Cambridge and World War I – an immediate impact

The outbreak of war in late 1914 seems to have had an immediate impact upon employment patterns in the town. An article in the Cambridge Chronicle of 6th November reported ‘How Cambridge is affected by the War’:

“There is still a relative surplus of the better class of domestic servants owing to a number of people having dismissed two or three of their servants as a measure of economy. Many of these servants now find that if they want engagements they have to accept lower salaries and do more general work. There is a great excess of day girls, large numbers of whom are usually employed by the lodging house keepers just for the day. Hardly any of these are now being taken on in this manner”.

Early in 1915 a cartoon appeared in the same columns:

‘A Question for You to Answer’ – “Have you a butler, groom, chauffeur, gardener, or gamekeeper serving you who at this moment should be serving his King and Country?”

Truly, life would never be the same for many who lived in and around Cambridge.

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