The wife's role in the British Police during the First World War

Police wives during the First World War in Britain were very much the Incorporated Wife (Callan and Ardner, 1984). They were expected to support their husband and family in every aspect of their daily lives and were not allowed to work outside the home, even when many other women found work while their husband's were away fighting. So they had to rely on increasing their income by breeding livestock for sale. With the huge price rises in Britain, first felt acutely in 1916, they published recipes and shared tips on how to save money. Protein was felt to be a source of energy, so the policeman needed meat in order to have the energy to go out on his beat every day and in all weathers. However, his wife had an "interior economy (that) can be kept going on an even more restricted diet". 
Some police forces received increases in pay and/or war bonuses to help to keep pace with the rising living costs, but not all. Time off was also restricted. It was a hard time for a police family, especially if they had young children.

No comments:

Post a Comment