Homes Fit for Heroes: The aftermath of the First World War 1918-1939 [Yorke]
In 1918, at the end of the First World War, Britain believed she had been victorious. But victory had come at a colossal price and Prime Minister David Lloyd George knew he must also win the peace. Within a fortnight of signing the armistice his famous speech spoke of the future, "What is our task? To make Britain a fit country for heroes to live in." After the trauma of the war, those returning home required jobs and, with them, clean and modern homes for their families. The slums and tenements of the pre-war years were not going to enable a healthy workforce that was fit to tackle the challenges of the new post-war world. At all costs Britain had to avoid the riot and revolution that had swept Europe in the later stages of the war. This book describes the re-building of the country during the decades after 1918. Bold advances were made in social provision, especially in housing, with ambitious schemes by local authorities, no longer solely through private builders. These early developments were not always able to keep ahead of the economic realities of the time and many faltered. But through such pioneering improvements, housing was fixed firmly at the center of British politics. It remains so today.