Christmas on the Home Front

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More About This Title Christmas on the Home Front


The outbreak of war in 1939 saw the disappearance of many traditional British celebrations. Guy Fawkes’ Night went immediately—gunpowder production was needed for the war effort and bonfires contravened the blackout. Summer holidays became a thing of the past and Easter all but disappeared as chocolate—and even real eggs—went "on the ration." In spite of this the nation remained determined to celebrate Christmas as a time of family and community; a time when war could be set aside, if only for a day. Drawing upon personal recollections, contemporary Mass Observation reports, newspaper articles, advertisements, and personal and archive photographs, Mike Brown looks at each wartime Christmas on the British Home Front, from 1939 to 1944.


Mike Brown is an authority on the British Home Front of World War II. He has written A Child's War, Evacuees, and Put That Light Out.