On the Homefront

War also brought enormous challenges for civilian staff.

With so many young men joining up, banks, building societies and assurance offices were forced to seek alternative sources of recruitment. ‘Why not try a girl?’ a memo to Lloyds Bank branch managers helpfully suggested. And so in the latter months of 1914, the first ‘Lady Clerks’ were employed.

The role of the financial sector as a whole was also changing. It was to play a key part in financing the war: making loans directly to government and helping the public invest in the war effort.

There were personal hardships too. Escalating living costs meant salaries failed to keep up with inflation.

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