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So many young men were away from home, fighting during WW1, that their essential jobs needed to be filled. Doing so fell to women and older men.
My grandfather, Jim Clarke, was a special constable in the the First World War. His regular job was in insurance, but he became a special constable because of the shortage of regular policemen.
I do not know how much time he had to serve as a special constable. All I have is the photograph with its explanation written on the back. I can only say that in World War Two men were expected to do a full-time day job and still serve as wardens and fire-watchers overnight - albeit in shifts.
Children were not immune. Young boys were taken out of lessons to do manual labour in the fields, and children had to do deliveries, either before school or by missing school entirely.
My mother told me that her aunt worked on the trams in the Second World War. Apparently she would let her and her brothers to ride free.
One of my aunts worked at a munitions factory, the Royal Small Arms Factory in Ordnance Road Enfield. She filled shells and had a yellow tinge to her skin due to the explosive powder that was used with very little personal protection.
Arms and munitions were required in abundance for the fighting front and there were several munitions factories in the area. My mother told me that you could recognise the women who worked there by the yellow tinge to their skins. Apparently they were well-paid to compensate, but many women said that nothing would recompense them for a job that made their skins that colour!
After World War One broke out and the young men of the family were either away at the Front or in the Special Constabulary, my great-aunt Nancy had to do the milk round, while her mother and elder sister ran the shop. She was just 12 years old!