WW1 Children

How did families and children cope with returning veterans

How did World War 1 affect the families?

WW1 had a very big impact on the families. As most soldiers had gone to fight in the war, women had to replace men in the workforce. This put a lot of pressure upon the older children in the family as they had to take care of the household duties and any younger children. Many of the men who came back from the War were suffering from serious injuries, the effects of Mustard Gas and or shell shock. They were to tormented to talk about their experiences and often it would take them a long time recover from the trauma of the War. This meant that some women had been become responsible of supporting the entire family. The children were scared about their Dads’ going to war because they might not see them again. However, some children became were confused when their fathers did return because they did not understand the effects of trauma on their fathers and didn’t know how to communicate with them. Some cases the Fathers had completely different personalities and some were so traumatised they could not communicate. They showed no love or caring to their children or wife.

How did the soldiers and their families deal with World War 1?

Some of the men fell to pieces because of the torment they went through and needed psychological help to recover from their experiences of war. Life was never the same for some of the men as they had constant ‘flashbacks’ and nightmares about the war. Others had life-long injuries from having their limbs blow off and other serious injuries. Men could be in shock or suffering from the gases that they were exposed to. Often this meant that soldiers were unable to the employment and lifestyle they had had before leaving for the War, adding depression and financial difficulties to the family situation. The women were forced to financially support their family as well as looking after the kids and at the same time care for their husband or son. This situation made life very difficult.

In conclusion, life was really hard for the soldiers and their families because of the torment they went through on the brutal battlefields of WWI. None of the soldiers were prepared for the torment, neither were their families truly able to understand the full effects of the War upon their loved ones. WWI ultimately ended in 1919 but not before the lives of millions of people had been change for ever. This must have affected the children growing up and then having their own families and how they brought up their own children. This moulds the next generation and it perpetuates itself.

  1. The mental and physical scars have been evident from some of the interviews I have conducted at Cullercoats Family History Centre.

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