Phew! Just finished watching the excellent series by Jeremy Paxman on WW1. I\’m sure there was a huge team of researchers working on this programme and I watched with some trepidation to see whether the research for Daffodils would pass this stringent test.
I only have to do a tiny edit to one letter after watching the programmes, which is an immense relief. I was also heartened with Mr Paxman\’s summary, at the end of the final programme, when he stated that the social order was completely overturned by the country galvanising itself for the war effort. Women were never again dismissed as useless females and their world broadened out in ways they could never have imagined over the course of those four dramatic years. The poor ended up better fed than they had ever been because of rationing, and because there were more paid jobs in services, ammunition and other supply work.
There is a nostalgia for the Edwardian era that preceded the war but, having researched it thoroughly myself, I can see that this was misplaced for, despite the hugely tragic loss of men, and women, this war had ultimately a genuinely democratic effect on Britain and we still benefit from this today.
The old order was gone for good.