Click to hear Winifred part 11 - The return of the wounded (6mins 02secs)
Another way in which the war was carried into the lives of civilians was how the increasingly large numbers of wounded soldiers were brought back to this country for surgery and recuperation. By 1916 the facilities to accommodate them were at breaking point.
Click to hear Winifred part 10 - The home front (8mins 14secs)
Conscription of men into the Armed services was not introduced until 1916, but there was no shortage of men willing to volunteer in the early years. Surprisingly, on the home front, the civilian experience was very similar to that of those of us who experienced the Blitz in WWII – blackouts, enemy air activity and shortage of food. As in WWII air attack (presumably Zepplins) brought home the reality of war.
Click to hear Winifred part 09 - The outbreak of World War One (7mins 09secs)
In an age where we expect instant communication it’s hard for us to appreciate how slowly news was disseminated, at the start of the 20th century. There can be few news items more important than the outbreak of a global war and yet, for Winifred, it all depended on a copy of a newspaper and a journey on a tram.
Click to hear Winifred part 8 - Burying The Dead (4mins 39secs)
Death was a much more frequent and public event at the turn of the 20th Century than it is today, when disease is so much more preventable and curable.
Nowadays, death is usually associated with the elderly, but back then it struck at all ages, indiscriminately.
Click to hear Winifred part 7 - Keeping Healthy (9mins 02secs)
Medical care in pre-World War 1 era was sparse and somewhat rudimentary; Folk remedies, therefore, were widely applied to illnesses and the Doctor (who had to be paid) was only summoned as last resort.
Click to hear Winifred part 6 - Street Games (9mins 21secs)
Growing up in a town has always presented problems for children who wanted to ‘play out’, i.e. outside the house. Unthinkable today, the most natural (and safest) place to do this was the road; the traffic, such as it was, was slow-moving and easily avoided by the children.
Click to hear Winifred part 5 - Starting School (10mins 05secs)
1912 was not only significant for the arrival of moving pictures in Birmingham, it was also the year when Winifred first started school. As always, learning to read and write were the first skills to master – but using very different teaching strategies from today’s.
Click to hear Winifred part 4 - Moving Pictures (9mins 18secs)
By comparison with the traditional homespun entertainment to which people were accustomed, the arrival of moving pictures in Kings Heath in 1912 must have been stunning.
Winefred, aged five, was taken to this magical experience by her elder brother, Ted.
Click to hear Winifred part 3 - Family Entertainment (9mins 27secs)
While life in the 20th Century was hard for the majority of people, there was still opportunity and appetite for entertainment. Yet again this was based on the family and amateur standards; external temptations, like moving pictures, had still to reach Kings Heath, Birmingham.
Consequently, every member of the family was expected to have a party piece of some kind up their sleeve, in case of need.
Click to hear Winifred part 2 - Keeping Sunday Special (6mins 35secs)
In the early years of the 20th Century the family was the strong framework which gave shape and meaning to society. Unlike today, when we all do our own thing in separate, centrally heated rooms, the family was a complete society within itself, with its own rhythms, regulations and responsibilities. How different from today!
Sunday was a very special day.