Reblogged with heartfelt thanks to Barb Taup.
“There used to be tea rooms on almost every street in England.” An older friend was reminiscing about her youth and her parents’ generation. “Women needed something to do, and they knew how to bake, and to make proper tea.”
With bureaucratic cruelty, the post-war census labelled them “Surplus Women”. After almost ten percent of British men under the age of 45 died in World War I—the Great War—Britain was left with two million more women than men. In my friend’s family, none of the women of the previous generation had husbands or sweethearts who survived the war. One of her aunts said that when they sent their husbands, sweethearts, brothers, and cousins off to fight, so few returned that girls were told only one in ten…
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