In our series The Great War – Through a London Child’s Eye, we’re following “The Private Diary of Edward Hampton” to learn about life as a child in London at the outbreak of the First World War.
World War I broke out on the 28th July, 1914. In the first months of the war, everyone thought that it would all be over by Christmas 1914.
The War actually ended four years later, and 1914 ended with the first bombs to be dropped from an aircraft on British soil, which damaged towns on the east coast of Britain.
What was Christmas like in 1914?
Christmas 1914 was a seen as a time for gift-giving and spending time with the family, although many families were separated as a result of the war.
The authorities had to employ a greater number of workers for the busy Christmas time as, as well as sending gifts to loved ones across England, families were also sending presents, letters and packages to the soldiers in the Army.
Cards and books were a big part of Christmas gifts for families in 1914.
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The Great War – Through a London Child’s Eye is supported by The National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.