I think everyone is familiar with that the iconic KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON poster, now everywhere and repurposed to sell, lampoon, or support virtually everything (I will probably have a KEEP CALM AND TRUST HETHERIDGE version for Black & Blue, since things will get rocky for our heroes in that book). What you may not know is, the original was designed in the event of invasion by German forces, so mercifully, it was never actually put in circulation until long after the war. But here are some other posters, all now in the public domain, that the Ministry of Information put out between 1939-1945.
By mid-war, unmarried females were expected to do their bit by joining a home front service. The Women’s Royal Navy Service was meant to free up men for combat by placing women in shore-based duties.
The first efforts at evacuating children, pregnant women, and the elderly went poorly, since the expected German air raids didn’t happen right away, and naturally families resisted being split up. Once the Blitz started, the need to help bombed out families became very real.
The blackout officially started on September 1, 1939, though many areas (including my imaginary village of Birdswing) were compliant earlier. According to WARTIME BRITAIN 1939-1945 (Gardiner, 2004): “In the first four months of the war a total of 4,133 people were killed on Britain’s roads, and 2,657 were pedestrians.” The poster above is a grim reminder.