The Brown Family’s Four War Christmases cartoon

This cartoon by G M Payne, originally published in Sunday Pictorial on 23 December 1917, shows the changes experienced by a British family as the First World War progressed. It’s a great resource to use for the basis of a lesson about the effects of the war on the British Home Front, and to show how attitudes to the war changed over time. The annual Christmas tableau begins with the optimistic attitude of 1914 and ends in 1917 as rationing takes hold.

I’ve put together a very simple PowerPoint looking at each frame in turn that you can download here. This works well as a lesson to recap the Home Front. Students identify the changes and, based on their knowledge, explain why those changes happened. A written task could be to describe and explain the changes between the first and last frame in the context of the British Home Front.

Ed Podesta has an excellent lesson using the same cartoon to explore the significance of the war on different aspects of life in Britain. You can find the resources for that lesson here.

Download a copy of The Brown Family’s Four War Christmases cartoon here

Download a PowerPoint that could form the basis of a lesson exploring the changes in the British Home Front here

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