Richmond WW1 Diary 6 May 1916

Image of poppy

Austerity bites

In Spring 1916, much space in the Richmond & Twickenham Times had been devoted to the new regulations on food prices. The shortage of food had caused some traders to dramatically increase prices, making some items unaffordable for many people. Infants’ milk was singled out as needing special consideration to ensure prices were kept low.

The British Film Institute has many First World War period films in its archives, including this one showing a protest about the price of babies’ milk. It took place in Autumn 1916 in Hyde Park, London.

On May 6, the Times turned its attention to women’s clothing, with an article headlined “Don’t be ashamed to wear old clothes in war time”.

As part of the war effort, to save resources, women were encouraged to mend and alter dresses, rather than wasting fabric on a new dress. The article also included advice on how to economise on the ‘essentials’ like kid gloves and corsets.

When they weren’t being asked to worry about the latest fashions, some 2 million women entered the workforce in the UK, to take on essential roles while men were away fighting.


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