World War 2

What was life like for civilians in London in World War 2?

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2007-02-21 20:35:04
2007-02-21 20:35:04

I'm not an expert, but here's a short answer. It was grim and bleak. There were severe food shortages, with no one having enough to eat. Meat, milk, eggs, sugar and butter were almost impossible to get. Most children were sent to live with friends or relatives, sometimes even strangers in the country where it was safer and there was more food. Bombs fell almost nightly, destroying portions of the city. Artificial lights were discouraged or shielded with thick, heavy black-out curtains because any light would help the German planes find targets. When the air raid siren went off, you had to run to a shelter and hide until the all clear. Sometimes it was most of the night, and you still had to go to work the next day. Simple items like new clothes and shoes were unavailable, because everything was needed for the war. Many upperclass women worked as nurses, mopping floors and emptying bedpans. Many lower-class women worked in munitions factories or stores, jobs formerly held by men, so the men could join the army. When the men returned, of course, it was considered unpatriotic for a woman to continue working. Despite all the difficulties, most people somehow coped. From what I've read and heard one of the biggest problems was lack of sleep. Some people slept on the platforms of the deep-level underground railway. Even with a sleeping bag that was uncomfortable. Then there were sometimes problems of hygiene before going to work the next morning. During the most intense phase of the blitz (from early September 1940 onwards) there were air-raids for 75 out 76 consecutive nights.

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