What was the daily life of a child during World War I?

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mrkirschner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

World War I was a traumatic experience for even the most hardened adults. As you can imagine, this trauma was even more profound for children. Children's daily lives were disrupted during the war. This includes their schooling which was transformed to prepare students to become active participants in the war as adults. A number of children could not even attend school.  Children were forced to say goodbye to their fathers as they were sent off to war. Millions of these same children would never see their father again which led to extreme grief that would impact the rest of their lives. Children were also traumatized by the sounds of bombs and artillery throughout the war.

Despite the trauma associated with warfare, many children helped the war effort on the home front. They were expected to help where labor shortages occurred. This could be in the war industries or out in the fields for farming. Many children helped with fundraising for the war. The Boy Scouts and Girl Guides in England helped with the war in a more direct fashion. Boy Scouts could be used to guard important positions as scouts while girls helped to package items for soldiers on the battlefield. It seems that the burden of World War I had a daily effect on children.

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