Home Front - the civilian war effort

The Blackout

On 1 September 1939 the Blackout regulations came into force. All lighting had to be switched off or concealed. These regulations applied to street lighting, private homes, factories, business premises and motor vehicles. The blackout was to make sure enemy aircraft could not spot potential targets from the air at night.

The Blackout restrictions led to a sharp increase in accidents, particularly involving pedestrians. A campaign was launched to urge people to take extra care when out at night. In homes, thick black curtains were hung at windows and doors; thick card or paper could also be used to ensure no light was visible. Wardens would patrol checking up on any sources of light. If you had forgotten your blackout you could be fined.

Other potential sources of accidents like lamp posts, trees and curbs had white painted lines on to help people see them at night.


Have a go at the 'Blackout Quiz' below and see how much you know about the blackout. Use the blackout sheets 1 and 2 for clues!

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