Introduction

On 11 November 1918, the First World War in Europe came to an end after four years.

As news of the Armistice broke, amidst the celebrations there was quiet private reflection on the toll of the war, as people wondered what the future would hold.

While the war had still raged, consideration had been given in Britain to the same questions on a national scale.

A fairer society

The Ministry of Reconstruction, forged by David Lloyd George's Coalition Government in 1917, developed the idea of a rebuilding a society which was fairer than it had been before the war.

The concept of 'a better world' comes from 'The Aims of Reconstruction', the first in a series of pamphlets published by the Ministry which examined the problems of reconstruction and suggested solutions.

'The idea of reconstruction, of a simple return to pre-war conditions, has gradually been supplanted by the larger and worthier ideal of a better world after the war …'

Fit for heroes

Those who had given their all in the service of their country, whether fighting at the front, or contributing to the war effort at home, felt that their sacrifices should be recognised.

Promises from politicians in the immediate aftermath of the war of a 'land fit for heroes' raised the expectations of those with a new-found political voice of better homes, improved working conditions and hope for a brighter future.