot where they lived. Most people carried gas masks in case there was a possible gas attack. People were given rationing cards if they wanted to buy their food, clothes or anything for their everyday needs. Although some things such as bed spreads were free. Children probably had a bath only once a week or perhaps once a month. Clothes were not something that worried children too much. Australian children had always mucked about in their old clothes and had often resented the care with which their parents expected them to treat their new and best clothes. Often they went through summer with their bare feet. Alien children in World War II are children who were born in Australia and have names that sound like people from German and Italian origin.